We can't say we saw this one coming down the pike, but Microsoft has unveiled a new piece of software designed to "streamline development / testing for HD DVD content" as well as "accelerate the advancement" of next-generation interactivity (HDi
, in particular). Simply put, the Xbox 360 HD DVD Emulator allows studios the flexibility to "model the behavior of HD DVD disc content, including encoded video and HDi interactivity, in a virtual environment." When put to use, companies can purportedly cut down on coasters and wasted time, but in order to do so, they'll need an Xbox 360 + HD DVD peripheral, a connection to Xbox Live and $2,999. Thirsty for more? There's plenty
where that came from.
[Thanks, Erie T.]