The 13th of Diduary: Did you know that you can write apps for the Zune HD?

Today is the thirteenth day of Diduary. You can see links to all of the published articles in the series here.

And furthermore, did you know it uses many of the same tools, languages, and technologies you’re already familiar with? And that this same technology can be used to create games for the Xbox 360 too?

This technology is called XNA, and is a free add-on to Visual Studio. You can get XNA Game Studio 3.1 here.

Once you have it downloaded and installed it, you’ll have a few new templates in Visual Studio.

This isn’t a post about XNA development, however. It’s a “Did you know” article. So let me show you some of the things you’ll be able to do. I’m currently in the process of writing a game for my Zune HD, and I’ll publish it with a solid description once it’s done.


A Zune HD has an accelerometer, so that means you can handle things like tilts, shakes, and orientation changes of the device. I found a great example of an application that takes advantage of this feature. In order to get this application on your device (or any other application at this point), you need to have the full development environment set up. We’ll cover that at the end of this article. For now, here’s a link to the Zune HD Level application.


The Zune HD is also capable of handling multi-touch input. I also found a great example of this in an existing application, and it’s the basis for the application I am building. You can download the multi-touch Zune HD app here.

In order to install these apps, you do, unfortunately, have to have a full XNA development environment set up, and have your device registered through the XNA Game Studio Device Center. Here’s a look at my device center:

And here’s a list of the things you need to have installed on your system in order to develop, install, and deploy apps to your Zune HD:

So get started building an app for this next generation device. I think you’ll be surprised how easy it really is.

4 thoughts on “The 13th of Diduary: Did you know that you can write apps for the Zune HD?

  1. If man has good corn, or wood, or boards, or pigs to sell, or can make better chairs or knives, crucibles, or church organs, than anybody else, you will find a broad, hard-beaten road to his house, though it be in the woods.

  2. Should we continue to look upwards Is the light we can see in the sky one of those which will presently be extinguished The ideal is terrifying to behold, lost as it is in the depths, small, isolated, a pin-point, brilliant but threatened on all sides by the dark forces that surround it nevertheless, no more in danger than a star in the jaws of the clouds. (Les Miserables)

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