Microsoft to Use the “Power of the Xbox One” to Evolve Xbox Avatars with Better Graphics and More

Xbox Avatars were introduced six years ago on Xbox 360, but with the introduction of the Xbox One Microsoft is looking into improve them, with better graphics and a wider ecosystem, as revealed by two career opportunity ads seeking software engineers (one and two).

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Since their introduction six years ago, Xbox avatars have become the social identity for our gaming customers across Microsoft properties, making their way into Xbox 360, Xbox One, Xbox mobile apps, Windows, and into major and indie games. As we cross the threshold to a unified operating system and product experience across Microsoft, it is time to for Xbox avatars to also advance to the next level. Come with us, as we take Xbox avatars on their biggest adventure yet with higher fidelity and a bigger stage in new Xbox experiences. You will be part of the broader Xbox Experiences team, which owns the Xbox One Shell, and the Xbox experiences across console, desktop, slate, mobile, iOS, and Android. We are a team of innovative veterans that has played significant roles in launching Xbox, Xbox Live, Xbox 360, Xbox One, and Kinect. Come join us, and our wave of monthly releases, generating delight and praise from our customers.

At Xbox we’re looking for a senior graphics engineer that will work with us to grow the avatar platform across all of our platforms, leveraging the power of Xbox One, the far reach of Windows, and the intimacy of touch on mobile devices. You will own the rendering tech for the Avatar engine, working to ensure Avatars are not only gorgeous, but highly performant across a wide scale of devices.

Candidate Responsibilities:

  • Develop, design, modify and optimize graphic and related rendering systems for the Avatar ecosystem
  • Responsible for profiling as well as optimization of rendering, lighting, and shading components of the Avatar stack
  • Work with designers, animators, artists, and other content creators on the implementation of new features
  • Participate in code reviews
  • Maintain high quality coding and validation standards throughout the development cycle

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Looks like Xbox Avatars are in for a visual overhaul not only on Xbox One, using the higher power of the platform compared to Xbox 360, but also on windows and mobile.

On top of graphics, we’re also looking at new features. While no details are given on what features Microsoft expects to implement, looks like Avatars will have a “bigger stage” in the future. They’re arguably already the best of their kind (but they don’t have much competition, as PlayStation Home is closing and Nintendo’s Mii are just… well… not very good looking) and it’ll be interesting to see how they’ll evolve.

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