Microsoft Slashing Zune Prices

Microsoft introduced its latest Zune models, as well as the version 3.0 update of its software in September. And here we are, already facing a price cut, and a pretty good one at that. Although Microsoft would like to call it a holiday price cut, one would have to wonder if the difficult economy, which has led to some pretty sad forecasts from retailers, has anything to do with this.

Just FYI, these cuts are only for flash-based Zunes and accessories. According to the official
Zune blog, the prices, starting tomorrow, will be as follows:

Zune 4GB - $99.99 (-$30)
Zune 8GB - $139.99 (-$10)
Zune 16GB - $179.99 (-$20)
Car Pack - $69.99 (-$10)
Home/AV Pack - $59.99 (-$20)
Dock Pack - $39.99 (-$10)

Note that these are all MSRP. Compare the 8 GB version to an 8 GB iPod nano's MSRP and you see a $10 difference. An 8 GB iPod nano is $149. Would that be enough to swing you to the Zune? Not us.

In related news, Zune software 3.1 is
available. Not like it's a game-changer, but it adds more free games (whoopee), a refresh to Zune Social and "incremental improvements to the software" (i.e, bug fixes).

On the games front, we are giving away three new additions, Checkers, Sudoku and Space Battle, plus a new multiplayer mode and single player difficulty levels for Texas Hold’em. The team also did some great work the Zune Social visual refresh to make it easier to navigate, as well as adding a new feature called “like minded listeners,” which will let you see how compatible your music tastes are with other listeners and friends.
Hmmm ... Sudoku might be interesting. Still, nah.