The Xbox 360 will get an HD DVD emulator. The software package, to be made available via the Xbox Marketplace, is designed to allow disc authoring houses to check their projects, both in terms of navigation and HDi implementation, when they are loaded via an attached network drive or optical disc.
In a statement, Microsoft says: “The enhanced content and rich interactive capabilities of HD DVD increase the need for an efficient way to troubleshoot coding to maintain the highest-quality consumer experiences. 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 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 valuable tracing information to help quickly and easily pinpoint problems with advanced interactivity code that otherwise could take hours of manual debugging.” The package comes with a license fee of 2,999 dollars. Jordi Ribas, general manager of HD DVD at Microsoft adds: “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.”