Free 3D Games on Zune HD Marketplace by Microsoft

Zune HD 3D GamesMicrosoft released its 4.3 firmware update to the Zune HD the other day, and now the Zune Marketplace has available a range of 3D games, and they are all free.  The new 3D games included in the Zune HD Marketplace are Lucky Lane Bowling, Vans Sk8: Pool Service, Piano, Audio Surf:Tilt, Checkers, and Project Gotham Racing: Ferrari edition.

Microsoft is obviously positioning the Zune HD as a competitor to Apple’s market-dominating iPod touch media player. And because all of these apps should be free, due to in-house or in tandom development with third-party sources, this could make a negative dent in Apple’s marketshare.

The downside is that Microsoft has no SDK for third-party developers to create software for the platform, at least not yet. Opening up a development platform is key to competing with Apple. Otherwise, it’s an army of world-wide developers vs. Microsoft’s in-house development team. In addition to games, though, the Zune HD has plans for a Facebook and Twitter apps.