While there's no shortage of handheld game systems on the market--the Nintendo DS and DSi are still selling well and the PSP continues to hang in there, while the App Store expands its catalog every minute--one of the seemingly no-brainer bets in the mobile gaming realm hasn't happened yet: the Zune.
We say "no brainer" for several reasons:
Microsoft has a successful gaming platform in the Xbox 360, emphasizing online and downloadable gaming. Microsoft, compared with Sony and Nintendo, is best able to take on Apple in terms of a media-management software store and the ability to build an equivalent music/games/movies catalog, and making that product PC compatible. The Zune HD now plays games
The first point is obvious. The second is debatable, but we say this because Sony, while having a decent media library on PSN, just isn't historically great at building cross-platform software for syncing the PSP, and Microsoft's global software reach is simply stronger. The third is technically true--Microsoft launched a small collection of completely free-to-play, ad-supported games for its OLED-screened Zune HD last month, and one of them happens to be an adaptation of Project Gotham Racing.
It's an interesting prospect (and one we've wondered about before) because the Zune HD processor, an Nvidia Tegra, has both HD processing muscle and 3D graphics capability. We downloaded and played with all the Zune HD games currently available--all 12 of them--with some curiosity to see if the Zune could compete as a game device. … Read more