Games for Zune details, hands-on

We got a chance to check out the first functioning games for Zune and were able to answer a few -- but not many -- questions about how this thing's bound to play out.

  • For starters, first-gen Zunes don't appear to be ruled out by any means, but it's going to be dependent on the game controls. Zauri, the sample space shooter game demoed today, uses the Zunepad, thus wouldn't work (as well) on a Zune 30. Nothing has been decided as to whether games will universally require 2nd-gen Zunes, though.

  • Use of the Zunepad in Zauri was as a trackpad and omnidirectional -- it wasn't just up / down / left / right, as in the menus.

  • Right now the system partitions a mere 16MB for storing games, although this might change.

  • Right now there isn't a professional-grade SDK to announce; all titles should initially be done up in XNA Studio.

  • Means of distribution (i.e. games loaded through an installer, through the Zune desktop app, or through Zune Marketplace?) has not yet been decided.

  • The first beta development tools will be out this Spring.

  • There are no plans for Zune game sharing (yet), so to play with a friend wirelessly you both must have the game on your Zune.

There was plenty more we wanted to know but Microsoft definitely stressed that this is an incredibly early announcement, and many of the details we're all lusting after are still being hammered out. Again, we'll know more in Spring and Summer.