What they found was a job listing for a Lead Systems Engineer that “will act as an industry expert and a leader in systems level development on PlayStation platforms.” The listing emphasizes experience with GPGPU programming, hinting at what may be under the hood of the PlayStation 4.
So what’s so important about a GPGPU? Well, a GPGPU is a GPU that handles CPU tasks, but does it in a more efficient manner. As explained by Nvidia’s Sanford Russell:
“If you were looking for a word in a book, and handed the task to a CPU, it would start at page one and read it all the way to the end, because it’s a “serial” processor. It would be fast, but would take time because it has to go in order. A GPU, which is a “parallel” processor, “would tear [the book] into a thousand pieces” and read it all at the same time. Even if each individual word is read more slowly, the book may be read in its entirety quicker, because words are read simultaneously.’
The job listing goes on to mention DirectX11 experience as well as compute shaders experience. DirectX11 is known for tessellation, which breaks polygons down into smaller pieces that can enhance graphic realism if each new piece is properly utilized.
In a separate job listing for a Graphics Programmer, Sony offers “an opportunity to work on the shaping of a newly developed set of graphics libraries which will become the core graphics technology for the prestigious London studio for many years to come…Join us in applying cutting edge graphics research in numerous areas to differentiate the visual presentation of our games, and set the bar for the industry:
Real-time Global Illumination of fully dynamic scenes using Instant Radiosity
High fidelity materials and physically based shaders
Fluid simulation and rendering
Volumetric lighting and shadows
Procedural geometry: fur, hair, grass
Advanced post-processing techniques
Next generation particles and volumetric effects
Maintain an up-to-date knowledge of emerging graphical techniques within Sony Worldwide Studios and the wider graphics community
Opportunity to drive forward the direction and quality of the visual effects based on this knowledge
Create viable technical solutions to effects requirements”
The PS4 could be one very powerful monster with the proper realization of these tools, but does graphical horsepower matter as much as it once did?
Source: PlayStation Lifestyle