Microsoft stops charging for Xbox 360 HD DVD Emulator

Back in December Microsoft released an Xbox 360 HD DVD Emulator, which ran $2,999. Essentially it allowed people that were working on HD DVD content for the 360 to test it out without having to continually burn (and waste) disc after disc. Well since the format war is over and Microsoft has killed off their HD DVD attachment, they are now offering the emulator for free.

This decision was Made in light of Toshiba's recent announcement that they are discontinuing their HD DVD business. The reasons for offering the emulator for free are two-fold.

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.

Honestly, I can't say that I'm surprised. There's really no reason to charge for software that's meant to be used with a dead format and a discontinued product.

[via MaxConsole]