Storage and the quickness at which data is passed to and from it is always a problem on consoles, especially since they come with relatively small and normally very slow hard drives (both the PS4 and the Xbox one have ponderous 5,400 RPM stock hard disk drives for instance), but apparently Sony is working to improve the situation on PlayStation Consoles, as revealed by a career opportunity ad seeking a Senior Software Engineer.
This position is a key role on the Platform Architecture Group within SCE Worldwide Studios. This person will help maintain, support and develop storage related software for PlayStation systems. You will work with multiple engineering teams within Sony, including other system developers and highly talented game developers. In addition to optimizing game load times from read-only media, the storage systems on PlayStation platforms, you will also support multiple applications and shared use of the underlying storage systems.
- Software maintenance and development of storage software on PlayStation systems.
- Improve existing PlayStation storage software.
- Extend BSD based storage, both to improve and support new storage technologies.
- Integrate BSD enhancements into PlayStation system software.
- Augment the existing Platform Architecture I/O team.
If you’re wondering what BSD means, it’s a family of operating systems descended from the Berkeley Software Distribution UNIX series. The PS4, PS3 and PS Vita operating systems are all variants of the FreeBSD OS.
Interestingly, the candidate chosen from this role will have to develop storage-related software for PlayStation consoles, improve the existing tech, and extend the current implementation to support new technologies.
Integration of enhancements from the original BSD to the system software of the consoles is also mentioned. This is definitely interesting, considering that the PS4’s OS is forked from FreeBSD 9.0, and that system has since evolved to 10.0.
It seems we can also expect optimization of load times from Blu-ray disks, which is definitely a welcome improvement. The ad also requires experience with low-level kernel systems architecture and development, which means that at least part of the improvements will be at the very core of the system.
Interestingly, the implementation of new storage technologies could be the signal leading to one of the most wanted features between PS4 fans: the ability to use external hard disk drives and other forms of storage for more than loading MP3 files.
Of course that’s not a given, but we might possibly hear something more about that at PlayStation Experience.