Update: After publication we received the following comment from a Google Advanced Technology and Projects (ATAP) spokesperson:
“ATAP is at the intersection of science and application where our goal is to solve significant problems and close the gap between what if and what is. We’re super excited about Richard joining the senior team and look forward to his contributions.”
Original: According to a report from VentureBeat, Richard Marks, a former senior researcher and head of PlayStation’s Magic Lab who helped create the PlayStation VR (PSVR) headset and PS Move controllers, has left Sony to join Google.
As of now we’ve got no real idea what his role at Google will be or what this means for the future of Sony’s PSVR. In fact, Google recently hired Phil Harrison, the former head of Sony’s game research and development for worldwide studios, Jack Buser, the former PlayStation Home chief, and even the creator of Xbox Live Arcade, Greg Canessa.
Clearly it seems that Google is amidst a big push for game-focused talent and is likely building up to something huge. There have been rumors of a “Google Yeti” which could be a cloud-based gaming platform to rival PlayStation and Xbox. If the Yeti were going to have VR features, hiring Marks would be a great way to prototype and engineer that sort of support.
While running Sony’s Magic Lab, Marks was in charge of R&D of future-focused concepts and ideas. In that role he helped create the PS Move controllers and PSVR headset as we mentioned, as well as the EyeToy (the predecessor of the PS Camera).
We’ve reached out to both Sony and Google for comment.