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Posts with tag zune

Zune of War, official Gears of War 2 branded Zune revealed

When a company has the luxury of owning the rights to two of the industry's hottest franchises (read that, not the hottest but two of the hottest) you try a little thing called Aggressive Marketing. Aggressive Marketing is a wonderfully terrible thing. It has spawned the likes of Halo branded Mountain Dew, don't kid yourself it was terrible. It makes rotating ads for summer movies a consideration in the map design process (Sup, Rainbox Six Vegas?) and it adds a logo to expensive electronics in hopes of catching the hardcore of guard.

In the market for a Zune? Microsoft has revealed that a limited edition Gears of War 2 Zune bundle will begin shipping on November 7 for $280. The laser-etched "Crimson Omen" plastered 120GB media player comes pre-loaded with 244 pieces of Gears of War media - the soundtrack, concept art, behind-the-scenes videos and other content you've probably already seen here at X3F for free.

[via Engadget]

J Allard gets an extreme new corporate title: CXO

The Xbox brand's shaved head daddy has just been graced with a corporate title change, one that's eXtra, eXtreme, eXciting!

Mr. J Allard is now being referred to as Microsoft's CXO or Chief Experience Officer in charge of "technical architecture and user experiences related to products and services of the Entertainment and Devices (E&D) division" where he "oversees an incubation team that scouts new opportunities for the division." What that means exactly, we aren't sure. Though, we do know Allard's new CXO title has come in the wake of a the Zune brand getting a new corporate VP of which Allard used to be a part of. Now, the obvious question is whether or not Allard will use his experience and new CXO title to head up the Xbox 720 division. That said ... Bill Gates needs a replacement too.

Gamestop stops selling the Zune

While it was never a big success and never really lived up to its full potential, the Zune was a good little device that no doubt sold more than it might've otherwise had it not been available at dedicated game stores. Now after almost two years, the media player is being dropped from the one of the US's largest games retailers.

Citing a lack of customer appeal and their own misplaced anticipation, (perhaps they thought MS would bring some games to the device) Gamestop will no longer be selling the Zune in-store and will only be selling them online as long as it takes them to run through their existing inventory. Hmm ... hopefully this'll mean that the online store will have some good discounts as its stock gets low ....

XNA concepts already being tested on Zune

Talking with Eurogamer, XNA main man Chris Satchell informed them that XNA development on the Zune is moving along rather nicely and that they have concept games up and working.

Satchell confirmed word that, internally, Microsoft has already created a few concept XNA games for the Zune, including a Wolfenstein software rendered that outputs at a solid 30 frames per second. Worried about the Zune as a controller? According to Satchell, the Zune's squircle "touchpad is great". And what about those who want Zune to Zune multiplayer gaming? You're covered as well, with Satchell's confirmation that "one of the things we talked about was the network play, and we've had people doing prototypes internally of multiplayer shoot-'em-ups both in versus and co-op". Delicious!

So, now that they've dangled this XNA / Zune integration carrot in front of our faces for an eternity, when can we get a confirmed launch? Hmm?

GDC08: XNA development for the Zune begins

iPod owners be damned, the Zune "media device" will be where all the cool XNA and XBLA kids play. Say hello to the Xboy Zuneboy!

During yesterday's GDC keynote, Microsoft announced that later this year, XNA development would be opening up to the Zune allowing XNA developers to create XBLA style games for Zune devices. The games can then be shared from the Zune itself to any Windows PC and also to a 360. So, Mr. Allard ends up being correct about Zune - 360 connectivity, but totally dropped the ball on Zune gaming. Why fight it Allard, why fight? Also, those cool cats over at Ars Technica are reporting that the Zune will allow for multiplayer gaming via the device's built-in wireless capability. Zune XNA development should be rolling out sometime by the end of the year alongside the new XNA / Xbox Live community features.

Allard envisions a shared Zune and 360 network

J Allard and Microsoft want to be the king, no scratch that, the iron fisted media ruler of your living room and they firmly believe that the way to throne is by integrating everything.

In an interview with the New York Times Blog, Allard discusses Microsoft's plans to connect the Xbox 360 world with the Zune's to create one massively connected content source. "The Zune guys have to run really fast. The Windows Mobile guys are on a two-year release cycle. The Xbox team now needs to focus on cost reduction, distribution and quality process. Everyone is on their own cadence. The one thing that transcends all this is the network as the nexus". Allard and Microsoft's plans are (undoubtedly) vague and somewhat fluffy in how they plan on executing an MSN style integration, but we'll just have to sit back and see what comes down the pipeline.

And honestly, we're not sure if having our Xbox 360, Zune, Windows Mobile, MSN, IPTV and other super-amazing-Microsoft-product services wrapped up into one do it all service nexus. Yes, it's an interesting concept that'll aid in Microsoft becoming king of all digital media, but from a gamer's standpoint ... we just want games. Hopefully Microsoft can find the right balance of inter-connectivity without shoving services down our throats or bloating the system, because we're still about the games. Remember Allard, Xbox 360 is all about the games.

Gaming on Zune? Not anytime soon

Those of you looking forward to gaming on your Zune (all seven of you) are likely to be disappointed by the following news. Zune guru (and former Xbox guru) J Allard revealed to GamaSutra that there are currently no plans to integrate games into Microsoft's MP3 player (where have we heard that before?). Allard noted that the speed of innovation in the portable market makes games a "tricky proposition." In other words, new versions of MP3 players come out so often (see the latest Zunes above for example) that compatibility becomes and issue. Not only that, but control interfaces change all the time too, so playing an old game on a new player could be physically impossible. Allard doesn't rule out the possibility entirely, noting that XNA could be a factor for portable gaming. He concludes, however, that "Zune isn't playing Halo 3 anytime soon."

New Halo 3 Military Zune available to US soldiers

Yesterday, Microsoft, feeling the need to support the US military and get more Halo 3 branded products into the retail channel, announced a brand new brown Halo 3 Military Zune. The new Halo 3 Military Zune looks just like and includes the same content as the black/blue Halo 3 Zune that is currently available at Gamestop, but will be brown/green and only available to US soldiers and their families. The new Military Zune will be exclusively available at select military stores this August at a discounted rate that has yet to be announced. Congrats US military, you have the right to buy yourself a brown Halo 3 Zune ... w00t!

The Zune giveth us Halo artwork [update 1]

Everyone knows that the Halo 3 Zune comes jam packed with exclusive Halo content and for those of us who don't own one all we want to do is take a look at the cool media. Heck, seeing the Zune exclusive Red vs Blue episode on YouTube made our day. So, we couldn't help but share with our fellow fanboys all the exclusive Halo artwork that's included on the Zune. Yup, deadlycyclone48 ripped all the backgrounds off his Halo 3 Zune and posted them on Flickr for everyone to enjoy. Go ahead, look through all the Halo artwork without needing to buy any music player. It kind of feels dirty, doesn't it?

Update 1: It looks like this linked set doesn't include all the Halo backgrounds included on the Zune. But don't worry, NitroFrost came to the rescue and posted the completely complete set. Go check 'em out.

[Thanks, Rick-E]

Halo 3 Zune available, exclusive Red vs Blue vid

We figured we'd give everyone a little heads up that the previously announced Halo 3 Zune is now available for purchase from Gamestop. For $249 you can get your hands on this rather sexy music player that is jam-packed with Halo content including an exclusive episode of Red vs Blue. And, thanks to one kind hearted soul, that exclusive video was posted on YouTube and embedded above. So, ponder a Zune purchase, sit back, and watch the Zune exclusive episode of Red vs Blue. Oh, and uhhh welcome to the social ... or something like that.

[Thanks, NitroFrost]

Win a Halo 3 Zune from HBO

The friendly faces over at have partnered with Bungie to give away four spiffy new Halo 3 branded Zunes. But be warned, you'll have to be somewhat creative to win one. To enter, you have to create a Halo video or song for one of the four categories including; Halo song parody, original Halo song, Halo 3 beta montage video, or Halo original machinima. One winner will be chosen from each category and become a proud owner of a Halo 3 Zune. Yes, you'll have to work for it, but we know you guys are creative and have some down time to get an entry finished. So, with the only words of encouragement we can offer, get to work already and win yourself a Haloicious Zune!

Video: unbox that Halo 3 Zune, unbox it hard!

Ah, the unboxing ritual. Is there anything so sacred in the world of technology? Like eager little children on their birthday, we open our wondrous gadgets with a sense of reverence and dignity. Nowadays, we also film the whole process. In case you've been wondering exactly what the contents of a Halo 3 Zune box are, look no further. Our question to you: is a little Halo branding enough to make you pick up Microsoft's jukebox?

Halo 3 Zune is a Gamestop exclusive

More details have surfaced for those of you who are interested in that oh so limited edition Halo 3 Zune. According to new information on, the Halo 3 Zune will go on sale June 15th and be available exclusively from Gamestop stores. The Zune will also come preloaded with a plethora of content including the entire Halo soundtrack collection, over 120 Halo images, a bunch of Halo 3 videos, six episodes of Red vs Blue, and an exclusive Red vs Blue episode only available on the Zune. So, if you're already sold on a purchase, you may want to plop down a few bucks on a preorder. You know, that is if you're willing to choose the Zune over a trendy iPod purchase.

The Zune will be feeling some Halo 3 love

Microsoft's "iPod killing" Zune music player will be jumping in the sack with Halo 3 in a few weeks. Rumor has it that an exclusive Halo 3 branded Zune will be available later this month online and show up in retail stores come June. But just like the newish pink Zune, it'll only be available in limited quantities. But we're not sure how "limited" the device will really be. Overall, we think the Halo 3 Zune is quite sexy in a subtle fanboy way, but would it make you, fellow fanboy, break down and purchase a Zune over an iPod?

[Via Live Gamer]

Microsoft's Xbox 360 losses are shrinking

Microsoft just announced their quarterly earnings and the Entertainment and Devices Division (which the Xbox 360 is a part of) is seeing its losses decrease. Though, everything isn't peaches and cream, because Microsoft still lost $315 million in the EDD division last quarter down from $415 million last year. The reason? They are shrinking their losses due to shipping less hardware (money saver since they lose money every console sold) and improved console margins. But the launch of the Zune (which is also in the EDD division) and improved Xbox 360 warranty program offset some of those money making benefits.

We're certain Microsoft is in the video game market for the long haul, it's not only a prevention measure from competition, but could be their Trojan horse into our living rooms. But losing $315 million cannot feel good and we doubt it looks any better on paper ... maybe that's why they are charging so damn much for that 120GB HDD.

[Via Digg]

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