Zune HD gets free 3D games

— 9:30 AM on November 11, 2009

Have a Zune HD? Well, you should now be able to put the 3D capabilities of the player's Tegra system-on-a-chip to the test. As Engadget reports, Microsoft has added a handful of free 3D games to the Zune Marketplace today.

In the words of the Microsoft press release, titles include:

  • Audiosurf Tilt: Audiosurf creates a rollercoaster ride from any song. Choose any song from your music collection and watch Audiosurf turn it into a unique roller coaster track for you to ride. The song you choose determines the shape, the speed, and the mood of each track. Tilt your Zune like a steering wheel to collect colored blocks and avoid speedbumps. Unlock more than 30 designs, each with its own special theme and color palette.
  • Checkers: Enjoy the classic game of Checkers in a beautiful outdoor park setting. Play against the computer or against a friend.
  • Lucky Lanes Bowling: Bowl in different game modes: exhibition, blackjack, golf. Play in five different bowling alleys with unique themes, all with the swipe of a finger. Choose from twenty different bowlers and twenty two different ball styles. You can play against the computer or play with up to four friends.
  • Piano: Play your own tune, or play along with your favorite music on this electronic piano.
  • Project Gotham Racing: Ferrari Edition: Tear through the streets of London, Tokyo, and New York in the Ferrari of your choice using multi touch controls and the built in accelerometer.
  • Vans Sk8: Pool Service: From the Admiral to the old abandoned rec center pool, Bucky Lasek and Omar Hassan know a good bowl to skate. Hit the pools and put these Vans skaters to the test with all the tricks in their bag and achieve hero status once you unlock their pro model skateboards.

Much like iPhone and iPod touch games, these games use multi-touch input and the device's accelerometer as controls. You don't have to pay anything to download and play, although you will have to deal with a "short ad at start-up." Oh, and if you're interested, you'll want to grab the latest Zune HD firmware that came out this weekend first.

Why would Microsoft start putting 3D games on a handheld music and video player? A visit to the iPod touch page on Apple's website ought to be a good hint. Apple has been promoting the iPod touch as the "funnest iPod ever" and "a great portable game player" for some time now, and in a recent keynote speech, it even went so far as to claim more games are available for the iPhone OS platform than for the Sony PSP and Nintendo DS.

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