It appears that Microsoft will introduce games for the Zune by July 2008. This is what gamers had been hoping for and may help bring in Xbox users to Zune. However, this could possibly be the beginning of a change of focus on the Zune. The Zune could change from a portable media player to a portable gaming system or an hybrid product.
The head of Microsoft’s Interactive Entertainment Business division, Peter Moore confirmed the plans to bring games by July 2008 on January 7th. He said that the Zune’s large screen would make it ideal for playing handheld games. He however did not mention the types of games that the company would offer. But it is expected that these will not be games won’t be directly competing against PSP or DS. Instead it is expected target those who want to play simple games, while listening to music. It will most likely be similar to Apple’s offering of games for its iPod line.
It is likely that games like Uno and Bejeweled will appear on the Zune. Which will help aid Microsoft’s Live Anywhere feature. Currently the Live Anywhere feature allows connection to Windows Vista PCs, Windows Mobile phones, and Java-enabled phones to Xbox Live. It would just fit in nicely for the Zune to feature Live Anywhere.
There are currently hopes that this 2008 release will also include Halo. But the big issue that arises is the controller scheme. The Zune simply was not designed to play games like that. An option for Microsoft is to release an add-on that makes serious gaming possible or releasing a second generation Zune that is more suitable for gaming.
This may turn out to be a good feature for the Zune simply because it will bring in Xbox owners. It is probably safe to assume that Microsoft is considering taking a similar path to that of PSP. However, the PSP isn’t doing as well as its much simpler competition Nintendo DS. So it may be a risk for Microsoft to enter this market aswell as they try to push a competitor to the iPod in the media player market. Overall it appears that it would be smarter for Microsoft to release casual games like Uno instead of games like Halo, atleast for now.
Microsoft, Zune, News, Games+Gaming