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InterocitorWhile the Kinect is giving the Microsoft Xbox 360 an extended life this console generation, that doesn't mean that the company behind it all is going to sit on its laurels.  A series of job listings advertising positions with Microsoft has caught the eye of CVG, and the current theory is that the job openings are all related to the next generation of Xbox.

Microsoft is looking for a 'hardware verification engineer', a 'VLSI graphics architect' and a 'VLSI performance architect' for work on what sounds like the next-gen console.  "Come join a dynamic engineering team and play a key role in the development and verification of the Xbox and future platforms," it says in the engineer listing.

"We are looking for an experienced Senior Hardware Design/Verification Engineer. You will be responsible for the design verification and qualification of the Xbox console at the component, motherboard, and system levels. You will lead test strategy discussions, develop test methodologies & plans and project-manage qualification cycles," it adds.

On the graphics architect page, is says: "The Xbox Console Architecture team is hiring for a Graphics hardware architect position. The team is responsible for defining and delivering next generation console architectures from conception through implementation."

It's never too soon to start planning ahead, although I wonder what the team at Microsoft is planning for its third home console.  More of the same with some boosted modernized technology?  Integrated Kinect?  Something wildly unexpected?  The sky's the limit and it sounds like things are in the earliest of planning stages, but give these folks some time and I bet we'll see something interesting.  Next time around, however, let's hope that they don't skimp on the cooling fans.  The next generation of Xbox is intriguing, but the next generation of red rings is not.