At a price point that is sure to create interest, HandHeld Entertainment are going after the Christmas “tween” market with the $100 ZVUE! Player.
Long suspected to be vapourware, until it was actually seen in an interview. The device is based around Secure Digital/MultiMedia Cards and an ultra bright 2.5 inch full-colour screen (still TFT based, not OLED). About the size of an iPod, the ZVUE! will play full motion videos, MP3s and display digital images. The media cards are being branded as ZCARDS! and will be priced from $5.99 upwards, depending on capacity and content. The player has no inbuilt user memory and needs a media card to function.
Connectivity is provided via a USB1.1 socket and it features, a rather sociable, two headphone sockets. The battery life of around eight to ten hours is provided through standard AA batteries.
Nathan Schulhof, president and chief executive officer of HandHeld Entertainment said: “The ZVUE! has the right combination of features, price and content to make it the ultimate, ‘must-have’ and ‘must-give’ device for the 2003 Holiday Season.” The device certainly sounds interesting, but we’re worried about the proprietary format – though since Schulhof is credited as the inventor of the portable MP3 player, he may just know what he’s doing.
The ZVUE only plays files encoded in the proprietary HHe format – so you won’t be able to play just any old media files on it. This system will live or die based on the quality of the content available for it.
Retail content packages are to include cartoons, music videos and extreme sports.