"Here are the first shots of the Zune 2 and Zune Flash. The images reveal an 80GB version and a 4GB and 8GB flash model. Not sure what's going on with that interesting controller, but it looks like a real button, but is just wide enough that it may have touch-sensitive properties. These photos came from a source who cites marketing materials, likely from the retail channel, but were confirmed by a second source as well. Does that mean they're final? I don't know. If I were Microsoft, I might seed the internet with mockups as to confuse. Oh, how I love counterintelligence measures. So take them with a grain of salt, confirmed as something, but still unofficial."
Just like the nice man at Gizmodo says, this could be nothing more than a ruse - but it's by far the most realistic one I've seen so far. You'll notice I never posted any of that "Draco" or "Scorpio" junk - it takes more than "I heard this thing from this guy who knows a guy" for me to call that "news". Even a rumour needs to have some specifics or be substantiated in some way in order for it to be taken seriously. At any rate, this is looking quite interesting - based on the image above, I can glean the following details:
- The new Flash-based Zune will be available in 8 GB and 4 GB capacities
- Colours for the new Flash-based Zune will be black, red, pink and green
- The new Flash-based Zune has a bigger control pad and the buttons are up higher
- It looks like the current chunky Zune will stick around, but be offered with an 80 GB hard drive and be available only in black
My analysis? While 4 GB might seem "small" to us, the average person in North America still doesn't have 4 GB worth of digital music - so they need to have that "small" size. But topping out at 8 GB? A big mistake in my opinion - with the new Zen Vision offering up to 16 GB of storage
[affiliate], and an SD card slot to expand it even more, I think Microsoft is making a mistake by not offering a Zune that at least matches what the competition does. 4 GB and 8 GB storage capacities match the previous
generation of MP3 players, not the next
generation - and the Zune desperately needs a "wow" product.
Regarding the hard-drive based player - I'm a bit puzzled. 80 GB is a capacity they should have offered right out of the gate last year, to at least match what Apple has on the high end. They didn't, and I believe they missed out on a great opportunity. So here we have the next generation and they're releasing a product that matches what Apple had last year. Seeing a pattern here? I think 80 GB is a good capacity mind you, but if that's the only change that has been made, then I'll be disappointed. If it was a 640 x 480 screen with 16.7 million colours, the device was thinner, and more codecs were supported on the device (h.264, Divx, DVR-MS, etc.) then maybe this would be a compelling device.
That's my take on this - what's yours?