According to an internal Microsoft tipster, the upcoming Zune HD will be available in 16GB and 32GB capacities, and be priced from $249 to $280 for the entry-level model. The company is considering a 64GB Zune HD later on in the model year, but the first of the PMPs will arrive in September; that tallies with previous rumors that fingered September 5th.
The source – a software engineer within Microsoft who claims that, while he chose to leak independently, his actions are known and unofficially sanctioned by the company – also suggests that movies are finally coming to the Zune Marketplace, and that the team are working on the final licensing agreements with the major studios. That content will be available in HD.
If that starting price turns out to be accurate, it will position the Zune HD above Apple’s rival iPod touch PMPs. The Zune’s Tegra HD-capable chipset, HDMI output and AMOLED multitouch-capable display are likely culprits for pushing up prices; it remains to be seen whether Microsoft can sufficiently persuade consumers that their platform is finally better than Apple’s.