Microsoft is turning up the heat a bit as part of its holiday plans, and likely in an effort to make its digital player option a bit more of a contender. Firstly, Microsoft has dropped the prices on three Zune models – the 4 GB version is now $99, the 8 GB version drops to $139 and the 16 GB version has dropped $20 to $179. These price drops have already taken effect here in the US and Canada will enjoy the same retail drop on Friday. Beyond pricing, Microsoft has also updated Zune software to version 3.1. The update brings a variety of stability improvements along with three new games and the addition of multiplayer mode to an existing game. Will all this help increase the Zune’s popularity this holiday season? Well, even Zune Marketing Director Adam Sohn didn’t seem convinced. When discussing the matter in a recent interview he said the price cuts “ensure hopefully we have a good holiday season.” Hmm. “Ensure” and “hopefully” are surely not two words you want your spokesperson using in succession when discussing sales strategy. So definitely maybe check out the Zune this holiday season, folks.