So the Zune 2 launched. And while the new models are a definite improvement on the last version of the Zune (and by the way, Microsot made all the Zune 2 features available through software updates on old Zunes, which was super classy), I was hoping we'd see new Xbox 360 integration with the device. But we did not. J Allard had this to say when asked about actual gaming on the Zune:
I love games and maybe for someone with a 40-minute commute, it might be an interesting scenario. Thus far, the market really hasn't proven out that it is a great scenario. Customer satisfaction with what has been done isn't that high.
The other challenge is with the platform. The games that you bought in your fifth generation don't run with your sixth generation. ... The rate of innovation, turnover, and variety of form factors makes it a tricky proposition. That said, we have a lot of flexibility and a lot of magical software. What we've done with XNA is an incredibly portable environment designed to abstract some of the hardware differences. We'll see where that takes us. We're always thinking, but the Zune isn't playing Halo 3 anytime soon.
But there's so much more Microsoft could do to integrate the 360 experience than just load some games. What about media syncing? What about remote downloads through WiFi? What about our gamerscore in our pocket?
These developments will surely come give Microsoft enough time, but quite simply, the Zune 2 gave us nothing new to expand the stagnant but promising 360 media experience. And sure, a couple of classic games tied in with XBLA titles never hurt anyone. Maybe for an extra 100 points or something?
Because if the Zune is really expected to compete with the iPod in the next decade, Microsoft only need look to Live.