updated 08:50 am EDT, Wed June 3, 2009
Zune HD on Amazon
A listing for the Zune HD has appeared on Amazon today that hints at broader support for software on Microsoft's media player. Its description indicates that owners can "play games and use apps" using the accelerometer, suggesting both the expected third-party games as well as possible third-party apps; notably, Zune HD images to date have shown a "more" option that suggests additional features. The possibility remains that Microsoft is referring to built-in utilities like the photo viewer and web browser, both of which use the accelerometer for rotation.
Microsoft also reiterates the Xbox Live connection, which it failed to fully explain at its E3 presentation on Monday. The Zune is a "first slot" on the Xbox Video Marketplace and is integrated with Xbox Live, the company claims, implying that videos accessed from the Xbox 360 should be playable on the Zune. The company has alternately promised and hinted at Xbox and Zune integration but so far has only rebranded the Xbox Video Marketplace.
The listing doesn't provide a reliable clue as to the Zune HD's release date and incorrectly shows September 8th of last year.