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Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Xboy's revenge: Zune to play games by July 2008

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In the continuing effort to sling a rock straight into the iPod's forehead, Microsoft has revealed plans to bring games to their Zune series of portable music players. How Zune? According to a Bloomberg.com report, you can expect pleasant beeps and boops to emanate from the player by July 2008. You might recall that Apple also recently embraced gaming on their somewhat popular iPod range.

No specific games have been mentioned yet, though recent CES developments might give you a fairly strong clue. Expect arcade games like Geometry Wars and Uno to make the jump, complete with wireless play and Live Anywhere integration. Popular franchises (hello Halo) may give Microsoft more traction in their struggle against the iPod, at least where portable games are concerned. As New York analyst Michael Gartenburg puts it, "It's not like the music enthusiasts have been flocking to Zune, and they need to really answer Apple in terms of feature pa rity."

With the battle between audio players now spilling into the gaming arena, winners and losers become more and more difficult to spot in the cloud of dust. Can music lovers be swayed by other diversions? And what do the PSP and DS have to say in the matter?

See also: All things Xboy
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