While it doesn't carry the same cachet as "Election Day" or "Chinese Leftovers Day," Zune HD Day is still very much a real thing. With today's launch of Microsoft's pretty-cool-but-still-not-a-phone media player comes final confirmation that the Zune HD will support games. Buried in the device's launch press release is the following line: "Later this year, Zune plans to release ... fun 3-D games such as Project Gotham Racing: Ferrari Edition, Vans Sk8: Pool Service and Audiosurf Tilt."

Of course, three games does not a platform make and, while Apple is busy touting the availability of 21,178 games in the iPhone App Store, Microsoft is launching the Zune HD with a far less ... robust marketplace. Even at the launch of Apple's App Store, over a third of the 500 programs available were games; today, it's closer to half.

Unfortunately, the Zune HD isn't competing with the pre-App Store iPhone or iPod Touch, so when Zune marketing manager Brian Seitz tells the Seattle Times that it's "hard to say right now" if the "sometimes connected" Zune HD will be opened up to third-party app development, it's difficult to hide our disappointment. Game development on the Zune HD is happening on a "case-by-case" and not a "come one, come all" basis, Seitz says.

So, what he's saying is you shouldn't expect to see anywhere near 21k games (regardless of quality) and you can also write off seeing the Zune HD popping up on the list of IGF Mobile nominees next year. As a gaming platform, even a casual gaming platform, will this be enough to compete against the iPod Touch or even the PSP Go? We'll find out "in November" when these games are finally available.

[Via Engadget]

Source – Press release
Source – Seattle Times

This article was originally published on Joystiq.

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