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360 as HD DVD Development Tool?


Authoring tool allows virtual testing

Microsoft announced that the Xbox 360 will offer HD DVD developers a new tool that can be used to test HD DVDs in a virtual environment before wasting a single disc.

The tool, which is known as the “Xbox 360 HD DVD Emulator” allows the user to test nearly every facet of their HD DVD disc creation in a virtual environment, which can aid in the testing of HD DVD interactive content. This makes it much easier to look for potential problems prior to moving into the production phase. Microsoft sees the potential for growth in HDi content, so using the Xbox 360 as a testing platform is a no-brainer for them.

Because of the virtual nature of the “Xbox 360 HD DVD Emulator,” titles can be tested from a USB hard drive or network shared drive. This can speed up development time and lower the cost of burning to HD writeable media.

Small studios that want to produce titles for HD DVD will find the “Xbox 360 HD DVD Emulator” a cost saving, with a one-time license fee of US$2,999. Of course, you still have to purchase the Xbox 360, the Xbox 360 HD DVD drive, and you must have an Xbox Live subscription in order to use it. The pricing structure that Microsoft has put in place for this tool has currently priced it out of the reach of most enthusiasts, but small independent film makers might want to consider it.

Last modified on 15 December 2007
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