Microsoft Corporation, one of the many backers of the HD DVD format, has unveiled its Xbox 360 HD DVD Emulator. The tool enables film studios and disc authoring companies to model the behaviour of HD DVD disc content, including encoded video and HDi interactivity, in a virtual environment, before burning the HD DVD disc. The emulator uses a combination of available hardware (the Xbox 360 video game and entertainment system and the Xbox 360 HD DVD Player) and specialized emulation software to ultimately enable playback of near-final assets from a network storage share, portable hard drive or optical disc. This eliminates the need for expensive hardware or time-consuming and costly trial-and-error processes for testing HD DVD titles, helping to ensure that titles ship error-free.
Detailed log reports from the Xbox 360 HD DVD Emulator deliver valuable tracing information to help quickly and easily pinpoint problems with advanced interactivity code that otherwise could take hours of manual debugging. Setting up the Xbox 360 HD DVD Emulator simply requires establishing a connection to Xbox LIVE, navigating to the Download Games menu, and adding the Emulator software to the hard drive of the Xbox 360 console. The one-time licensing fee is $2999.
"We are committed to supporting and advancing the HD DVD ecosystem, and the new Xbox 360 HD DVD Emulator reflects these efforts by providing developers with the software-based tools they need to efficiently deliver the highest-quality content. Microsoft developed the Emulator to help save studios and postproduction houses time, resources and costs involved with the creation of HD DVD content, and let them focus on what really matters — pushing the envelope with the format," said Jordi Ribas, general manager of HD DVD at Microsoft.