For all of you that have been holding your breath for the Microsoft Zune, the company has finally released details on pricing and launch date. As it turns out, the Zune will drop on November 14, 2006 and will retail for $249.99 USD - the same price as the 30 GB iPod. While the Zune will also feature wireless Zune-to-Zune transfers of music, photos, and personal recorded video, as well as an integrated FM tuner (but won’t allow for time-shifting of radio,) one really has to wonder if Microsoft priced this thing correctly. Our personal opinion is that the Zune should have undercut the price of the iPod by at least $20. To soften the blow, Microsoft is including quite a bit of free content on the Zune at purchase, all of which is listed after the break.
The company has also made known how the payment system on the Zune Marketplace will work, as consumers will use Microsoft Points (yup, the same ones you use on your Xbox 360) as the method of payment on the Marketplace - or they can just pick up a monthly Zune Pass for $14.99 USD to get access to the complete Zune music library.