Zune HD Available for Pre-Order TodayS

After months of leaks, rumors, and heavy anticipation, Microsoft is officially unveiling the last pieces of the Zune HD puzzle...which were already leaked. Release date is September 15th, but the 16/32GB Zune HD can be pre-ordered today.

So, just like we knew already, the Zune HD will be released September 15th in 16/32GB flavors, at a cost of $220 and $290, respectively. If you pre-order, you'll be able to nab the 16GB in black and the 32GB in platinum, but upon release, there'll be five different colors with 10 new engravings on Zune Originals. Based on the Zune's past, we'd bet those other colors are red, blue, and green (probably no return of the brown, unfortunately). UPDATE: Colors options are listed are here.

Microsoft isn't releasing the price of the accessories, like that HD-outputting dock we're all going to want, but luckily the rest of the current Zune lineup's accessories will also work with the Zune HD. The only other new detail is that select Best Buy outlets will have Zune HDs to play with on August 22nd and 23rd, which is good news if you haven't gotten to play with one yet.

So, not much new here, but it's good to see Microsoft is keeping up with the very cool Zune Originals store. Who else is going to have a hard time waiting a whole month? [Zune]

REDMOND, Wash. – Aug. 13, 2009 – Zune HD, the next generation of Microsoft Corp.'s portable digital media player, is available now for pre-order and is set to hit store shelves on Sept. 15. The player, available in 16GB and 32GB capacities, is the first touch-screen Zune and includes powerful playback technology to give you a different way to experience media on the go. Combined with unparalleled PC software and online services such as Zune Pass, Zune provides a rich and meaningful connection to music, videos, podcasts and more.

Pre-order Zune HD in 16GB Black and 32GB Platinum through http://www.zune.net/zunehd from Amazon.com, Best Buy,Walmart and Microsoft. Beginning September 15, at http://www.ZuneOriginals.net, both 16GB and 32GB capacities of Zune HD will be available in five different colors with the option to customize your player with one of 10 new engravings designed by guest artists.

WHAT: With a sleek and stylish design, Zune HD is the first to combine these features:

• Built-in HD Radio™ receiver. Allows you to listen to higher-quality sound than is available from traditional radio channels, as well as access additional programming through HD2 and HD3 multicast channels from many of your favorite local FM radio stations at no extra cost.

• HD video output capabilities. Supports HD video playback from the device through a premium HDMI A/V docking station (sold separately) directly to an HD TV in 720p, making it easy to enjoy better-than-DVD-quality video on your own big screen at home.

• OLED touch screen. Allows you to easily flip through music, movies and other content. The 3.3-inch glass screen and 16:9 widescreen format display (480x272 resolution) offer a premium viewing experience.

• Built-in Wi-Fi. Allows for browsing, streaming or downloading new music from Zune Marketplace.

• Internet browser. Full-screen Web browsing, optimized for the multi-touch screen with zoom-in and zoom-out gestures.

• Accessories, at home and on the road. Zune HD and AV Dock charges and syncs players while playing supported 720p HD videos on HDTVs. Play HD Radio, music and podcasts from your Zune HD device through your car stereo using the Zune Premium Car Pack.

WHY: Pre-order now to be one of the first to experience the new Zune HD's advanced design,innovative technology and rich multimedia capabilities powered by the NVIDIA Tegra™ chip ultra low-power HD processor.

PRICING: Zune HD 16GB: $219.99 (estimated retail price); Zune HD 32GB: $289.99 (estimated retail price)

WHEN: Pre-order starting Thursday, Aug. 13. Purchase in stores on Tuesday, Sept. 15.

WHERE ONLINE: http://www.zune.net/zunehd

WHERE IN STORE: Place a pre-order in person at Best Buy beginning August 16. If you want to sneak a peek, visit select stores in Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Houston, Miami, Minneapolis/St. Paul, New York, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Seattle and Washington, D.C., areas on August 22 and 23.