Virtual reality and gaming are two areas of active interest for Google with the former served by Daydream, while the company is reportedly working on a streaming service codenamed “Yeti.” A significant hire from Sony’s PlayStation division today could bolster both efforts.
According to VentureBeat today, Google has hired Richard Marks from Sony after a long 19 year career at the Japanese company. A “Research Fellow” and Head of the PlayStation Magic Lab, Marks contributed to a variety of gaming hardware, starting with the first iteration of the PlayStation EyeToy camera for the PlayStation 2 in 2003.
With the PS3, he helped develop the PlayStation Move for Wii-like gaming, with those controllers still being used for PlayStation VR today. He also led Sony’s Magic Lab — an R&D division tasked with exploring future video game technology.
While Google confirmed the hire, it did not specify what Marks will be working on. His LinkedIn page has yet to be updated to reflect the new job or position. Project Yeti is the most likely candidate for where Marks is now working, though his recent interest in virtual reality serves as another possibility.
Google in recent months has hired top gaming talent, including Microsoft and Sony gaming veteran Phil Harrison in January to lead the entire project. The cloud-based nature obviates the need to download gigabytes of games, while the hardware could be highly affordable and comparable to a Chromecast in terms of functionality.
The company also employs top game developers and marketers from EA, Sony, and Microsoft, while it was reportedly looking into gaming studios last month to make first-party content for the streaming service that could involve a simple dongle.