HandHeld Entertainment announced that its ZVUE! personal video player (PVP) is now available for purchase on-line on their web site. This is just in time for orders to be delivered before Christmas Day in the United States.
About the size of a deck of playing cards, the ZVUE! is the world's first full-color PVP priced under US$100. The ZVUE! has garnered widespread attention because of its ability to play full-color videos, MP3s and display JPEG images and slideshows.
HandHeld Entertainment also announced that it will begin shipping a software upgrade beginning in 2004 that will make all ZVUE! players sold this holiday season "backward-compatible" with videos encoded in MPEG-4. MPEG-4 is the format used by the 3GPP for video recorded on mobile devices and for distribution over 2.5G (GPRS and CDMA) and 3G networks.
HandHeld Entertainment has entered into several licensing relationships to provide video content for use on ZVUE! players on Secure Digital/MultiMediaCards (SD/MMCs). Starting at US$6.99, these initial ZCARD!s are currently available for purchase on the HHE web site at www.zvue.com and will be available in retail outlets where the ZVUE! is on sale. The company plans to unveil ZVUE!-compatible video content on ZCARD!s each week.
"You can hardly get a decent MP3 player for US$99, and the ZVUE! plays MP3s and video and will soon have an MP4 upgrade," said Garrett Cecchini, executive vice president and co-founder of HandHeld Entertainment. "When was the last time a new technology made a debut and it wasn't overpriced just because it was new? Just about never. The ZVUE! is more than the hottest new personal video player player this year -- it's an affordable one -- and one that will play the most popular video formats too."
HandHeld Entertainment has also allotted a limited number of ZVUE!'s to a select group of retailers throughout the United States, with additional quantities not available until after the 2003 holiday shopping season.