Gearbox boss Randy Pitchford has a reputation for being outspoken, and this week he’s expressing some public doubts about the direction of the Xbox Series X. After Xbox chief Phil Spencer commented on the new console sidestepping traditional tech improvements “as Moore’s law slows,” Pitchford worries that this might be an excuse.
“Is Moore’s law slowing down?” Pitchford tweets. “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.“
Moore’s law was originally a pretty simple message – computing power doubles every two years, depending on which version of the rule you’re talking about – and more specifically refers to the number of transistors you can fit on an integrated circuit. The limits of hardware manufacturing have made it increasingly difficult to quantify the current position of the rule, but manufacturers like TMSC continue to assert that Moore’s law “is not dead.”
For Spencer’s part, he says that while Moore’s law has slowed, the Xbox division’s performance ambitions have increased, and this “leads to design innovation.” Spencer points to a breakdown of Series X specs from Eurogamer’s Digital Foundry, which says “the power level should be extraordinary.”
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
As fans questioned Pitchford’s public callout of Spencer, the Gearbox boss acknowledges that “sometimes I suck at Twitter,” that he’s still a regular Xbox player, and “I am excited about the next generation and want all platforms to be as powerful as possible.”
It’s a weird look for the boss behind one of the most prolific multi-platform FPS games to publicly call out one of the console makers – as gentle as that call out ended up being – but Pitchford’s not known to hold back his opinions.