Zune HD hacked: Now plays DOOM

Zune HD

Microsoft's new gaming machine?

The Zune HD has been hacked. Now, you’re forgiven for missing the memo, Microsoft‘s music box is hiding somewhere in the background behind the iPod, but this is still pretty cool.

Originally, if you wanted to write an application for the Zune, you had to learn the XNA game development platform – a framework that made game development easy, but also prevented developers from utilising internet access, 3D graphics or the full performance capability of the device.

Now, though – thanks to the efforts of the ZuneBoards Development Front, all Zune models (including the Zune HD) have been hacked. For the first time ever, it’s now possible to run applications directly on the Zune firmware, with full access to everything the machine is capable of – “the limitations of XNA are now no limitations at all”.

…and what do you do with your newly-hacked Zune?

Why, you port Doom over to it, of course!

Doom for the Zune HD 1.1.1 has been released, using the first version of OpenZDK, and it’s already taking the homebrew world by storm.

The initial OpenZDK release has been designed to “give developers a starting point for building next-generation applications”. To help them on their way, there’s a new Quick Start Kit available which contains some example programs (including a 3D demo) to show off just what’s now possible.

We live in exciting times, my friends. For further details, stay glued to the Zune Dev Wiki or the very awesome ZuneBoards, who have a forum now dedicated to OpenZDK applications developed with the new technology.

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