In just three days, CES 2009 will be upon us. Of all the things I'm looking forward to seeing, the Creative Zii is at the top of the list. Since the official release of the teaser last week, the buzz surrounding the Zii has been overwhelming. Being an editor at a Creative fansite, I am both excited and concerned over this new chip. I feel Creative may have turned up the "hype dial" a bit much and it'll be hard for them to live up to their claims.
From what I know, the Zii is some kind of silicon chip. Where the "stemcell" aspect comes in, I'm still not sure. Whatever it is, Creative believes it's a recession-proof solution, and they're hoping other businesses buy into it. Still, you have to wonder why Creative would debut the Zii at a Consumer electronics show, if their primary goal was to form new partnerships. I think it would make a lot of sense for Creative to show off consumer implementations of the Zii, and what better way to do that then putting it in their own MP3 players. That's the same strategy they took with their X-Fi sound chip. After patenting their X-Fi technology, Creative first put it in their sound cards, headphones, and DAP's. Now the chip is being used by other companies through OEM partnerships.
So with that said, let me get on to the actual topic of this article. A few days ago someone sent in these pictures to me:
They're supposedly the first screenshots of an upcoming ZEN Zii. The interface isn't too different from previous players in the ZEN series. The main menu is navigated horizontally, rather than vertically. The screens also appear to be from a widescreen display, rather than the typical 4:3 screens found on previous models. If these screens are to be believed, the player will also have built-in WiFi (like the ZEN X-Fi). That's about as much speculation as I can say right now. I have no idea whether these screens are authentic, or someone's lame idea of a joke. The lack of a "Photo" and "FM tuner" option on the main menu is one sign that these may not be real. So before you get all excited, take these screens with a grain of salt until we hear something more concrete. I think we'll inevitably see a ZEN Zii in our future, the big question is when.
Update: Okay so when I saw these screens I assumed they were for a possible ZEN Zii. Well the source that provided them has replied back and stated that they're for a Creative device, but not necessarily a Zen player. So now we can speculate even further as to what these screens are for. Netbook? Stereo? Navigation device? Your guess is as good as mine!
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