Former Xbox executive Phil Harrison joins Google hardware unit – Tech News

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Harrison spent about 15 years overseeing videogame development on Sony Corp's PlayStation gaming console team, a year as president of gamemaker Atari SA and three years managing production in Europe for Microsoft Corp's Xbox group. — Reuters

SAN FRANCISCO: A veteran Sony and Microsoft videogame executive has joined the hardware development unit at Alphabet Inc's Google, and analysts said he could help the company.

Phil Harrison said on Twitter late January 22 that he started his job as a vice president at Google in California, but did not provide details. He is reporting to Rick Osterloh, Google senior vice-president for hardware, Google told Reuters on Jan 23.

Google declined to elaborate on Harrison's role. Osterloh's team designs Pixel smartphones, Chromebook laptops, Home smart speakers and Daydream virtual reality headsets.

Mixed reality encompasses services that project or display digital images on a screen close to a user's eyes, sometimes fully enveloping their field of view.

Google is focussing on hardware as it tries to compete against Apple Inc's iPhone.

Harrison spent about 15 years overseeing videogame development on Sony Corp's PlayStation gaming console team, a year as president of the gamer Atari SA and three years managing production in Europe for Microsoft Corp's Xbox group. He has said he has left Microsoft in 2015 to explore new technologies.

Last year, Harrison invested in Dream Reality Interactive, which is developing games for virtual reality devices. The London startup did not respond to a request to comment.

Lewis Ward, research director for gaming at consulting firm IDC, told Reuters that Google may be tapping the well-respected Harrison for help in augmented reality.

The technology enables you to overlay someone's surroundings using a smartphone or other display.

“Google realises it has a big opportunity in the intersection of reality and artificial intelligence on smartphones,” Ward said. “I suspect Phil is managing a team to pull together disparate internal efforts and focus in the direction that will answer.” Amazon could go. ”

Andy Kleinman, chief executive officer of gaming hardware startup Wonder, said Google has been aggressive but disorganized in efforts around Daydream and other gaming-related technologies.

“Maybe Phil is the answer to all the scattered efforts into something big,” Kleinman said in an e-mail. – Reuters


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