There have been a ton of rumors surrounding Microsoft’s next-gen Xbox consoles with reports claiming that Maverick, the streaming variant may be launched before E3 this year. There has been no confirmation on the matter from Microsoft’s end, but I suspect we’ll know for sure soon enough. This post, however, focuses on a potential raytracing implementation attempt by Sony for the upcoming PS5 console, as mentioned in a job listing description.
There have been leaks left and right suggesting the processing power the next generation of consoles will offer, but it’s way too early to come to a conclusion. What we do know for sure however, is that both the new Xbox and PS5 consoles will leverage AMD hardware, the 7nm Zen2 cores on the CPU side and the Navi 20 GPU for the graphics processing and rendering. As for the approximate performance, I’d say a custom CPU on par with a desktop Ryzen 5 albeit with reduced clocks and a GPU with performance roughly a bit faster than the Radeon RX 590 is our guess.
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Coming to this job listing from Sony. The company is looking for a Lead Graphics Engineer for its Research & Development division. Although raytracing or VR expertise aren’t in the required skill-set list, they do appear in the “Nice to have” skills list. From this, one thing can be said for sure. Although Sony isn’t actively pursuing raytracing implementation in its next-gen consoles, it is looking to experiment and dabble in the field and see if something feasible can be cooked up. Microsoft seems to be going all out with the next-generation of Xbox consoles, potentially planning a slew of different devices from Maverick, meant for streaming, to Lockhart and Anaconda, the super-charged version of the vanilla console. As such, Sony is going to have to rely on more than just exclusives to get ahead in the next phase of the console race.
Lead Graphics Engineer – Research & Development
PlayStation isn’t just the Best Place to Play —it’s also the Best Place to Work. We’ve thrilled gamers since 1994 when we launched the original PlayStation. Today, we’re recognized as a global leader in interactive and digital entertainment. The PlayStation brand falls under Sony Interactive Entertainment, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Sony Corporation.
R&D are PlayStation’s technology experts. We develop innovative technologies that push the boundaries of play, helping game developers make the best games on PlayStation by creating a world-class SDK.
Reporting to the Senior Manager of the SDK Game Technologies team, you will lead a small team of engineers delivering state of the art graphics technologies for the global PlayStation developer community.
What you’ll be doing
- Lead a small team of engineers
- Take an active role in development work (design and implementation)
- Research state of the art graphics technologies
- Drive decisions about bringing the technologies to PlayStation
- Deliver technologies for developers as part of the SDK
What we are looking for
- Experience leading teams developing graphics and/or engine technologies
- Good people skills – able to mentor more junior members of staff
- Strong C++ and graphics programming skills, with experience of the latest low-level graphics APIs on PC/console (e.g. DirectX12, Vulkan or platform SDKs for current-generation consoles)
- Good understanding of computer hardware architecture
- Experience of low-level coding, performance analysis and optimization
- Comfortable with shader programming on modern GPUs
- Passionate about computer graphics and games, forward thinking, and keen to be at the forefront of the next generation of consoles
- Strong technical background in maths or computer science, educated to at least degree level or with equivalent experience
- Experience working in a production environment
- Good presentation and communication skills
Nice to have
- Modern GI/raytracing techniques
- Physically based rendering pipelines
- Volumetric rendering
- Virtual Reality
Benefits of working at R&D
- Technology development is not constrained by specific games/engines. There is time and space to research and develop cutting edge technologies
- Opportunities to work on collaborative projects with R&D teams in Tokyo and in San Mateo, with the wider Sony group, and with academia
- Opportunities to attend relevant conferences (e.g. SIGGRAPH)
- Innovation time for research and projects of your own choosing
- Opportunities to participate in global hackathons
- Relaxed working environment with a high level of trust and autonomy. All staff are encouraged to express their views and challenge the status quo
Benefits of working at PlayStation
- Annual bonus opportunity
- London allowance
- Excellent in house training opportunities
- 25 days holiday plus national holidays
- Private medical insurance
- Free onsite gym
- Onsite bar open on Thursday and Friday evenings
- Generous staff discount across all Sony products
- Plus, many more exciting benefits