The current generation of gaming consoles seems to be enjoying a longer life cycle than usual, with peripherals like Microsoft's Kinect and Sony's Move effectively delaying the launch of next-gen systems by at least a few years. Unfortunately this is also holding back PC gaming, according to some industry players, as many developers focus their efforts on consoles' five-year-old DX 9 hardware rather than the latest graphics monsters from Nvidia or AMD.
That's not to say Microsoft, Sony and Nintendo aren't preparing for the next generation, however, and the latest hint comes from a recent job posting from the software giant. The posting spotted on LinkedIn indicates that Microsoft wants to hire "a graphics hardware architect" for the company's Xbox Console Architecture group, which is "responsible for defining and delivering next-generation console architectures from conception through implementation."
Microsoft says it's looking for someone who has a "solid understand of graphics hardware implementation, including design methodologies and production yield and cost analysis." A handful more postings reveal the company is also looking to hire an audio/video hardware architect, an audio architect, and a wireless DV engineer.
While the above-mentioned ads are not a confirmation of an Xbox 360 successor it's a likely scenario. We just don't expect it to arrive anytime soon considering Microsoft has said in the past that the Xbox 360 was designed for longevity, with software upgrades or hardware upgrades like Kinect possibly extending its life through 2015.