Gearbox Software founder Randy Pitchford is known for his outspoken ways, and today was no different—except, perhaps, that today’s controversial opinion was directed at Xbox head Phil Spencer.
The exchange, which took place over Twitter, kicked off when Spencer commented on Digital Foundry’s Xbox Series X tech analysis, defending Microsoft’s upcoming console’s power and noting that Moore’s Law was slowing down.
DF does good work. As Moore’s law slows and our perf ambitions increase it leads to design innovation. Software innovations like VRS will also be critical – Xbox Series X rewrites the rules of console design – and the power level should be extraordinary https://t.co/1Kddsolxti
— Phil Spencer (@XboxP3) December 19, 2019
Pitchford was not particularly impressed with the comment, asking, “Is Moore’s Law slowing down? How many transistors in the Series X?”
“Your ambitious message for the Xbox One X was inspiring,” he continued, “but for Series X, well, this feels more like an excuse.”
Is Moore’s Law slowing down? How many transistors in the Series X? What if Moore’s Law is like the 4-minute mile? Your ambitious message for the Xbox One X was inspiring, but for Series X, well, this feels more like an excuse. https://t.co/7ihDmwWzO3
— Randy Pitchford (@DuvalMagic) December 19, 2019
Moore’s Law, for the unfamiliar, claims that transistor density on a microchip doubles every two years, increasing power and decreasing price. According to Digital Foundry, that doubling of power is “unlikely” to have happened between the Xbox One X, which was revealed in July 2017, and the upcoming Xbox Series X, revealed this month.
The concept has been a hot topic among tech leaders this year. At CES 2019 in January, for instance, Nvidia CEO Jensen Huang made headlines with his comments at a Q&A, saying, “Moore’s Law used to grow at 10 times every five years [and] 100 times every 10 years. Right now Moore’s Law is growing a few percent every year. Every 10 years maybe only 2s. … So Moore’s Law has finished.”
In response to followers who claimed Pitchford was being hostile toward Xbox, he reaffirmed his affinity for the Xbox: “One X is a beast and I love it!”
“If I could wave a magic wand,” he noted in another comment, “Xbox and PlayStation would both be incredibly powerful and keep parity with one another. I think Sony and Microsoft should team up, actually.”
It’s also worth noting that the upcoming game Godfall, developed by Counterplay Games and published by Gearbox, is first releasing on PC and PlayStation 5.
We first learned some of Xbox Series X’s technical details through GameSpot’s recent coverage, which revealed an approximately 12-teraflop GPU, and a CPU with 4 times the power of this generation’s consoles.
Correction (Dec. 20, 2:40pm CT): Parts of this story, including the original headline, inaccurately portrayed Pitchford’s comments. We have adjusted the story, and we apologize for the error.