Do you want a Zune HD real bad? Well you're in luck, because the wait is nearly over. Microsoft announced today that the heavily hyped media player will be making its way into retail channels come September 15th, and will be up for pre-order at select spots (Best Buy, Amazon, Walmart, and the Microsoft Store) today. That's right... today. The Tegra-packing, HD Radio-playing, 720p-outputting device will come in a black, 16GB flavor for $219.99, or a beefier, "platinum" finish 32GB version clocking in at $289.99 (apparently the player will come in five additional colors, but no word on which ones, exactly). If you're super impatient and in select markets (Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Houston, Miami, Minneapolis / St. Paul, New York, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Seattle and Washington, D.C.) you can head into a Best Buy on August 22nd and 23rd to play with a device and drop $25 on a pre-order. Otherwise, you'll just have to sit tight till the ZHD makes its way into the wide world... which is actually pretty soon. Check out more info about the player at our Zune HD hub, and after the break you can enjoy a recent video we shot of the device in action and the official PR.
ZUNE HD AVAILABLE FOR PRE-ORDER TODAY
MICROSOFT'S NEW PORTABLE DIGITAL MEDIA PLAYER AVAILABLE FOR ONLINE PRE-ORDER AT AMAZON, BEST BUY, WALMART and MICROSOFT STORE
REDMOND, Wash. – Aug. 13, 2009 – Zune HD, the next generation of Microsoft Corp.'s portable digital media player, is available now for pre-order and is set to hit store shelves on Sept. 15. The player, available in 16GB and 32GB capacities, is the first touch-screen Zune and includes powerful playback technology to give you a different way to experience media on the go. Combined with unparalleled PC software and online services such as Zune Pass, Zune provides a rich and meaningful connection to music, videos, podcasts and more.
Pre-order Zune HD in 16GB Black and 32GB Platinum through http://www.zune.net/zunehd from Amazon.com, Best Buy,Walmart and Microsoft. Beginning September 15, at http://www.ZuneOriginals.net, both 16GB and 32GB capacities of Zune HD will be available in five different colors with the option to customize your player with one of 10 new engravings.
WHAT: With a sleek and stylish design, Zune HD is the first to combine these features:
• Built-in HD Radio™ receiver. Allows you to listen to higher-quality sound than is available from traditional radio channels, as well as access additional programming through HD2 and HD3 multicast channels from many of your favorite local FM radio stations at no extra cost.
• HD video output capabilities. Supports HD video playback from the device through a premium HDMI A/V docking station (sold separately) directly to an HD TV in 720p, making it easy to enjoy better-than-DVD-quality video on your own big screen at home.
• OLED touch screen. Allows you to easily flip through music, movies and other content. The 3.3-inch glass screen and 16:9 widescreen format display (480x272 resolution) offer a premium viewing experience.
• Built-in Wi-Fi. Allows for browsing, streaming or downloading new music from Zune Marketplace.
• Internet browser. Full-screen Web browsing, optimized for the multi-touch screen with zoom-in and zoom-out gestures.
• Accessories, at home and on the road. Zune HD and AV Dock charges and syncs players while playing supported 720p HD videos on HDTVs. Play HD Radio, music and podcasts from your Zune HD device through your car stereo using the Zune Premium Car Pack.
WHY: Pre-order now to be one of the first to experience the new Zune HD's advanced design,innovative technology and rich multimedia capabilities powered by the NVIDIA Tegra™ chip ultra low-power HD processor.
PRICING: Zune HD 16GB: $219.99 (estimated retail price); Zune HD 32GB: $289.99 (estimated retail price)
WHEN: Pre-order starting Thursday, Aug. 13. Purchase in stores on Tuesday, Sept. 15.
WHERE ONLINE: http://www.zune.net/zunehd
WHERE IN STORE: Place a pre-order in person at Best Buy beginning August 16. If you want to sneak a peek, visit select stores in Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Houston, Miami, Minneapolis/St. Paul, New York, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Seattle and Washington, D.C., areas on August 22 and 23.