Magic Lab

“What is magic?  In the deepest sense, magic is an experience.”
-David Abram

“Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic”
-Arthur C. Clarke

At Magic Lab, we help to Push the Boundaries of Play by looking at new technologies through the lens of PlayStation.  We quickly prototype new entertainment experiences based on these technologies, then we share these experiences with our product, engineering, and marketing groups.  To stay at the leading edge, we collaborate with research groups from top universities, national research labs, and other companies, and we’re always looking for bright interns.   We also help communicate the many interesting technical efforts happening within PlayStation by presenting at academic conferences, tradeshows, and the occasional late-night talk show.

Richard Marks

Richard Marks always wanted to be a magician.  Early on, he also discovered the magic of video games. He grew up playing Magnavox Oddyssey and Mattel Intellivision and text adventures, then programming games on TRS-80 and Commodore 64.  He got his start in the game industry when his parents opened a video game retail store in 1983 (yes, very unfortunate timing).  He took a break from gaming to go to school, studying avionics and medieval literature at MIT then computer vision and underwater robotics at Stanford.  He joined PlayStation R&D in 1999, mesmerized by the power of the PS2 and its potential for computer vision.  For several years he was “the camera guy” and helped create EyeToy, PlayStation Eye, and PlayStation Move.  He founded Magic Lab in 2013 to emphasize PlayStation’s focus on experience and help communicate its technical vision.  And the magician thing.

Richard’s passion has always been interaction, the main feature that differentiates games from other media.  His current research interests relate to virtual reality and intelligent agents.

Steven Osman

Steven (Sauce) has a diverse employment history: having worked in finance, e-commerce, web development and as a performer all before joining PlayStation, where he has been since 2005.  At SIE US R&D Sauce has worked in many areas, including physics, graphics, security, virtual and augmented realities, just to name a few.

 

An avid gamer, Sauce plays a variety of genres, and has clocked enough hours on a single game to fill almost an entire year of his life.  Excited by the prospect of virtual reality that is finally accessible by many people; Sauce looks forward to new and compelling interactions with both real and virtual characters.  He is also looking toward new ways to reach into virtual worlds from the real world and reach out to the real world from virtual ones.

 

Jorge Arroyo Palacios

Jorge loves football (soccer), beach volleyball, travelling, and of course videogames. His favorite types of games include social multiplayer games, RPGs and MMOs. 

Before joining Magic Lab, Jorge was a postdoctoral researcher at the University of California San Francisco and at the University of Barcelona. His research focused in immersive virtual reality and in the use of body and brain signals to develop intelligent computer systems able to: i) interact with the users in a more natural and intuitive way, ii) adapt to the users’ emotional and physical state, and iii) enhance the immersion and presence in virtual reality.

 

He joined the Magic Lab team at Sony PlayStation R&D in 2016. He is currently interested in exploring the use of mixed reality and wearable devices to enhance the way we play.

 

Yutaka Yokokawa

Yutaka didn’t think he would be programming video games, till he realized the interactive art projects he was doing at the university were actually video games under a different name, and so eventually decided to join Sony in 2005 in order to further pursuit in the fields in creating interactive experiences. 

Since then he has been part of the launch of PS3, PSVita, PS4, PSVR. He was a programmer for “The Eye of Judgement”, lead programmer for “Gravity Rush”, “THE PLAYROOM”, “THE PLAYROOM VR”, all of which have been using the latest technology and acknowledged for being innovative and challenging the conventional gaming experience.

Now at Magic Lab, Yutaka is taking all his game development experience to the frontier of research. He is determined to make PlayStation, even more, fun and cool platform, where everyone can enjoy interactive experiences like never seen before.