Microsoft today released the Xbox 360 HD DVD Emulator, enabling film studios to model the behavior of HD DVD disc content in a virtual environment before burning a single HD DVD disc.
This tool is among the first commercially available, software-based solutions of its kind, eliminating 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.
The emulator uses a combination of available hardware (the Xbox 360 system and the Xbox 360 HD DVD Player) and specialized emulation software to enable playback of near-final assets from a network storage share, portable hard drive or optical disc. This allows focused testing of the layout, the menus, and the behavior of the interactivity functionality of a title. Detailed log reports from the Xbox 360 HD DVD Emulator deliver tracing information to help easily pinpoint problems with advanced interactivity code that otherwise could take hours of manual debugging.
Sessions using the Xbox 360 HD DVD Emulator are designed to complement existing workflows so that tests can be run at various stages. The tool offers several choices for how to run a session: directly from a network storage share, from a USB drive connected directly to the Xbox 360 console, or from an optical disc in the Xbox 360 HD DVD Player. While the tool enables the testing of content playback on the Xbox 360 HD DVD Player specifically, it eliminates layers in the testing process for other HD DVD players as well.
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 $2,999.
The Xbox 360 HD DVD Emulator is available for sale immediately at http://www.thisishddvd.com/emulator.