Zune flash PMP price-cut, plus firmware v3.1 released

Microsoft have simultaneously cut the price of their flash-based Zune PMPs and launched version 3.1 of the media device's firmware.  Those unaffected by the lure of the iPod can now pick up a 4GB Zune for $99, down from $129, while the largest, 16GB Zune drops to $179 from $199.

The mid-range 8GB Zune is also reduced, from $149 to $139, making it the least impressive reduction.  Accessories, too, are being repriced, with the Home/AV pack dropping by $20 and the Car Pack/Dock Pack by $10.  New prices should be in affect now.

Zune firmware v3.1, meanwhile, doesn't have any especially dramatic changes as seen in the v3 update, but does introduce a new selection of games – Checkers, Sudoku and Space Battle – plus new levels and multiplayer mode for Texas Hold'em.  Zune Social visual refresh gets a navigation facelift, while there's also a "like minded listeners" option which rates your music tastes against friends and family.  Finally stability and synchronization have been fettled. 

You can access the new firmware by choosing "check for updates" in the Zune PC app.