Microsoft hiring 'next generation' Xbox developers

Software giant looking for hardware engineers to work on console "from conception through implementation"; one position mentions "future platforms."

Historically, a console life cycle has usually lasted about five to six years. So, with the Xbox 360 getting set to celebrate its sixth birthday this November, it shouldn't be a surprise that Microsoft is laying the groundwork for its next move in the gaming hardware market.

The Xbox 360 S and its bigger, older brother.

According to several job postings on LinkedIn, Microsoft is forming a team "responsible for defining and delivering next generation console architectures from conception through implementation." Currently, the company's Interactive Entertainment Business is hiring an Audio/Video Hardware Architect, Audio Architect, and a Graphics Architect for positions with descriptions that contain the aforementioned language.

Another position, for Wireless DV Engineer, will play "a key role in the development and verification of the Xbox and future platforms." (Emphasis added.) The Xbox division is also hiring a Design Verification Engineer and a Senior Hardware Verification Engineer.

Microsoft's original Xbox model came out in November 2005 and was beset with hardware failures that ended up costing the company in excess of $1 billion due to warranty extensions. The problems were largely remedied with newer chipsets, with the whole console undergoing a redesign that resulted in 2010's slimline Xbox 360 S. That model is the one currently on the market in both 4GB and 250GB configurations.

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725 comments
tsiper
tsiper

Either way I am saving up for all the new consoles figure I might as well start now since my first born refuses to be traded for one lol!!!!!

Zeus149
Zeus149

I really hope they don't call it the 720 kinda over the top

RitsukoEX
RitsukoEX

@cre8tive9 who told you that garbage? Sega won't make anorther console because...SEGA don't got the money to do so!....and they enjoy being Nintendo's girlfriend!

Philx3
Philx3

I'd rather stay with the 360 for more years, it still makes money no need for an upgrade yet just taking every penny they can get, goes for playstation as well

cre8tive9
cre8tive9

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

sabas10
sabas10

The last thing we need is another not-really-an-upgrade-system. Im sick of Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo releasing newer versions of their consoles that improve so little yet cost more. They should focus on developing new consoles that will be just a big leap as the current consoles. Not that I have any idea what a PS4, Wii2 or Xbox720 should be like.

rigzzsy
rigzzsy

yawn @ these arguments xbox ftw

Bboyjhin
Bboyjhin

man me a fanboy i dont think so man ive been playing games for quite a while and the console doesnt matter to me i know computers will be advance than anything but if you think about it what else can they add to the new Xbox 360? i dont think will be a bunch of new features

rarson
rarson

@riariases Obviously I was talking about the theoretical resolution of the eye, the resolution required to make an image appear as smooth as an optical image (which is far greater than the 640x960 resolution of the iPhone 4, which is pretty pathetic). Also, pixel size and resolution aren't even remotely the same thing. So your iPhone comment really has nothing to do with anything I said. Furthermore, in order to replicate real images, both the processing power and programming effort will need to be far greater than what games are currently doing. There's simply no way that a next-gen console will be able to replicate real life (the middleware doesn't even exist yet).

Phatjam98
Phatjam98

@thenephariouson All good, as soon as you clarified I gottcha.

Phatjam98
Phatjam98

@Giga_Surfer Dear god, do you even know what you are talking about? First Ray Tracing has been around forever. Yes it will get better. But Ray Tracing has nothing to do with model complexity. Its lighting and textures.... like I said multiple times now.... Environments!!!!! Good lord man. Lighting, weather, bump mapping, texture detail... these can all improve. But poly count will more than likly not be a huge jump like it was between PS2/Xbox and PS3/360. What are you not understanding about my statements? Seriously, it seems you are hell bent on trying to contradict what I have said, yet your Ray Tracing statement is an example of the exact things I have said will improve... Environment reality...... Wow, Just wow.

Giga_Surfer
Giga_Surfer

@Phatjam98 emm? What the hell are you talking about? I'm sure you haven't read what i wrote, or you are blind, what i said, was that games haven't go forward not because they can't go further anymore, but because the consoles are stopping any advance, you probably haven't saw the new Unreal Engine 3, other wise you would say something like that, off course if most games are made 1st for the consoles and then ported to the pc, you can't achive anything above normal on the pc, use your head a little, also you are right in one thing, rasterization graphics are reaching its limit, thats why companies like Sega, Caustic Graphics and even Nvidea are investing in research on ray tracing for games. This my friend is what ray tracing is capable of: http://splutterfish.com/images/gallery/images/193.jpg

Phatjam98
Phatjam98

@thenephariouson I understand, you had just @'d me so I responded. And actually based on the tech that is out right now and the trends over the past few years the chances of the new systems being based on todays hardware is somewhat reasonable. The CPU will be a multi-Core processor probably still running at the 3.2 GHz that the 360 runs now, just with more cores. There hasn't been any significant improvements on core speed in the past few years. It will run cooler however. The GPU will also probably be a multi-core or dual chip config running close to what todays top of the line spec GPU is. It will definitely have more RAM, probably 2-4 GBs, running at or over 1333MHz. I would bet it will have at least 500GB's of HD storage as it will come out with all of the features that XBL has at the time and HD storage is relatively cheap. Most likely it will have BlueRay, and internal Wireless N unless they come out with a new wireless standard in the next 2 years. So while tech is constantly improving, its not like it was in the 90's or 00's. The tech has become more refined. Unless there is a leap forward in the PC world there will not be any need to reinvent the wheel console wise. I'd bet that there will be alot more entertainment packed into the new system and maybe even a cable connection. They have moved the 360 and the PS3 from game console, to entertainment systems so I would imagine that move will continue.

Phatjam98
Phatjam98

@Giga_Surfer Ok generalized comment maker. Lets put you too the test. Now I am a big game freak. I am a PC gamer first and foremost and the games that have come out on the 360 this gen are basicly PC quality games. So... Crysis was the last game that came out on the PC that pushed the envelope in graphics, AI and physics. So tell me, oh all knowing one. What game has come out on the PC that proves how wrong I am. What game has produced graphics that go way beyond? I agree that the consoles have stagnated the graphics because there have been no PC games since Crysis to do so. But now Crysis 2 is coming out on all systems. They have figured out how to get performance out of the console hardware in order to do so. But that is because they have figured out multi-threading in the 4 years it has been since Crysis first game out. So please, enlighten all of us with your supreme knowledge. What game have I missed in all these years that is on PC that will blow me away like Crysis did? The one that proves I am wrong about model complexity and physics and AI are the way of the future. I really want to know because I want to play it. Otherwise do some more research before you make blanket statements like you did there.

thenephariouson
thenephariouson

@Phatjam98, I was'nt replying to your post, i was simply making a generalised comment as the chances are high that MS themselves wont base any future technology on todays hardware.

Giga_Surfer
Giga_Surfer

@Phatjam98 You are quite wrong my friend, the fact is graphics can go way beyond what they are now, the problem is the consoles are literally stopping that process, since 90% of the games release for the pc, are ports from the console, and prove of that is you can pretty much run any game for pc with a medium built pc, Crysis being one of the few games for pc that actually push even current pcs to its limit, but even that has an explanation, since Crysis doesn't support Multi-threading.

Raxyman
Raxyman

@Blitzkrieg129 o.0? lol

Phatjam98
Phatjam98

I was also saying that there really isn't a huge leap forward graphics wise as we saw from PS2/Xbox gen to the PS3/360 gen. A good way to gauge this is to look at the highest end PC games that are available. There hasn't been any new PC only game that has come out that has pushed the boundaries yet. So rather than graphic improvements, there will most likely be improvements to AI and physics models. Each of these takes more processing power to accomplish and with the knowledge in place with multi-threading tech and multi-core processors, common sense tends to lead us to that conclusion. While the GPU and CPU may not be huge advancements over what is currently available, the instruction sets hardwired into them and the addition of more cores should lead to better gameplay, faster load times and more realistic environments.

Phatjam98
Phatjam98

@thenephariouson I'm guessing you are talking about someone else's post when you replied to me that since the new platform is 2/3 years away its useless to guess what the new GPU/CPU config's will be. I didn't guess what they would be. It is not a guess that the GPU/CPU will be much more advanced that what is currently in the 360 otherwise what would be the point of putting out a "new" system? I simply stated that because the 360 has made a nice profit for MS at this point that it makes sense that MS will come out with a new system before Sony. Sony put higher level tech into the PS3 and it didn't, or hasn't worked out well for them to this point. Both systems have been capable of giving the same performance and in many instance's, the 360 has out performed the PS3. It does seem that the programmers have started to figure out how to get the power out of the PS3 but that is just now really starting to happen. But that still hasn't produced anything that the 360 cant match. Because of the high price point and the relatively low sales of the PS3, Sony is going to depend on the PS3 platform for a few more years than they would probably like as MS begins work on the next Gen.

riariases
riariases

@Blitzkrieg129 I know it would cost a fortune to make a TV with the pixel size of an iPhone 4, and from the distance a TV is viewed at, its sort of useless. If you compare pixel size of a 1080 LCD TV to a portable device, you would be looking at an eight year old cell phone or something along those lines. I'm just saying that the technology is there and maybe since cellphones of 2003 have the same pixel size of TVs of 2011 then maybe in eight years we can see TVs with the pixel size of cell phones today. And in the end resolution isn't as big a part of graphics as processing power and such. I'm sure it won't take more than 10 years for graphics to look like you're watchin a blu-ray movie.

FamousCalibur
FamousCalibur

@trdrstv than i should have said Exclusive games are becoming better and more technical, my point is somewhere in there

digi-demon
digi-demon

PS3, Wii & XBOX360 rule...:) It may have taken a while to get started but this generation of consoles is best yet! - who knows how great the next-gen will be :D

Blitzkrieg129
Blitzkrieg129

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

Blitzkrieg129
Blitzkrieg129

@riariases http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ianMNs12ITc It's called Ray Tracing. This is the next big deal for graphics. Though it looks pretty stinking awesome, we're not even close to breaking the threshold of making actual photo-realistic (you call it "real life") graphics. Not on a commercial scale, anyhow. Also, when you mentioned there's only so far we can go "with graphics", I think you missed my point when I said developers need to step it up. A lot of developers are lacking in graphical quality, while only a few truly shine. I gave Crysis as an example because on a powerful PC, it simply looks amazing. And that came out in 2007 (correct me if I'm wrong). Btw, I noticed you mentioned the iPhone 4 and how the pixels are so small you can't see them without a microscope. You're right, you can't. But that's a what? A 4 inch screen? Making a good-size TV would cost a ridiculous amount of money...nothing the average middle-class American wants to pay. And nothing most companies want to make either - they know it can be done but why do it if you can't make a profit out of it? It's like the debate between sending a man and a rover to Mars. What advantages are there to sending a man to mars rather than a rover? Why make a super nice TV that will cost a ton of money that no one will want to buy? My overall point is, actual photo-realistic graphics are just not an option right now. One last thing to think about -- hardware is only as good as the software is...and vice-versa.

xxLordDavidxx
xxLordDavidxx

Good. The sooner they bring out new consoles, the sooner we can stop getting PC games with 6 year old graphics. Too long have games been restricted by old hardware.

Bhargav_pvs
Bhargav_pvs

Good news for the console lovers..........Even though i've a high end pc, when it comes to gaming, console is what i prefer. Optimal Gaming pc costs around 2000$ but a new high end console costs around 500$......I'm excited about the new console.

jorjuela
jorjuela

It's all good. There are benefits to both sides of it, Yes, PC won't die, but Consoles wont stop selling better. It's true that many PC games are ports of Console games, but there are also amazing games on the PC that I drool over. And regarding mods, I love them. I'm actually looking for a relatively old one and I will say this much, it's as much fun to mod as to play a game sometimes.

Yuck_Too
Yuck_Too

The difference between Consoles and PCs is not just the hardware. But the optimization of that hardware. PCs are for lack of a better laymen term coded sloppy. We don't have to optimize the heck out of every little piece because 6-months from now the hardware will improve and keep improving and make up for it. Consoles on the other hand are more or less static and we can spend honestly years tweeking and perfecting the code to truly maximize that hardware. It's why even towards the end of a consoles lifecycle games can and do get bigger and better. The flip side is over the same time PCs are bigger and faster and we don't have to worry about it. End of the day would you rather have 50% of a 100 dollars or 100% of 50 bucks. Cause that is the difference between PCs and Consoles.

Mintymatti017
Mintymatti017

Let's hope they put some effort in making this console, we don't want a return of the Red Ring of Death!

shani_boy101
shani_boy101

@gobbo00 My remark smacks of a "late starter"? I was "late to the party"? I got my PS3 in mid-early 2009, and I got my high-end Crysis-level PC in early 2008. I wasn't late to the party at all. I'm just making some logical comments on the article. Try not to make baseless points next time.

namdar
namdar

Too the cloud... not

godzillavskong
godzillavskong

I know a lot of pc gamers are down on the console,but a lot of them say that a high end video card costs as much as the 360! I have nothing against the PC, but I'd prefer to buy a new console, which comes with cutting edge technology out of the box, before having to invest in a PC. I know after it's release, the console will be surpassed by PC tech, but it's just easier for me to get something out of the box, which is going to be supported instantly, without the issue if my PC is compatible, if my operating system is correct, or if I have the sufficient video card to play a new title. I'm not trying to bash, I just think a lot of us, who primarily game on consoles prefer it that way. As far as console tech holding PCs back I really don't see it that way. Software is engineered everyday to take advantage of the hardware, and we see game engines produce better looking games all the time. I think if the Sega Genesis were still in the market today we would still be seeing top notch looking games, just using a different software approach.

GodGundamNT1
GodGundamNT1

"Historically, a console life cycle has usually lasted about five to six years." This is not true the main reasons console generations made jumps was because of competition aggravating the jumps, The NES made it to the US in 1985 but it was out in Japan since 83. By 1988 both Sega and NEC/Hudson had their own higher tech consoles. Between the SNES launch and retirement by N64, Sega launched numerous hardware like SegaCD, 32X and Saturn only to pull the plug prematurely too many times is anyone still surprise as to how the Dreamcast died? Sony basically had announced a 10 year life cycle in 1999 for PS2 yet back then they did not know that Microsoft was going to pull the rug from under Sega and launch the XBox1 yet four years later they pulled the plug and launched the Xbox360 causing Sony and Nintendo to be forced to make a console generation jump or risk giving the market of gaming consumers to Microsoft. Its no surprise that financially Microsoft is the only company that can afford to pay for a console generation launch right now, but don't be surprised that your Kinect is going to be useless and that there is going to be a next gen RRoD even if the console does not have a Red light in a ring formation.

SIDEFX1
SIDEFX1

Anything that the console has in it will already be surpass on PC, in no way shape or form is PC gaming dead or ever will die.. I don't know why you's even mention it. Console have a lifetime obviously MS are doing there thinking..

ar2_arr
ar2_arr

i think its weird that the job description says "from conception...", i mean, this november would be the sixth birthday of the 360, so i would expect by now they would have the next console in some later stage, i mean, not manufactured of course, but designed at least.

SIDEFX1
SIDEFX1

@NeoTemplar You know what it is probably that you are a christian and going to hell for sins..

NeoTemplar
NeoTemplar

What saddens me is that no one has come up with a unified gaming platform for the PC yet. Hardware cost is enormous for PC gamers. A decent video card alone costs the same as an Xbox 360. I have no faith in microsoft with their copy-cat tactics. Only companies like Apple and Valve could pull it off.

digi-demon
digi-demon

This article is about Xbox? and not the PC?...

Raxyman
Raxyman

PC gaming dead? AHHHSTEAM, sorry, must've caught some cold...

Geon106
Geon106

PC gaming hasn't died despite what many console 'tards want to think. PC games have just shifted onto platforms like Steam. Plus with 12m active subscribers addicted to World of Warcraft you can hardly call it dead. Owning a PC, 360 and PS3 I still think the PC is the better platform. However its not perfect and the consoles are not terribly bad. Each to their own.

ecw1983
ecw1983

@Giga_Surfer That has nothing to do with consoles, It still melts even todays high end PC's, you need something like Quad/Tri Sli to run it as smooth as butter on full settings

Giga_Surfer
Giga_Surfer

@ecw1983 Maybe yes, but non of the ports to pc, uses the full potential of the PC, the best good looking game for the PC is turning 4 years old, and its called Crysis.

ecw1983
ecw1983

@Giga_Surfer Dont know what games you have been playing on PC even some of the bad PC ports are way superior to the consoles. Thankfully most games released today are good ports.

Giga_Surfer
Giga_Surfer

Heres a thought, I do hope that Sega succeeds with Ray Tracing, Why? Well because that might be the final push for ground breaking visuals in the Gaming Industry, with that MS and Sony would had to rethink their future as a console maker, even AMD and Nvidea would have to rethink their products (if not already doing it) Ray tracing is the future of gaming, and would also put a stop to this crappy ports games, because a game would had t be created from zero just for a console that uses ray tracing, this current generation is the worse we had in gaming history, both Xbox 360 and PS3 forced the advance in gaming visuals to a stop, you can clearly see that by looking at PC games, most are a mere port of the consoles, and only 2 or 3 actually uses the potential the current PC hardware has, but compare to Ray tracing technology even the pc is outdated. People that are bashing each platform are being stupid, because right now they are one and the same, theres no real innovation in them, because both the ps3 and the Xbox 360, are based on the PC, so they are just cousins of the PC. In the good old days console companies, would create there very own hardware and design it to their expectation, in this generation what these 2 have done, is simple put together a powerful pc and call it a console.

ecw1983
ecw1983

@dRuGGeRnaUt I am a PC gamer and if there was an alternative, trust me I would take it. MS do not support PC gaming thats why they do not make any money off it, if GFWL was even close to being as good as Steam they could probably make the same or close to what they are making on Xboxlive, with over 30 million users on Steam you cant go wrong.

thenephariouson
thenephariouson

Just give me QuadHD, a 1TB drive, external storage support (NAS, etc) and the ability to transfer my current XBL account data and ill be pacified. However, and ill say this again, no matter how powerful the next generation of consoles may be, it is ultimately down to the developers to harness that power.

dRuGGeRnaUt
dRuGGeRnaUt

I will say this to all the MS haters too: \ How much money did/does MS make from the PC games market?? How much does MS get from Xbox?? Look at the numbers, and realize they are a *gasp* company, trying to make money. Games developed on PC doesnt funnel money into MS pockets.. Xbox and Xbox live however goes DIRECTLY into their pocket.