We’ve heard time and time again from Microsoft and Sony that the current consoles are going to be around for a while. Both companies recently released updated versions of their consoles – and rumours are Sony’ will be releasing another, unhackable update soon. Each has released a motion-control system, Microsoft Kinect and Playstation Move respectively, that are intended to further the life cycle of current gen consoles.
If job listings are anything to go by, it seems “â€Next-genâ€ is indeed some way off.
The career networking portal LinkedIn shows Microsoft as seeking candidates to fill key roles that are most definitely for development on its next consoles.The first is for a â€œgraphics hardware architectâ€, whose will be “responsible for defining and delivering next-generation console architectures from conception through implementation”. Sound’s sexy, right?
Next up’s a job for a â€œSenior Architect and Performance Engineer for the Xbox Console Architecture Group,â€ whatever the heck that really means. “The main focus of this position is on performance evaluation and modelling. However, involvement in all aspects of product development regularly occurs. We are looking for someone who is flexible, and wants to be involved with various stages of the product life cycle. During different stages of the product life cycle responsibilities will vary.” Oh. that sounds decidedly less sexy.
The last listing seeks aÂ â€œSenior Hardware Design Verification Engineer, responsible for elements of development in both Xbox 360 and its next-gen successor.â€ “You will be responsible for the design verification and qualification of the Xbox console at the component, motherboard, and system levels,” says the ad.”You will lead test strategy discussions, develop test methodologies and plans and project-manage qualification cycles.”
So what does this all mean to us, the end users? Not a whole lot – other than the fact that we know that Microsoft is at least planning a successor to their rather popular gaming machine. I hope they get a decent hardware engineer this time though, because the last thing the company needs in the next Xbox is the reliability issues that plagued the 360 when it was first released.
Personally, as much as my wallet’s crying, I think it’s time for â€œnext-gen.â€ Though I believe there’s still some juice to be squeezed from the 360 and the PS3, there’s a generational leap offered by current PC’s – as evidenced by the rather jaw-dropping Battlefield 3, and it’s about time consoles caught up.
Source : Eurogamer
Last Updated: March 8, 2011