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Zunes coming to Europe, Zune HD unveiled

You read right: Microsoft's Zune media players are coming to Europe. Also, there's a gorgeous new high-def version being launched in the US

Nate Lanxon
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If you look very carefully, you'll notice we've been coloured a distinct shade of excited. Microsoft has announced the new Zune HD and as well as looking like one of the sweetest media players on the planet, Zunes are coming to Europe.

The international rollout of Zune starts with the Zune Marketplace -- the Zune version of the iTunes Store in the US. TV shows and movies from the Marketplace will appear on Xbox Live, of all places, this autumn. "Eventually we'll offer the full digital entertainment experience, spanning screens, devices, platforms and geographies," says Microsoft's Chris Stephenson.

With Zune Marketplace hitting Xbox Live in the autumn, we're tentatively hoping to see Zunes in the UK for Christmas this year. That's total speculation folks, but we'd bet a whole lot of cash on it coming true.

But before then, let us drool over this Zune HD chap, seen in its black incarnation in the photo above thanks to a photo from Engadget. In addition to outputting (but not showing) 720p HD video over HDMI, it's got an OLED screen, Wi-Fi, a Web browser and multi-touch. Experience with OLED screens on the Cowon S9, Samsung i8910 HD and the new Sony Walkman X series has shown how beautiful they can look, and it'll give the iPod touch something to look up to.

As it's only a 84mm (3.3-inch) display, however, running at a very average 480x272-pixel resolution, you won't get the full benefit of HD video unless you output it to a TV screen.

We'll have a Zune HD hands-on and video for you soon, don't you worry. In the meantime, there's another photo over the page.

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The standard silver Zune HD.

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