Zune HD coming to Europe, Crackdown 2 skin hints at gaming ambitions

Rumours fly around Microsoft's new device

Zune HD coming to Europe, Crackdown 2 skin hints at gaming ambitions

Perhaps even Microsoft has been taken by surprise at the very favourable reviews cropping up around the blogosphere for its new Zune HD, as rumours are springing up left, right and centre about the device's future.

Microsoft really hasn't said a great deal about the Zune HD at all, with very little fanfare and a rather uneventful launch. This hasn't stopped US consumers going mad for it, however, especially since word of its gaming potential was heard in a whisper.

Today we're seeing a rather unusual development in the Zune HD's young life. A Crackdown 2 branded version of the multimedia player has been spotted in the wild by VG247, which could be nothing more than a nice paint job. That said, it's a strange choice of artwork that we're hoping will point toward Microsoft's gaming ambitions for its new device.

The Inquirer has picked up on a very tasty bit of information squirrelled away at the bottom of the press release, however.

Apparently, the press release suggests that, despite Microsoft so far insisting there's no European launch schedule for the Zune HD, the online video service allowing users to rent or buy content of the new device will be rolled out to 17 international markets by the end of Autumn.

These markets are listed as Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom.

Given that the service would be essentially useless without the player, this bodes well for an impending announcement.

More news as we get it. In the meantime, let us know if you would be standing in line to buy a Zune HD on the British high street.

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.