Initial line-up of seven free Zune HD games revealed

Ad support already implemented on Microsoft's handheld

Initial line-up of seven free Zune HD games revealed

The Zune HD launched in the US on the 15th September, to very favourable hardware reviews. But now the device will be tested by fire as the tech-loving public attempt to find something cool to do with their hot new gadget - like playing games.

The Zune Marketplace rolled out with just seven games, all of which are being given away for free while being ad-wrapped. It took Apple a while to deliver in-game adverts, though it also launched the App Store with considerable more fanfare and a hell of a lot more games and applications.

Unfortunately, both the games and their accompanying adverts aren't being met with the same enthusiasm the device enjoyed. In the launch line-up is Hexic (designed by Tetris creator Alexey Pajitnov, no less), Goo Splat, Sudoku, Space Battle 2, Chess, Texas Hold 'em and the obscurely titled Shell Game... of the Future.

Early reports suggest the games are pretty average. There's nothing that shows off the powerhouse silicon behind the Zune HD's touchscreen. Complaints about the invasiveness of the adverts are rife, however, which apparently require you to sit through a launch advert every time a game is loaded.

It would have been nice to see Microsoft get the Zune HD's ecosystem in place ready for the device's launch, but hopefully things will ramp up shortly. If they don't, the Zune HD might find itself struggling for a userbase once the games do appear.

Oi, Microsoft! Google 'N-Gage' before it's too late.

Spanner Spencer
Spanner Spencer
Yes. Spanner's his real name, and he's already heard that joke you just thought of. Although Spanner's not very good, he's quite fast, and that seems to be enough to keep him in a regular supply of free games and away from the depressing world of real work.