Creative has confirmed the rumours that surfaced on the web yesterday and has announced a new MP3 to go directly against the iPod video.
Called the Zen Vision:M it will feature a 2.5 inch 262k colour screen and have the capacity for up to 120 hours of video or 15,000 songs on its 30Gb internal hard drive. The company will not currently be launching a 60Gb version.
Slightly thicker than the Apple iPod (104 x 62 x 18.6 mm compared to 10.4 x 6.1 x 1.1) and heavier (163g compared to 136g), the new Zen Vision:M will be available in five colours: high-gloss black, white, blue, green or pink.
On the video side the player will support MPEG-2, MPEG-4 Simple Profile formats (such as Xvid), WMV, and MJPEG and users will be able to transfer files to and from the device either using Creative's own Media Source application, Window Media Player 10 or ZEN VISION:M Media Explorer.
Creative has announced a content partnership with 7 Digital. The new 7 Digital download service, also launched today features over 5,000 DVD quality videos to download from a broad spectrum of media companies such as EMI, Sony BMG, Channel 5, Warner, Universal, V2, MTV and many others.
Creative is also expected to announce a content deal with Napster.
Creative is also boasting the fact that the Zen Vision:M offers scaled TV-Out capabilities allowing hi-res videos to be scaled down in real-time to fit the 2.5 inch screen, and then when displayed on a TV output in maxiumum quality with no downscaling - something the iPod can't do.
The new player offers 15 hours of music playback, 1 more than the 30Gb Apple iPod video and 4 hours of video playback, again which is 2 hours more than its Apple equivalent.
The player will also feature a FM radio and recording with 32 preset options, as well as a built-in microphone.
The new Creative Zen Vision:M will be available in the UK before the end of the year, although pricing is still to be confirmed at the time of writing.
Optional accessories, including a docking station and an AV-out cable, will be available for purchase separately.
We will be sitting down for a one-on-one with Mr Sim Wong Hoo, chairman and CEO of Creative later this afternoon as well as getting a unit to review.
We will keep you posted.