Microsoft coy on apps for Zune HD

There will definitely be an option to download some basic games, but Microsoft is hedging on whether it will offer more options in time for the product's fall launch.

While confirming that the Zune HD now sports an Apps menu, Microsoft is being circumspect on just how extensive the collection of programs it plans to offer for the media player will be.

An eagle-eye user this weekend spotted an Apps menu on some of the devices being demonstrated at Best Buy outlets as part of a preview weekend . Microsoft suggested on Monday that the Apps menu and Zune Marketplace will be home to the types of games found on past Zunes but hedged on whether and when it might offer a broader selection of software.

Microsoft confirms its Zune HD will have an Apps menu, but is being far less clear on just what kinds of Apps it will have. Donald Bell/CNET

"Games came pre-loaded on the current version of the device, but we made a decision to take them out of the firmware update and let people choose what games they want to have for themselves--and it made sense to do this via Marketplace," a representative told CNET News. "As before, games are free; the only difference is that people get to choose. Right now, we don't have anything further to say regarding Apps functionality beyond what we've already shared."

Early versions of the device seen by CNET News had a games menu, but the games were similar to the kinds of free games included in the past.

Microsoft suggested that the Apps menu, for the moment, might just be an outlet for such games. However, the company is clearly leaving the door open for much more.

"We have games on the Zune today and those will carry forward to Zune HD, but that's not where we'll necessarily stop," Microsoft said.

The Zune HD is slated to go on sale September 15 , though Best Buy and Microsoft are also taking pre-orders for the product. A 16GB version will sell for $219, while a 32GB version is priced at $289.

 

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