Microsoft has unveiled the Xbox 360 HD DVD Emulator, which the company claims will eliminate the need for expensive hardware or time-consuming and costly trial-and-error processes for testing HD DVD titles.
The Emulator allows 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 committing to burning a single HD DVD disc.
According to Microsoft the software-based Emulator is among the first commercially available and should help ensure that titles are error-free on shipping day.
HD DVD and the enhanced content and interactive capabilities that come with it have increased the requirement for the quick and effective troubleshooting of coding.
The Emulator works by combining available hardware (the Xbox 360 video game and entertainment system and the Xbox 360 HD DVD Player) and specialised emulation software to allow playback of near-final assets from a network storage share, portable hard drive or optical disc.
"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," said Jordi Ribas, general manager of HD DVD at Microsoft.
Setting up the Xbox 360 HD DVD Emulator requires developers to establish a connection to Xbox LIVE, navigate to the Download Games menu and then add the Emulator software to the hard drive of the Xbox 360 console.
Microsoft is charging a one-time licensing fee of $2,999.
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