PlayStation is looking for Graphics Engineers with Ray Tracing Experience

PlayStation is looking for Graphics Engineers with Ray Tracing Experience

PlayStation is looking for Graphics Engineers with Ray Tracing Experience

When Microsoft revealed their DirectX Raytracing (DXR) API at GDC 2018, it quickly became clear what the next frontier for graphics technology would be. While the state of ray tracing today is not as impressive as some have hoped, it is undeniable that it is the direction that gaming technology will inevitably take. 

With this in mind, it is logical that all major players in the gaming market will be looking towards ray tracing, with Microsoft having already showcased their interest with their DXR API. The DXR API was created in collaboration with AMD and Nvidia, which means that both graphics vendors no doubt have plans to utilise ray tracing in the future products. Nvidia has already released ray tracing capable hardware with their RTX series of graphics cards, and it is likely that AMD/Radeon has plans to implement support for ray tracing in future product generations.   

In a new job listing, Sony’s PlayStation Division is said to be looking for a new Lead Graphics Engineer for their Research and Development lab in Soho London. Applicants are required to have experience with low-level APIs (DirectX 12 Vulkan etc), low-level coding, performance analysis and optimisation experience, be comfortable with shader programming for modern GPUs, and a passion for computer graphics and gaming.   

The interesting part of PlayStation’s job listing is what is listed in their “nice to have” section, with “modern GI/raytracing techniques” being listed at the top. This reveals Sony’s interest in ray tracing technologies and its placement at the top of the list highlights its importance. This level of experience with ray tracing cannot really be set as a requirement for the job offer, especially given how new ray tracing is in the gaming market. Before now, ray tracing was confined to large CPU farms, the likes of which are used to render the latest Pixar films. Only now has ray tracing become something that is ready for real-time use cases, such as gaming. 

At SIGGRAPH 2018, Polyphony Digital, a first party Sony/PlayStation studio, confirmed that they were working on real-time ray-tracing technologies. This could be seen as a hint towards Sony’s ray tracing plans, as Polyphony Digital doesn’t make games for PC, the only platform that has ray tracing ready hardware. 

PlayStation is looking for Graphics Engineers with Ray Tracing Experience  (Slide from Nvidia)

At this time it is unknown what kind of hardware Sony’s PlayStation 5 console will feature, though it is likely that it will include an AMD Ryzen processor and a next-generation Radeon graphics processor. Radeon has been very tight-lipped about their GPU roadmap in recent years, making it hard to guess what the company has planned for 2019 and 2020. We know that 7nm Navi GPUs are coming in 2019, but beyond that, we have no idea what AMD’s hardware will be capable of. AMD could have ray tracing hardware ready in time for the PlayStation 5’s launch, though that may be an overly ambitious goal for a next-generation console platform. 

You can join the discussion on Sony’s desire to add ray tracing experience to their graphics/R&D team on the OC3D Forums.