Microsoft has finally confirmed there is a Zune HD on the way and it should be available “early fall”. The HD in its title refers to the built-in HD Radio receiver and the ability of the device to output 720p video – albeit through a HDMI packing dock that will be sold separately. Clearly designed as a contender for the iPod Touch’s PMP crown the Zune HD features a 3.3-inch 16:9 capacitive OLED touchscreen with multitouch and 480×272 resolution.
Based on a custom version of Windows CE, the Zune HD can stream music over Wi-Fi and includes a custom portable browser based on Internet Explorer. But the big news is the Xbox and Xbox LIVE integration, which Microsoft calls “a game-changing entertainment experience” – but they would say that wouldn’t they. The Zune marketplace will replace the current Live video resources, expanding the library and opening up the Zune Marketplace internationally for the first time.
Although Microsoft has confirmed the Zune HD will be flash-memory based, it hasn’t announced capacities or prices yet. Expect more details at E3.