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Nintendo Seeks US Hardware Architect for "Future Platforms"

Wii U manufacturer may be looking for its own Mark Cerny; New console still likely years away.

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Nintendo has been on the search for a new console architect for the past two months, according to several online job listings, in what could mark the first step of a long process of building new hardware.

In August, the corporation listed on LinkedIn a vacancy for Lead Graphics Architect, of which one responsibility was cited as "devising strategies" for "future Nintendo gaming platforms." Then in October, having not found its candidate yet, the corporation republished that senior job vacancy on the recruitment website Taleo.

Though it is predictable that console manufacturers are continually looking for people who can help create future products, listings of such key roles tend to signal the beginning of long-term next-gen projects. In March 2011, Microsoft published a job listing for an Xbox hardware architect, some 32 months prior to the Xbox One's release.

Presently, there are no signs that Nintendo will release a new console any time soon. Prior to E3 2014, the company publicly denied rumors that it was poised to reveal a new machine.

When approached by GameSpot on the subject of the new job vacancies, the company declined to comment.

Nintendo's Mark Cerny?

American developer Mark Cerny was influential in the development of PlayStation 4
American developer Mark Cerny was influential in the development of PlayStation 4

The platform holder's job listing will fill a role at Nintendo Technology Development, a Washington-based R&D subsidiary that builds various technologies for future platforms.

Though details of the Washington company are somewhat guarded, it is known that Nintendo Technology Development co-creates new hardware with the Kyoto-based Nintendo Integrated Research and Development. It is believed, though never confirmed, that the group was an influence in the development of Wii U.

Nintendo's job listing suggests it is specifically seeking lead graphics architect who can help build and integrate system-on-chip architecture--perhaps the clearest sign yet that the company is actively looking to build new hardware.

It also suggests, though doesn't outright confirm, that Nintendo wants more input from western developers for future platforms.

The listing reads: "The candidate is expected to have good architectural insights and the ability to apply that for setting future graphics direction for Nintendo."

How much influence this US architect has will be key to determining Nintendo's approach for future hardware.

Chief executive Satoru Iwata, when answering investor questions in January following the recent spate of disappointing financial results, outlined a need to broaden its knowledge base.

"In Japan, I can be my own antenna, but abroad that doesn't work," he said.

In 2008, rival corporation Sony hired the US-based developer, Mark Cerny, to be the PlayStation 4's system architect. As a result, the next-gen console was built for western audiences, and created with developers in mind, and appears to have caught on well with US and European audiences.

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