Is Microsoft laying the groundwork for its next Xbox?
The software giant placed a job notice on its Web site yesterday, seeking a hardware engineer in its Interactive Entertainment Business division. The posting indicates that Microsoft wants to hire "a graphics hardware architect" for the company's Xbox Console Architecture group, which its posting claims is "responsible for defining and delivering next-generation console architectures from conception through implementation."
Microsoft states in the job posting that it's looking for someone who has a "solid understand of graphics hardware implementation, including design methodologies and production yield and cost analysis." It also wants someone who has experience taking "designs from investigation to end-customer shipment during their career."
In other words, Microsoft seems to be working on a next-generation hardware platform--likely the Xbox 360 successor--and it needs some help to eventually transform the concept into reality.
But exactly when Microsoft plans to deliver its next console is not publicly known. In an interview last year, Microsoft senior director of Xbox product management, David Hufford, made it clear that the company isn't rushing into launching its next console.
"I think it's important to say that the Xbox 360 is the console of the long future for us," Hufford said before an audience at the Consumer Electronics Show. "There is no need to launch a new console because we're able to give this console new life either with software upgrades or hardware upgrades like Project Natal. The Xbox 360 was designed for a long life, and I don't even know if we're at the midpoint yet."
The Xbox 360 launched in the U.S. in 2005.
As Sony's PlayStation 2 has shown, consoles can stay on store shelves for a decade (or more) and remain relevant. But Sony, which has been most outspoken about the "10-year console life cycle" in the past, has released new consoles while older platforms were still on store shelves. The PlayStation 3, for example, has been available since 2006, even though the PlayStation 2, which launched in 2000, is still for sale.
Whether Microsoft will follow Sony's lead with the Xbox 360 follow-up remains to be seen. So far, the company has been loath to discuss any details surrounding any Xbox 360 successor. But it appears that the wheels have been set in motion to deliver that device at some point in the future.
Microsoft did not immediately respond to CNET's request for comment.