Three job advertisements have emerged on business networking site Linkedin that suggests that Microsoft is ramping up its recruitment drive to produce its next generation gaming platform, commonly codenamed as the Xbox 720.
According to Eurogamer, the first position for a Graphics Hardware Architect, will be "responsible for defining and delivering next-generation console architectures from conception through implementation" as part of a team.
The second position will be one for a new Senior Architect and Performance Engineer for the Xbox Console Architecture Group which involves "product definition from early evaluation all the way through high volume manufacturing" as well as "performance evaluation and modelling".
As for the last one, and potentially the most interesting, it is a job listing for a Senior Hardware Design Verification Engineer, one who will be responsible for "the design verification and qualification of the Xbox console at the component, motherboard, and system levels" and who will "lead test strategy discussions, develop test methodologies and plans and project-manage qualification cycles".
While rumours of a Nintendo Wii 2 Launch for June 2011 have already emerged, it is likely that Microsoft is just starting to think about what's coming next, especially given that the current console life cycle is expected to be around 10 years. There is however a big unknown; how powerful the new generation of smartphones will be by the time the Xbox 720 is expected to be launched.
The fact that Sony has decided to focus on a portable gaming system based on the ARM architecture, is a hint at what lies ahead of us.