Microsoft on Thursday confirmed several of the worst kept secrets in the industry, acknowledging the pricing, availability date, and capacities for its upcoming Zune HD.
The black 16GB version of the touch-screen media player will sell for $219.99, while a 32GB version in "platinum" color will cost $289.99. The pricing had already leaked via Best Buy and Amazon, while the September 15 launch date was noted as part of a retailer's display, reported by Gizmodo.
Microsoft will also start taking pre-orders for the device and starting September 15, it will be able to be ordered in five colors from Microsoft's Zuneoriginals.net site, with the option of adding one of 10 engravings by guest artists to the back of the device.
Among the device's features are its OLED (organic light-emitting diode) display, multi-touch Web browser and the ability to send video in 720p to a HDTV (using a dock, sold separately).
Although the prices put the Zune HD well below Apple's current iPod Touch prices for the same capacity, I would expect Apple to revamp its products for the fall, likely offering the iPod Touch at similar prices and capacities, and perhaps borrowing the video camera and other features from the iPhone 3GS.
If you can't wait until September, here's a video I shot during a brief hands-on demo I got in May (or see our slideshow above).