Yes, you read that right. Microsoft (and its partners) did not use XNA Game Studio to create the free games and other apps that are now available for the Zune HD. (They used proprietary in-house tools instead.) But if you are interested in developing for the Zune HD, Microsoft does have a solution for you now. It's unclear how you could ever get those apps on the device, however.

XNA Game Studio 3.1 Zune Extensions

Are you as excited as we are at today’s arrival of the Zune HD? If you've already picked yours up from your local retailer or are eagerly awaiting your delivery from Zune Originals, we are pleased to announce the immediate availability of XNA Game Studio 3.1 Zune Extensions to support Zune HD. This add-on for XNA Game Studio 3.1 adds the following functionality to the product:

  • The ability to target and develop for the Zune HD media player.
  • The addition of new Touch APIs to the XNA Framework for use on the Zune HD.
  • The addition of new Accelerometer APIs to the XNA Framework for use on the Zune HD.

You'll also find new documentation and examples integrated into Visual Studio help that will show you how to leverage the new APIs, as well as a tutorial on how to update the Platformer Game Starter Kit to use the new Touch API's.

Barring the new input models available, your game should port over relatively easily. 

Beyond the changes outlined here, all of the other XNA Game Studio functionality with the Zune HD remains the same as it did with earlier versions of the device.

You'll find the download for the XNA Game Studio 3.1 Zune Extensions by following this link. If you have questions or need help getting started using XNA Game Studio 3.1 Zune Extensions, please use this thread.

Enjoy your Zune HD!

Thanks to Mitchel T. for the link.