updated 11:50 am EST, Tue March 8, 2011
Microsoft hires for Xbox 360 sequel
Microsoft showed the first signs of getting ready for the Xbox 360's eventual replacement with a new set of jobs all posted on Friday and discovered late Monday. Listings for VLSI graphics and performance architects would have new recruits work on "next generation console architectures" and targeting for a particular level of performance. Other listings include an AV hardware architect, also working on new hardware, and a design verification engineer that would greenlight a new console at individual stages.
No clues have emerged of what the hardware itself would entail. Microsoft may be keen to keep a familiar architecture for developers and backwards compatibility for games, and if so would use a sequel to the Power chips it uses inside. It may have chosen the technology for the Xbox 360 in part because of ready access to Apple's Power Mac G5, however. The off-the-shelf computer let developers run Xbox 360 code without having to emulate PowerPC code or get a proprietary testing box.
Microsoft has regularly downplayed the prospects of an imminent Xbox redesign, in part because of longer than usual hardware cycles and through runaway Kinect sales that have kept the existing system relevant. New hires appearing now would point to the new hardware being in very early development and thus not showing until 2012 or more likely later. [via Beyond3D]