Gaming Coming To The Zune?! Microsoft’s XNA Team PR Blog Says YES!

A post from Microsoft’s XNA Team Blog has announced that the upcoming release of XNA Game Studio 3.0  will support development of games for Microsoft’s ZUNE portable media player (of which yours truly has the original 30gb black version).

From the post titled "Announcing: XNA Game Studio 3.0 and Zune":
"We could have rested on our laurels by just announcing the new Xbox LIVE community games and XNA Creators Club Online features, but we’re a driven bunch of people here, and we’re passionate about gaming, so let’s lob another amazing treat out there.

The XNA Community Games Platform team is delighted to offer you a sneak peek at our first major feature for XNA Game Studio 3.0: The ability to build games for the Zune platform! This will let you write one game and deploy it to all three platforms that XNA Game Studio 3.0 will support: the Xbox 360, Windows, and now the Zune. While the Zune lacks the 3D graphics horsepower to drive high-end games like you can on the Xbox 360, we’ve taken extreme steps in making sure that you will have the broadest access to the XNA Framework APIs possible, allowing you to create fun Zune games while still letting you integrate carefully with the overall Zune media experience. That means that XNA Game Studio 3.0 integration includes discoverability/access to the user’s music – allowing the user to customize background soundtracks or create real-time visualizations at their discretion. In addition, the XNA Community Games Platform team has announced the ability to have multiple Zunes wirelessly engage in an ad-hoc gaming experience (think of the possibilities!).

Our current planning is to offer a preview release of XNA Game Studio 3.0 in the Spring 2008 timeframe, with a final release scheduled for the holiday 2008 season. We look forward to your feedback and seeing what kind of amazing games you can create for the Zune!"

This is indeed exciting news!  While I can’t imagine the Zune is any real powerhouse gaming device like the Sony PSP or Nintendo DS, but still – this is yet another cool thing for the already VERY cool device.
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