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360 HD-DVD emulator now free

Some of you may not have even known about an emulator for the HD-DVD add-on, but one does exist. It used to cost too, but now it’s free thanks to Toshiba ditching the technology they once supported.

What does it do? Well it gives the ability to run complete HD-DVD projects (that’s video, audio and advanced interactivity stuff) on your 360 via an external USB drive, or a networked PC. Of course you will need to own the add-on first, but since those are now $50 with production ceased, this might be a good time to pick one up.

If you do fancy this, you’ll need to head here to apply for a token, then enter the redeemable code on the Marketplace. This will present you with the opportunity to download the emulation software. If you were super-keen and have already purchased the software (for $2,999, no less), then you can claim your money back which apparently will be re-issued automatically.

The underlying reason to offer this for free was the Toshiba decision as previously mentioned, however there are a couple of other reasons:

Microsoft is committed to interactivity and giving content authors the ability to create more compelling entertainment experiences. The specification for HDi was developed with significant input from studios like Warner Bros. and Disney based on scenarios they desired in the next generation format. Offering the emulator for free allows a greater audience to experiment with interactivity with little to no cost.

Second, the emulator beta program had approximately 80 participants across the industry who relied on the emulator for testing HDi content. Continued access to the emulator will assist those post houses and developers in completing their outstanding HD DVD projects.

What this emulator doesn’t allow you to do is play ripped retail titles on your 360 or PC. That would be a horrible oversight if it were a “feature”.

There’s a little more information over on the Microsoft Blog, so head there if you really fancy learning more about the software. Does this tickle anyone’s fancy?

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9 comments on '360 HD-DVD emulator now free'

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Comment by naiser on 2008-03-05 22:38:42 | Reply

if its gone from 3 grand to free in one step then its either a good deal or very useless..

Comment by StGermain on 2008-03-05 23:02:26 | Reply

They wouldn’t sell it anymore anyway but by giving them away they can sell more of the add-on units…

its dirt cheap for the addon units, considering theirs a good wealth of very cheap hddvd titles i mean you can get a few hundred of them for 10-15$ each and the xbox360 player for 50-75$ …. so to quickly and cheaply expand your HD video catalog a xbox360 player and a crapload of very cheap hddvd’s seems wicked :)

Comment by Worms on 2008-03-05 23:06:01 | Reply

What this emulator doesn’t allow you to do is play ripped retail titles on your 360 or PC. That would be a horrible oversight if it were a “feature”.

So far anyways…. I just sent the email to get this software.

Comment by Worms on 2008-03-06 20:55:31 | Reply

There’s more to it then just getting the code. It’s all linked to your Live ID, you have to provide them that, each 360 gets it’s own unique code, you have to sign up for the beta program and sign a EULA for it. I’m going to go through all the steps and get a copy of it never know when it might come in handy. I’m definitely going to pick up the HD-DVD add on I’ve seen them online as low as $40 now.

Comment by Worms on 2008-03-11 01:09:53 | Reply

Got my download code today for it so after a few emails back and forth they will send one to you.

Comment by Worms on 2008-03-11 17:12:51 | Reply

Now they sent me a second key hmmm… Wonder if this software will prove to be useful for playing any HD content at some point.

Comment by Mitch on 2008-06-13 14:26:35 | Reply

so can this emulator play xbox 360 games on PC?

Comment by Worms on 2008-06-13 14:30:25 | Reply

heh no it can’t play games on the PC it’s not for games it’s so you can test out your HD-DVD media that you create on a PC and run it on the 360 with out having to burn HD-DVD discs. It won’t even run bootlegs. I downloaded it and used it once but since I don’t create HD-DVD content other then the little test thing I did it’s not of much use.

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