Host, Xbox's Major Nelson
Writer/Director of Brothers, A Way Out and It Takes Two . Founder of Hazelight.
Larry Hryb: Hi, it's Larry Hryb, Xbox's Major Nelson. Welcome to the Xbox podcast. Another week, another great bunch of news, another week of great Game Pass games ... another week of Jeff.
Jeff Rubenstein: Another week of no open. We need music, Larry. Get your sousaphone out-
Larry Hryb: [crosstalk 00:00:19].
Jeff Rubenstein: ... or start humming the Halo theme. What? Anything would be ... We got to get something, we got to get something.
Larry Hryb: A calliope. (singing)
Jeff Rubenstein: Anything. In the old Major Nelson Radio, the guitar solo, that was you, right?
Larry Hryb: (singing)
Jeff Rubenstein: That was just jamming out in the guitar.
Larry Hryb: That was in my metal hair bands of the 80s, when I was on tour, opening up as the fifth act before Van Halen, yeah.
Jeff Rubenstein: Yeah, I could ... You do a lot of those old hair metal rockers, and I'm sure ... I mean, you've interviewed some of them, as I recall.
Larry Hryb: Oh, quite a few of them actually.
Jeff Rubenstein: Dee Snider might have been the one to ... maybe he cut that, just rocking out in the guitar.
Larry Hryb: Dee ... So, I've mentioned this before, Dee and I have a history because he was getting into radio and I was ... at our radio station, I was on the part of the team that was teaching him how to basically do radio in Hartford, back in the day. So, for those of you that grew up in Connecticut and listened to Dee Snider on WMRQ, I was behind the scenes.
Jeff Rubenstein: For anyone who's under 100, who was Dee Snider again?
Larry Hryb: Wow, go look up Dee. If you remember, he ... Go watch when he was testifying against Congress and he completely [crosstalk 00:01:30]-
Jeff Rubenstein: That was-
Larry Hryb: ... [crosstalk 00:01:30] congress, right?
Jeff Rubenstein: Yes, yes. [crosstalk 00:01:32].
Larry Hryb: It's kind of a moment. Dee was a member of Twisted Sister, these glam rockers from Long Island. So, I don't know what exit on Long Island but up from out on Long Island and I actually worked with his brother too. His brother Mark was a record rep for I think was Epic Records. Oh boy, I'm dating myself now. Wow. Don't want to do that.
Jeff Rubenstein: There we go.
Larry Hryb: Jeffrey, good to see you.
Jeff Rubenstein: Good to see you, too. I'm just saying we need a theme. We need a theme.
Larry Hryb: [crosstalk 00:01:59]. I'm open to anything. I've got some Minecraft music here, but the problem with the Minecraft music is while it's great ... [inaudible 00:02:15].
Jeff Rubenstein: Really, Minecraft music on, you load up to the title screen and it's just like you're in ... like you're getting a massage or something. It's like a day spa.
Larry Hryb: Anyways, [crosstalk 00:02:26].
Jeff Rubenstein: I love the soundtrack to Minecraft. We should get Gareth Coker to cut an open. So, Gareth Coker does Ori. He did Ori and the Will of the Wisps. I think he's doing Halo Infinite. He's a phenomenal-
Larry Hryb: Do you want to know what he did [crosstalk 00:02:41].
Jeff Rubenstein: ... conductor and I'm sure he would love to just cut an open for this.
Larry Hryb: He did the music for Immortals Fenyx Rising.
Jeff Rubenstein: Did he? Music was good, see?
Larry Hryb: When you're playing it, I was like, "That sounds very Ori-like." I looked it up and sure enough. So, it's him. But yeah, it's completely different yet there's some similar elements. I've had Gareth on the show before, I should get him on again. But yeah, I'll get him on again, "The payment is you have to do a slight ... just a pithy 30-second open is all I need."
Jeff Rubenstein: Just something. Something that's on his cutting room floor, that he had like a little ditty written and it didn't make it into anything. We'll take that.
Larry Hryb: Right.
Jeff Rubenstein: He can have all the rights, he can monetize it.
Larry Hryb: Or maybe I'll just take the Ginso Tree and use that and make it frustrating for everybody.
Jeff Rubenstein: Yeah. Well, the next thing you know, we're getting DMCA'ed. But who knows?
Larry Hryb: Who knows?
Jeff Rubenstein: What I would say, [crosstalk 00:03:30]-
Larry Hryb: What a week of Xbox games. We got some news. Hey, you know who we got on the show this week?
Jeff Rubenstein: No. What?
Larry Hryb: I don't even know if he needs any introduction, we're not going to do the interview now-
Jeff Rubenstein: Okay.
Larry Hryb: ... but it is somebody that is a ... Where is he? Okay, here he is.
Jeff Rubenstein: I'm on the edge of my seat here, Larry.
Larry Hryb: It is Josef Fares.
Jeff Rubenstein: Josef Fares of the, let's say, infamous Game Awards appearance one time?
Larry Hryb: Do you remember that? Do you remember that, that moment? I think it was 20-
Jeff Rubenstein: Not only do I remember it-
Larry Hryb: 2018.
Jeff Rubenstein: This is what you need to do, Larry.
Larry Hryb: Yeah, it was-
Jeff Rubenstein: Larry ...
Larry Hryb: Yes?
Jeff Rubenstein: Do you have a buzzer? Do you have a seven-second delay? Can you beat [crosstalk 00:04:22].
Larry Hryb: As a matter of fact, Jeffrey, I have (beep) (beep).
Jeff Rubenstein: Yes.
Larry Hryb: (beep) So ... (beep). This was equipment-
Jeff Rubenstein: I suspect you're going to need it.
Larry Hryb: This is equipment I had to specifically install because I was going to be interviewing Josef. So, (beep).
Jeff Rubenstein: Besides a hilariously profanity-laden interview with Geoff Keighley a few years back, also a creative mind behind Brothers: Tale of Two Sons, A Way Out. And he's got a new game coming out, doesn't he?
Larry Hryb: He sure does. It's It Takes Two and you'll hear all about that. I got a chance to chat with him. He's amazing. He was a film director, a game developer, Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons that you just mentioned, of course. He founded Hazelight Studios which is ... He's like the last of the studios that's doing pure co-op, right?
Jeff Rubenstein: I appreciate that.
Larry Hryb: So, and you and I [crosstalk 00:05:16]-
Jeff Rubenstein: But you know what?
Larry Hryb: Yes?
Jeff Rubenstein: He must have spent a lot of time in Philly, at some point, because he just ... he curses like he does.
Larry Hryb: Yeah, he's certainly ... Yes, he's quite colorful. So, we'll have-
Jeff Rubenstein: "Colorful"? Yes.
Larry Hryb: He'll be coming up later on. And, at some point, I think ... I did this interview earlier, and at some point, you'll see me just kind of go ... Just let him go, because I put my mic back [crosstalk 00:05:40].
Jeff Rubenstein: You wind him up and let him go. Well, I'm looking forward to hearing that. [crosstalk 00:05:44].
Larry Hryb: [inaudible 00:05:44], you and I-
Jeff Rubenstein: You won't want to miss it.
Larry Hryb: [crosstalk 00:05:47]. You and I have been playing one of his games and we haven't really-
Jeff Rubenstein: Yeah.
Larry Hryb: ... had a chance ... A Way Out. And we haven't had a chance to finish it, and you and I have been busy with other things and other games, and we need to go back to finish A Way Out because he kind of calls us out a little bit in that, in the interview.
Jeff Rubenstein: Well, certainly before It Takes Two comes out, we have to finish A Way Out. Because we really enjoyed it, I think we just got to a good stopping point where we got out of prison and we just kind of wanted to assume it's just a happy ending. We just go back to our lives and nobody really misses us. I'm sure that's how it works.
Larry Hryb: But we're not there yet, it's a journey.
Jeff Rubenstein: No.
Larry Hryb: [inaudible 00:06:21]?
Jeff Rubenstein: No. What are you playing, Larry?
Larry Hryb: What am I playing? I'm playing ... Well, you and I have had quite some matches in Apex.
Jeff Rubenstein: We've we had one match. It was the most anti-climactic win, I think, of all time. That was just like we bought our first lottery ticket, we spent one dollar, and we won the Powerball, is what that match felt like.
Larry Hryb: It was a classic week. We've had a few of these matches, and if you've ever played a battle royale, you know how that is, where you drop, regardless of what the battle royale is, you drop and you get all your weapons. You kind of get geared up and then, all of a sudden, you realize the circle is coming to you. So, you just have to kind of wait.
Jeff Rubenstein: Yeah, we did not move. If we were wearing our in-game Fitbits, we certainly would not have gotten our 10000 steps. We might not have gotten 200 steps in that entire match.
Larry Hryb: Yeah, [crosstalk 00:07:13]. We dropped, kind of looted the area, and then I hit the beacon. I think I hit that beacon five times, I was playing as Bloodhound, and we saw the circle coming to us, coming to us, coming to us, coming to us, coming to us, and ... there we go.
Jeff Rubenstein: They were watching because there was only two ways in, we were sort of in the north part of the map on Kings Canyon. One way it got blocked off and then if they're coming in, it's got to be from this other area. And we see one person come through, and we're like-
Larry Hryb: The Revenant.
Jeff Rubenstein: ... "Okay, surely the rest of the team is flanking-"
Larry Hryb: "Where are they? Jeff, look out, they have to be somewhere."
Jeff Rubenstein: "Where are they? Where are they?" You just ran in ... a little bit hasty, we don't know, and you just start shotgun ... I don't even see what happens because it all happened behind a rock and, the next thing you know, you're the champion. [crosstalk 00:07:59].
Larry Hryb: Well, what happened was-
Jeff Rubenstein: [crosstalk 00:08:00].
Larry Hryb: ... I saw that it was a Revenant. Those who play Apex, he was a Revenant. And I saw him go behind the rock and I realized he's probably throwing down his death totem. So-
Jeff Rubenstein: Yes, [crosstalk 00:08:08].
Larry Hryb: ... the moment he ... I just had this feeling. So, I happened to scan and got lucky, and when a Bloodhound scans, it picks up the death totem. So, I saw that. He came out one of the rock, you guys were firing on him, and then I went over and I was going to take out the death totem, because I was like, "Oh no, we're not going to play this game." So, you guys were firing on him, you took him out, and he went back to the death totem and then he's standing there. Meanwhile, I'm just ... I just [inaudible 00:08:30]. Poor guy. Poor person had no idea what hit him.
Jeff Rubenstein: And then what did we do? We were like, "That's it. Goodbye, everybody."
Larry Hryb: You and I won, done. Goodnight.
Jeff Rubenstein: Won and done.
Larry Hryb: I left the party, we're like, "Okay." So, that was our-
Jeff Rubenstein: Exactly. We were like, "Pinch hit, Grand Slam, walk-off home run, and be gone." And-
Larry Hryb: You know-
Jeff Rubenstein: ... you know what? We should do it again.
Larry Hryb: Based on the interview that you did last week, I was checking out the Outriders' demo.
Jeff Rubenstein: Yeah.
Larry Hryb: So, [crosstalk 00:08:57].
Jeff Rubenstein: So, all your progress continues. I actually went back to ... To prepare for the interview, I had to play an early version on Steam that went live before it went live on Xbox. And so, I played through a good chunk of it, enough to get a feel for the game, for the interview. But I've gone back and I've tried to do all the side missions and max out my characters so that my progress will carry over. The game is April 1st? That's going to be here before we know it. It's just, what, maybe four weeks away? So-
Larry Hryb: You're already flushing March down the tubes? Come on.
Jeff Rubenstein: I mean, there's good stuff ... I'm just saying how it's March already.
Larry Hryb: I know.
Jeff Rubenstein: I feel like it was just hours ago that it turned into 2021 and here we are. But, actually, no. It's gone by pretty slow, hasn't it?
Larry Hryb: [inaudible 00:09:43].
Jeff Rubenstein: So, anyways ...
Larry Hryb: [inaudible 00:09:44].
Jeff Rubenstein: What are we doing? We've lost him?
Larry Hryb: No, this package which just showed up right before we were recording and I just opened it up while I'm here. And you what? It's stuff to show off. We'll do that later on, because I think you have a similar package [crosstalk 00:09:56].
Jeff Rubenstein: Okay. All right. So, what do you want to do? Do you want to talk news? Or you want to ... ? It's your show, Larry.
Larry Hryb: I feel like you owe the audience some news. So, I'll let you kind of do that while I ... And we're going to ... By the way, I moved the ticker.
Jeff Rubenstein: Whoa, the ticker's up top now.
Larry Hryb: I move the ticker up the top-
Jeff Rubenstein: You moved it.
Larry Hryb: ... because it was all alone in the bottom and it was in the scrub line-
Jeff Rubenstein: A little awkward.
Larry Hryb: ... for YouTube. So, I was like, "Let me just put it up on top."
Jeff Rubenstein: That's smart. It was one of those things like when you're a kid, and you don't have a lot of agency in your life when you're a kid, but you're like, "You know what? I'm moving my bed to the other side of the room," and it's like, "Whoa, completely different." Maybe that was just me that did that, but it feels that way. Actually, I like it. I like what you did there.
Larry Hryb: [crosstalk 00:10:36].
Jeff Rubenstein: It's good, it's good.
Larry Hryb: Well, it's keeping the eye-line up your eyes and up above.
Jeff Rubenstein: Exactly. My news is up here, is what you're saying. So ... [inaudible 00:10:47]. It's really up there. So, anyway, it's-
Larry Hryb: Give it to us.
Jeff Rubenstein: It's mid-March, or early March, a new month, anyway. And what happens every couple of weeks? Well, Xbox Game Pass, the Xbox Game Pass Santa comes down the chimney with new games and this is a very sports themed delivery from the Xbox Game Pass team. So, coming soon, NBA 2K21. That just came out in November.
Larry Hryb: Wow.
Jeff Rubenstein: And here we are, we get to play-
Larry Hryb: Is Jeffrey [crosstalk 00:11:18] in that?
Jeff Rubenstein: ... the newest version of NBA. Jeffrey? I haven't made my character. I played a number of just like one-off games. The Sixers are good this year, so I'm like ... We don't need my created character dragging down the Sixers or, worse yet, being drafted by like the Knicks or something. No, no, I've just been playing with potential MVP candidate Joel Embiid.
But yes, so that'll be coming out on March 4th. So, really, about the time you listen to this. Madden NFL 21 is available now via EA Play. That's for folks who have Xbox Game Pas Ultimate. Of course, you get EA Play.
Larry Hryb: And of course you have that, right?
Jeff Rubenstein: I mean, I do. Football Manager 2021 for PC but then also Football Manager 2021 Xbox edition.
Larry Hryb: Ah.
Jeff Rubenstein: And so ... Football Manager is very popular. FIFA is the most popular playing soccer and then Foot Manager-
Larry Hryb: Could you explain it for people that haven't played it? Because, obviously, in Game Pass, people will now be able to check it out and I want to make sure that their expectations are set appropriately. That it's not ... It's a little different type of game, right?
Jeff Rubenstein: Well, sure. I think this is great for people that love fantasy and sort of like team building and stuff like that. So, you manage a club.
Larry Hryb: Did you ever do [crosstalk 00:12:31] baseball when you were growing up?
Jeff Rubenstein: You know what? I was part of the Big Brothers Big Sisters program, I was the Little Brother. And my Big Brother was into that, and I remember we had that, and it was sort of like an RPG, almost, for baseball but in card form. Maybe it D&D for baseball, is probably what that probably was.
Larry Hryb: It's funny, because I remember growing and a lot of my friends were playing it and I never got into it. I'm like, "You guys are such nerds." Turns out I'm the nerd. I just, I couldn't-
Jeff Rubenstein: Well, I mean ... I was a pretty nerd. But yeah, that was fun. I did play real baseball too, if that helps. Well, to the extent that Little League is real baseball.
Larry Hryb: "Now starting, number 23, shortstop, Jeff Rubenstein."
Jeff Rubenstein: I was a first base. I was first baseman, all right?
Larry Hryb: [crosstalk 00:13:17]. You didn't want to move, right?
Jeff Rubenstein: Because I had great reach. And, by the way, my arm was so wild. I remember one time, the ball was hit directly to me, I caught it, it was a line drive. I caught it, tapped on first, double play-
Larry Hryb: Out.
Jeff Rubenstein: ... but then, for some reason, someone decided to tag up from third because I was sort of like ... I was a kid, I was a little disoriented, from an instant double play. So, I go to throw-
Larry Hryb: Yeah, you want to celebrate.
Jeff Rubenstein: ... him out at home. No. Well, there was nobody out. I think it was probably bases loaded. And so, almost had a triple play, except my arm was so wild, I actually beaned the kid that was on the on-deck circle. Like I just hit him right in the back-
Larry Hryb: The in-deck circle is-
Jeff Rubenstein: ... with just like fast ball.
Larry Hryb: Now, was it on the other side of the [crosstalk 00:13:55]?
Jeff Rubenstein: Not anywhere near, not anywhere near where I needed to be throwing it. And that's why they put me in first base. I don't have to make a lot of throws, so we just call that one a win that [crosstalk 00:14:08] bases loaded, two outs.
Larry Hryb: So, when you were brought up from the minors to the Phillies ...
Jeff Rubenstein: Yeah. The Phillies were so bad back then that ...
Larry Hryb: That was [crosstalk 00:14:17]-
Jeff Rubenstein: ... could have made a call for it.
Larry Hryb: And that was after the Larry Bowa era?
Jeff Rubenstein: He might have been the manager around that time, actually.
Larry Hryb: Yeah, I think you're right.
Jeff Rubenstein: I actually met him at a baseball card show when I was a little kid. I was real little and he was the manager and he came ... Actually, he might have been the manager of the Padres-
Larry Hryb: Well, the reason why I remember him is-
Jeff Rubenstein: ... [crosstalk 00:14:35] he autographed my card.
Larry Hryb: I think I told you this story. When I was growing up, when I lived in New Jersey, he lived across the street-
Jeff Rubenstein: Really?
Larry Hryb: ... in our complex. Little kids were like, "Oh, he's a baseball player." We didn't really have any idea. We go over there and his wife would say, "No, get out of here." We never met but he-
Jeff Rubenstein: Yeah, that seems about right.
Larry Hryb: ... lived across the street [inaudible 00:14:54].
Jeff Rubenstein: He was a Philly guy, right? I don't think he was a Hall of Famer but definitely someone my mom, I remember, grew up the big fan of Larry Bowa. That's pretty funny.
Larry Hryb: [inaudible 00:15:03].
Jeff Rubenstein: Anyway, Football Manager. So, it's more of a ... Wow, how did we get there? More strategy focused. So, if you like to play franchise modes of games, but it's ... By the way, football, we mean soccer for our largely American audience. Here's the good thing: it's on Game Pass. So, this might be for you or it might not be for you. And, by the way, if FIFA is more for you, like FIFA 20 is in the vault for EA Play, so you have access to that. But if you want to try a different type of soccer, give Football Manager 2021 a try. Super popular in Europe and around the globe. So, find out what you've been missing.
Lastly, NHL 21 coming to EA Play in April. And next month Star Wars: Squadrons is going to be coming to EA Play. So, just endless awesome AAA games heading your way now and in the future.
Larry Hryb: Courtesy of our friends in Game Pass.
Jeff Rubenstein: And I just want to call out, because some games, they cycle out, it's always a curated list of games in Xbox Game Pass. Some games do cycle out. And a game I wanted to call out is Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night is cycling out of Game Pass on March 15. That means you have some time to play it, and probably time to beat it. I've loved this game, it's sort of a spiritual successor to Castlevania, especially like Castlevania: Symphony of the Night. [Igarashison 00:16:30] was the brains behind it and he's the original master of Castlevania as well. So, definitely worth your shot. I thoroughly enjoyed this one, Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night. Play it while it's in Game Pass. And you know what? If you've been playing it and you want to keep playing it, buy it before it leaves Game Pass. That's happening on March 15th.
Larry Hryb: I had to change my color because last week I was wearing a red shirt and somebody called me out for matching it to the dashboard [crosstalk 00:16:59].
Jeff Rubenstein: You don't want to be too matchy-matchy here, Larry.
Larry Hryb: Yeah. So, I wanted to ... Well, I wanted to-
Jeff Rubenstein: It's all right.
Larry Hryb: ... put a little bit of [inaudible 00:17:03] green.
Jeff Rubenstein: And just a quick note also-
Larry Hryb: [inaudible 00:17:06].
Jeff Rubenstein: .... for those of you who are Xbox Game Pass Ultimate subscribers, we talked about the Games with Gold last week, but it's officially March now so make sure you pick up Metal Slug 3 and Warface: Breakout-Cold Sun. That's available now.
Larry Hryb: Yes.
Jeff Rubenstein: So, what kind of a TV you got back there, Larry?
Larry Hryb: This? This is an LG OLED.
Jeff Rubenstein: All right. Well-
Larry Hryb: This is the CX LG OLED and I know that we've got ... For outside of the US, LG is a partner for Xbox. But inside the US, it's our friends at Samsung.
Jeff Rubenstein: Correct.
Larry Hryb: Is that what you were looking for?
Jeff Rubenstein: [crosstalk 00:17:42]. That was exactly what I was ... I have a Samsung, I play on both my ... We have two TVs in the house, they're both Samsungs. Huge fans. So, the QLED is the official TV partner of Xbox Series X in the US and Canada. As you said, LG in Europe. And well, what does that mean?
Larry Hryb: What does it mean?
Jeff Rubenstein: Is one of those things you want to know. So, it means that, basically, it's the official TV partner and so there are certain things that they're going to be sure to call out. And if you want to have all of the bells and whistles that the Xbox Series S and series X, that they empower things like 4K gaming at 120 hertz-
Larry Hryb: [crosstalk 00:18:25].
Jeff Rubenstein: They've got that-
Larry Hryb: VRR.
Jeff Rubenstein: Exactly. Their millisecond time in gaming mode is like 5.8 milliseconds, which is great. So, the 2021 Neo QLED lineup, and the Neo QLED and the QLED lineup, they have all kinds of stuff in their game mode that basically allow you to get the most out of it. They have the HDMI 2.1, high frame rate, HDR, all the things you're going to be needing. And so, we're getting into ... I think when these consoles first came out, we came into the new generation, people that have the newest TVs were set. People that had a few years older TV were like, "Okay, I don't have everything I need." Well, now that we're getting into 2021, you're starting to see the TV manufacturers really be ready to go with being able to support everything that the game can crank out on the Series X and Series S.
Larry Hryb: The consoles. [crosstalk 00:19:16]. Yeah, that's good. And where do I find out-
Jeff Rubenstein: I think so.
Larry Hryb: ... more information about that?
Jeff Rubenstein: You just can just head on over to Xbox Wire, it's actually right at the very top, and we talk about what it means with the Samsung QLED being the official TV partner of the Xbox Series S.
Larry Hryb: In the US.
Jeff Rubenstein: X.
Larry Hryb: Thank you very much. Thanks for that, that's all really helpful.
Jeff Rubenstein: And I wanted to know what you thought about this one, Larry. I know you're big fan of the Alien franchise-
Larry Hryb: Yes, I am.
Jeff Rubenstein: .... especially Alien [inaudible 00:19:50]. So, Aliens: Fireteam, this was announced this week as a sort of a co-op PvE shooter that'll be coming out this summer on Xbox. Thoughts?
Larry Hryb: Look, anything in the Alien universe, you know I love. So, are we going able to ... So, if it's co-op, you are my unofficial co-op partner. You and I play all the co-op games, we never finish any.
Jeff Rubenstein: That's true.
Larry Hryb: I mean, were you an Alien fan? Because I don't want to drag you into this if you're not. I don't want to drag you kicking and screaming.
Jeff Rubenstein: No. Well, look, some of the Alien games were pure horror. In fact, the first time I ever did anything in VR, it was an Aliens thing where you were being stalked by a Xenomorph and killed. [crosstalk 00:20:35] and that was-
Larry Hryb: Do you remember the secret of this game?
Jeff Rubenstein: .... absolutely frightening.
Larry Hryb: Do you remember this-
Jeff Rubenstein: What?
Larry Hryb: What platform was that on?
Jeff Rubenstein: I want to say it was Oculus very early on.
Larry Hryb: I think you're right. I remember talking to somebody, because it was a demo, you're right, and the key with that demo is, because I asked one of the demo, that ... It attacked at the end, right? And that was the way it was over?
Jeff Rubenstein: Yeah, it stabbed you from behind with its tail-
Larry Hryb: Apparently, there was no way to get past it-
Jeff Rubenstein: ... you saw-
Larry Hryb: ... and finish the demo without getting attacked. It was rigged.
Jeff Rubenstein: I'm pretty sure that was the case, because-
Larry Hryb: It was rigged.
Jeff Rubenstein: Because that I was like, "I'm pretty sure the Xenomorph went that way." I'm good at my stealth games and what was funny is, when they were there, they were like, "Ah, you were close." That's what they told me. I was like-
Larry Hryb: Once you're [crosstalk 00:21:14].
Jeff Rubenstein: And then I talked to everyone at E3. I'm like, "Did you beat it?" And nobody I knew beat it-
Larry Hryb: That's why.
Jeff Rubenstein: ... but everyone was apparently close.
Larry Hryb: That's why.
Jeff Rubenstein: Well, there you go. Anyway, this looks more like ... Alien was more tense horror, and Aliens was-
Larry Hryb: [inaudible 00:21:29].
Jeff Rubenstein: ... more action. This is Aliens, with an s, Fireteam and I think you're going to see that level of action here. It looks really good. I'm very into it. So, there are five classes that you can choose from. I'm usually a support character of some sort. There's 30 weapons, all kinds of mods. This could be like a really fun summer co-op game. So, count me in. Let's do it.
Larry Hryb: I am really quite excited about it. It's killing the Xenomorphs with friends? Come on. What's wrong with that, right?
Jeff Rubenstein: Yeah. The footage is out there, there's a trailer out there now, it looks really good. I'm looking over at the ... So, anyway, go to Aliens, with an s, fireteam.com. Take a look. And we'll keep an eye on this one, maybe we can get some of the devs on at some point before the game launches this summer.
Larry Hryb: Right. Awesome.
Jeff Rubenstein: Yeah, let's do it.
Larry Hryb: Speaking of other stuff out this week, some news came out about It Takes Two which is the new game from the guys at Hazelight Studios and Josef Fares who I have an interview with. I had to pre-record it because you never know what's going to happen with live, that's why I have this (beep). So, I'm quite excited. So, Jeff, do you want to set it up a little bit or do you want me to just roll into it? How do you think we should do this?
Jeff Rubenstein: I think we should just get into it, because I'm really interested to hear what Josef Fares has to say about this game. Like we said earlier, he's got this great pedigree from A Way Out and from Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons. So, let's see it.
Larry Hryb: I'm very excited. It Takes Two is coming out very soon and I have the internet legend, Josef Fares, joining us today. Josef, it's good to see you.
Josef Fares: It's good to see you too, man. I wish we could see each other in a physical way. Not physical, like in the same room.
Larry Hryb: In the same room.
Josef Fares: That sounded weird, I didn't mean it like that. But you know what I mean.
Larry Hryb: I appreciate it. I feel the same way. First of all, thank you for coming on the show. Really excited to have you on the Xbox podcast and talk about It Takes Two. First of all, I want to talk a little bit about you because you've been a film director, you're a game designer, tell us a little bit about your journey through and into the games industry and then, ultimately, up to It Takes Two, because you've got a lot of games too.
Josef Fares: Yeah. I started making movies when I was 15 years old, professionally when I was 20, and I did around five or six feature movies. But I've always been a huge passionate gamer. I love gaming and I've been playing them since the Atari time. In 2010, I got the opportunity to make a short demo. There was a friend of mine that said, "We have a school, a couple of students here. You want to make a demo just for fun?" I was like, "Wow, it's a dream come true." And that was actually the first time I came up with the concept for Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons.
And I did a demo with them for six weeks and another demo after that. And after that, I actually managed for some weird way, get it to Starbreeze and have a very small team there and we put together Brothers, and the rest is history, as you say. And then I started Hazelight in 2014 and created A Way Out and now we're here. That was-
Larry Hryb: So, my co-host Jeff and I are in the middle of playing, we're not done with A Way Out yet but we got out of prison. So, I guess we are [crosstalk 00:24:37].
Josef Fares: Okay.
Larry Hryb: With Brothers and A Way Out, and of course we're going to talk about It Takes Two and we're going to show some gameplay in just a minute, it's all about these two characters working together. That's obviously the clear theme with all of your games. How do you approach your gameplay design and mechanics so that it balances the gameplay between each of the individuals?
Josef Fares: Well, that's the whole idea. I mean, we at Hazelight, we are the only one doing this pretty much. We're designing from the beginning, we're writing and designing a co-op game from the start. And something we're trying to push all the time is really combining the story and the gameplay and, definitely, It Takes Two is taking it to the next level. But the whole idea is to create two different characters that ends up in different scenarios. And something I also push on a lot is to create unique mechanics for every scenario, so the scene you're playing is a scene that goes on the story you're actually playing as well.
I think it's important for narrative games as well, because I do believe sometimes narrative games can become a bit repetitive. It's almost like sometimes writers and designers are in two different games and here, we're really trying to marry those two. Making sure that the gameplay and the story and the design and the story really talk to each other. That's important for us as a studio. And we're getting better and better at crafting this co-op thing and, trust me, we're going to get even better. And you will see with this game how good we have become.
Larry Hryb: Let's talk about it, because I've played a lot of your previous games with Brothers, and so forth, and they're so fun because there's something magical about the co-op experience when you're playing Brothers or A Way Out of you and your co-op partner kind of solving the puzzles, "Okay, you go do this. Okay, now you do this." There's a certain magic there that you've really captured. How do you do that?
Josef Fares: Well, it's actually .... It's hard to say exactly what we do, depending on what the story is and what the situation is. But something, again, that we push on a lot is, again, to try to find unique situations, in most of the cases, unique mechanics so the players are doing two different things. Let me say it like this, when you have your normal single-player campaign game and you add on the co-op mode, it's mostly like a drop-in/drop-out thing. But again, when you design something from the beginning, you adapt it so that both players have different ways of approaching. So, you actually are co-op'ing, they're actually adding something to it, not just helping out, if you know what I mean. There's a difference to it.
And depending on what the scene is, we just create the different mechanic for it and try to come up with some really cool scenarios, to create moments that are exciting and engaging for the players and fuck with the players' minds. As I say, it's so much fun. You will see what I mean with A Way Out, you're not there yet, but you're definitely going to mind (beep) for sure, that's for sure.
Larry Hryb: Now-
Josef Fares: In a good way.
Larry Hryb: Now, when you're playing these games, what's interesting is some co-op games will have the full screen behind you. You actually, in your games, you make a specific design decision to let the player, whether they're local, when they're remote, whoever you're playing, you see both sides, because that really lets you see both sides of the story, doesn't it?
Josef Fares: Yes. Again, it's part of the storytelling. In A Way Out, it start that you're actually almost experiencing two stories at the same time. Sometimes, it's with Leo or Vincent. And in this case, you're following these characters, they're parents that are about to divorce and stuff. But yes, again, they are designed for ... they're written and designed as a co-op from the beginning and that's how they're supposed to be experienced. So, that's why you should always see the split screen, knowing exactly what your partner is going on.
So, again, this is not your typical drop-in/drop-out game. This is done, from the beginning, as split-screen.
Larry Hryb: Okay, let's talk about-
Josef Fares: So, yes ...
Larry Hryb: I mean, that's great to hear but let's talk about it. It Takes Two is out very soon, in about a month. But I want to talk a little bit about the gameplay and what we can see, and we've got the trailer. So, tell us about the story because the story kind of took me aback. I was like, "Wow, that's really interesting."
Josef Fares: Yeah. Here's the thing, it's a romantic comedy. It's not ... When we looked around in the industry, it's not that often that you see a romantic comedy in gaming. But, again, at Hazelight we like to push ourselves through something that haven't been done before. It's also a genre that fits very well for the action-adventure platformer thing. But it was also very challenging.
You have to understand, when you make a story in co-op and especially in splitcreen, seeing it together, there's ... In general, making a story in an interactive game is harder because in a movie, it's a passive media, you're way more in control. You can control the audience-
Larry Hryb: It's linear.
Josef Fares: ... like how they're looking. Exactly, it's linear. And in game, you can't really control it. But when you add ... When you the play the single-player game, at least you're looking at the cutscene. But when you're a co-op game, then you talk to each other, you're not as focused on the game as you want the audience to be. So, there are definitely challenges to that, but that's what we love with [inaudible 00:29:49]. But with this game, we also did the romantic comedy and, obviously, romantic comedy is already a genre that's quite hard to do in a movie. But that's what it's all about, to push yourself. Like, "What can we do here?"
But, basically, it's a story about two parents that are about to divorce and they have their little daughter that doesn't want that, that she creates two dolls that magically turns into these living dolls that you play. And then you have this crazy cheesy book that his mission is to get them together and make sure that they don't leave each other and stay as a couple. He wants them to feel the love again.
Larry Hryb: [crosstalk 00:30:25].
Josef Fares: I do all the mock up for that guy. So, that's why he's-
Larry Hryb: Yeah, I was reading that you did the motion capture for the Book of Love.
Josef Fares: Yes.
Larry Hryb: And the Book of Love, let me back up a little bit, because I just want to [inaudible 00:30:32]. Let's stay a look.
Josef Fares: He's a crazy guy.
Larry Hryb: Here he is. He's just a funny-looking character and he looks ... So, he's the narrator and he's also ... He's the narrator in the game but he's also the director in real life, in some ways. But he-
Josef Fares: Exactly.
Larry Hryb: ... [crosstalk 00:30:46] character. Now, you didn't do the voice for him, did you, Josef?
Josef Fares: No. The voice, no. I mean, the body is me. Like, how he changes and how he talks and everything. But it's interesting, the actor that did his voice, he said like ... I don't know who else could have done him, because he was such an energetic character and he actually sets the rules for them and puts them in different scenarios. He's a really cheesy but funny guy with some really crazy love theories.
But, actually, a lot of stuff that he says is actually the truth. You know what they say, cliches are cliches for a reason, but he says stuff ... Actually, if you listen to him, he says stuff that actually make a lot of sense and I think could make couples become better couples and feel more love to each other. This game is pretty much about love, that's what it's all about.
Larry Hryb: So, you talked about these characters. It's a young child who doesn't want her mom and her dad to get divorced, her parents to get divorced. So, you're playing as these little dolls going through here. What are some of the mechanics that we can expect as we're playing It Takes Two?
Josef Fares: I'm telling you, It Takes Two is going to break some kind of world record in variation and mechanic. And the reason for that is not just for changing up the mechanic for the sake of it, it's because ... again, I keep talking about the story and the gameplay. So whatever they're experiencing in the story, you will be playing it. I think it's very important because it's almost like the mechanics are part of the storytelling. So, whatever they meet, whatever happens, you will be playing that. Sometimes, we use even the mechanics as a metaphor. In this case, for example, it could be like they have a problem with their attraction as a couple and, actually, Dr. Hakim, the crazy book, gives them, as you see here, a magnet as a metaphor for their attraction.
So, all the time, even if it's a metaphor, we try to make sure that the mechanic talks and communicates with the story, and I think that's something we've done really good. Also, I do believe that narrative games needs to be a little bit less repetitive, because I do believe that sometimes you feel like you're doing the same mechanic over and over again. I think in narrative games, it's even more important to keep the player engaged and invested all the time. And, also, to dare to do some mechanics that fits the story better, even if they're not always about fun. I think that's a question that could be important at some points, but mechanics for me is definitely not about fun all the time.
So, depending what the story are, and you can take this to the next level. You could do some really serious dramas and you can actually make a mechanic of a very serious trouble or problem, whatever. So, that's the idea with the games we do at Hazelight, to keep on trying to connect those two as much as we can, which gives you a huge variety of gameplay in this game, which makes the team very mad but in a good way. I mean, we all love it of course, but sometimes they look at me like, "Josef, this scene took us like half a year to make and you play it only one minute," but I'll tell them, "It doesn't matter. It's so cool when the players will experience it." So, it doesn't matter how long or short the game is as long as the experience feels great and follows the story.
Larry Hryb: You talked about the gameplay in terms of mechanics kind of being metaphors for things. What are some of the things you learned from your previous games, A Way Out or Brothers? In terms of the co-op and some of the things, you're like, "Oh, this is really going to work well," and maybe it didn't work well or you refined some things. Tell us a little bit about some of the secret sauce that you discovered, if you would.
Josef Fares: I think the biggest thing we have learned ... Obviously, we've become way better. I mean, as a team we are ... You have to remember, during A Way Out, a lot of the development team were interns. I mean, those interns are now kick-ass developers. We become obviously better at our craft. But one thing I think we've learned way better is, again, what I keep coming back to, how to combine the story and the game mechanics. Again, that's something we want to keep pushing forward, to keep the player engaged. How can we keep them on their toes? How can we make sure they actually finish the games? I talk about this a lot. I mean, people came to me and said 51 percent of the player finished A Way Out and I should be happy for that. No, I shouldn't.
It's actually quite sad that half the people stopped playing. It's crazy and I talk about this a lot. A lot of people are talking about replayability, which is madness. Why do you keep talking about replayability when there's so few people that replay? I don't have anything against replayability, I'm just saying that it shouldn't be the big thing. The big thing should be people should finish the games. And I think ... I'm changing my answer a little bit right now, because my head is going like [inaudible 00:35:08]. But I think what we have learned, I think, is to keep the player engaged and focused on the experience, and I hope even more players than 50 percent will finish this game.
Larry Hryb: Yeah. You're absolutely right. But one of the challenges I find is like, "Okay, I'm playing it with Jeff. Is he available? Am I?" The timing thing and trying to get that person. Because you kind of don't want to start one of your games with somebody new, halfway through the game. Because-
Josef Fares: Oh no.
Larry Hryb: ... you got to have them learn. So, it's a little bit challenging there. But yeah, that's-
Josef Fares: For sure.
Larry Hryb: Yeah, finishing the game is something that ... You're right, that's a great metric to look at, because that's fun.
Josef Fares: Yeah, but it's not only co-op I'm talking about. I'm talking about single-players. If you look at the metric statistic, it's crazy. It's madness. I don't know what's going on. I don't know why more ... Here's the thing, in every review and everybody talking about, "What's the replay ... " Even the publishers ask, "What's the replayability?" And my question back is, "What are you talking about? What do you mean replayability? What's the playthrough? People aren't even finishing the games. We got to do something."
Imagine all the work being done, being thrown in the garbage. All the work the developers' sweat, tears that have been done, that nobody even sees. That's madness.
Larry Hryb: [crosstalk 00:36:16]-
Josef Fares: But it's okay. I mean, but ...
Larry Hryb: As somebody who has been in the games industry for a long time, I always want to give a hat tip to the designers and the developers and the artists and the story people. The players may not go down that hallway to look at something-
Josef Fares: For sure.
Larry Hryb: ... [crosstalk 00:36:32] that somebody crafted for a day or two days or a week.
Josef Fares: Yeah, yeah, yeah.
Larry Hryb: And you just kind of want to soak yourself up in this environment, as opposed to just, "Let me get through the level as quick as possible."
Josef Fares: And there are examples where publishers and developers focus on the first bits of the game because they know that's what players will experience. Now, how sick is that? Like, "Okay, we know we're making this movie and we know like 70 percent of the people won't see the ending. (Beep) that. Let's do this." It's crazy, it's crazy. But I hope it's going to get better and I hope ... The reason I talk about this is because I think it's important that we don't question the lengths of game, but I have a different opinion on this. I think the game should be as long as it needs to be. I think that's very important. So, we don't say how long is this game. Because, for me, if an experience is 10 hours and it's great, than it should be great. In the Hazelight games, the games are as long as it needs to be.
It Takes Two is around 14 hours of madness, a huge amount of mechanics. We could have easily done it into a 50-hour game, but that's not the point because It Takes Two fits this time and that's it. Every game has to adapt for what game it is. I personally feel, sometimes, I feel like, "Okay, this game is a bit too long. It's five hour too long. It's 10 hour too long time." Sometimes, you drag it out just because you want it to be long for the sake of it. And I think it's not fair for all the work that the developers put in there. Even for the players playing it ... We are all part of this, I think. Publishers, players, journalists, everybody, you and me, whoever.
Larry Hryb: Yeah. I mean, we talk about that, is it content-to-time or is it time-to-content? That's the way I always look at things. You always want to make sure your content is ... it's time-to-content. In other words, it's going to be as long as it is to be good. And that's what you're saying, right?
Josef Fares: Yeah. I don't know how people value their time. I know some people feel like they need to have the value for their money. But, for me, actually it's about the experience. What do I feel? What do I get? It's not about how long time it is. It's about what kind of experience do I get, that's the most important. It's even good if a game [inaudible 00:38:36] ... It's rarely I feel that, "Oh, this game was a bit too short." It's way often the opposite, actually.
Larry Hryb: [crosstalk 00:38:44].
Josef Fares: And, actually, looking around, many of the developer friends I have, they rarely finish games, rarely. I haven't tried to finish all the games just to like ... But it's sad. It's just sad.
Larry Hryb: Yeah. I've played some games, to your point, some games that are just way too long but I've powered through to finish it so that I could tell that developer, "No, it doesn't get better at the end. It really doesn't."
Josef Fares: Okay.
Larry Hryb: I've suffered through those. But It Takes Two ... That's not what this is about. It Takes Two, it's coming out on March 26th. We've got it on Windows, it'll be on PlayStation, Xbox. Xbox Series X and S, I know you're a big fan of the names.
Josef Fares: Yeah, super fan. Xbox One?nI mean, seriously, be honest with me now, isn't it confusing, really? Like, what is it? Xbox One, Xbox One X, Xbox S? One S?
Larry Hryb: Yep.
Josef Fares: S? And Xbox One X? What is this? Why not Xbox One and Two and Three? You know what you could call it? Xbox ... No, no. Xbox One Mess.
Larry Hryb: Well, I'll tell you this, we talk about ... there's branding people that are far smarter than I am that have figured it out. But [crosstalk 00:39:55].
Josef Fares: Yeah.
Larry Hryb: I remember when people heard the Xbox 360 name and they hated it, right? And they were, "Well, [crosstalk 00:40:00] 360?"
Josef Fares: Oh, okay.
Larry Hryb: Names kind of stick with you after all. But yeah, I mean, it's a little linear when you go one, two, three, four, five.
Josef Fares: Yeah.
Larry Hryb: Just trying to train something up here. But I will tell Phil Spencer your feedback, Josef. I promise [crosstalk 00:40:13].
Josef Fares: I like Phil Spencer, I know him in person, he's a super cool guy. So, I'm going to tell him this myself. He probably heard of it anyways. Phil, if you see this, it's going to be nice to see you again, man. It was a long time. Good work with everything with the Xbox, by the way.
Larry Hryb: He's done a great job and I appreciate you giving him a shout-out. I mean, it's great to see. It Takes Two, it's coming out on EA. It's coming out on EA next month, on March 26th. Any other final words before I let you go? Because you said a lot today.
Josef Fares: Yeah, I talk a lot. That's it. But I just want to say, when the game comes out, you'll be able to try the first hour of the game. Just download the demo and try it in your own hand, and you will see what I mean. It's going to be a crazy ride, that's for sure.
Larry Hryb: Before I let you go, you talked about the demos. Demos were so important, remember? We had demos, a lot of demos back in the day.
Josef Fares: Yeah.
Larry Hryb: It's so great that we're going to have a demo for this game, to get a real slice of what it's all about. So, I want to thank you [crosstalk 00:41:07].
Josef Fares: Yeah. It's quite a lot as well. You will play almost the first hour of the game, just to try it out. And we also have the Friends Pass, you only buy one copy and you can invite your friend. You don't need to have two copies, even.
Larry Hryb: I mean, that's a great thing. Josef, I don't even know what to say. I mean, you're a director, you're a game designer. I'm always excited to talk to you and hear what you're going to do, and I want to [crosstalk 00:41:29]-
Josef Fares: Thank you, man.
Larry Hryb: ... kind of a premature congratulations on the launch of the game even though it's a month away, but maybe we'll get you on again in the future.
Josef Fares: Cool, man.
Larry Hryb: But you're definitely going to come on again in the future. Thank you, Josef.
Josef Fares: Nice talking to you, man.
Larry Hryb: Thank you.
Josef Fares: Take care.
Jeff Rubenstein: Josef Fares did not disappoint. By my count, that was three beeps. So, I'm glad that you rolled out that functionality (beep) just at the right [inaudible 00:41:51].
Larry Hryb: Now I'm ready. I'm officially FCC-compliant here in the United States with the beeps.
Jeff Rubenstein: Look, you need to maintain your family-friendly rating. If we screwed that up, you'd have the E, the Explicit E next to you on Apple Podcast-
Larry Hryb: And the party is over. The party is over.
Jeff Rubenstein: [crosstalk 00:42:05]. Yeah, really cut it off.
Larry Hryb: I mean, I [crosstalk 00:42:07] the line, there were a lot of people in the YouTube comments last week about my Only Fans comment. [crosstalk 00:42:14]?
Jeff Rubenstein: And thanks to everyone who does comment because I enjoy going through there. We, at the very least, put a thumbs-up on different ones and reply to a few of them-
Larry Hryb: Yeah, I reply [crosstalk 00:42:24].
Jeff Rubenstein: ... and it's just really nice to interact there, and we do appreciate that. It's always good to see you in there as well, Larry. So, that's usually what I end up doing Sunday. I'm like, "You know what? My team is losing three-nil. I'm going to go take a look at the YouTube comments. That'll cheer me up." The funny thing is, it usually does. Because the comments are good and the criticism is usually constructive. So, we thank you for that.
Larry Hryb: We appreciate that, of course.
Jeff Rubenstein: Please keep that level of decorum for all YouTube videos that you may comment on. The world would be a better place if everybody that commented, commented as constructively as you all did. So, thank you.
Larry Hryb: We're on a mission to make the internet nicer.
Jeff Rubenstein: You know what? Just spreading a little bit of positivity. It's literally the least we could do.
Larry Hryb: So, we have this amazing team here at Xbox, we have a lot of great teams. And one of the teams we have here at Xbox is the Consumer Packaging Team or Consumer Packaging Group, CPG. They do like stuff you buy at gear.xbox.com, and they sent Jeff and I boxes of stuff. And it turns out we don't have the same stuff, which is kind of cool.
Jeff Rubenstein: No.
Larry Hryb: So, I don't know if you saw this. This backpack is pretty amazing. All this stuff is available at gear.xbox.com.
Jeff Rubenstein: I did get one of those.
Larry Hryb: This cool backpack-
Jeff Rubenstein: That's my new backpack that I'll be using once we ... laptop bag once we actually go into work.
Larry Hryb: I got this throw. I got this really nice-
Jeff Rubenstein: I did! I got that right here. So-
Larry Hryb: You do? Are you keeping warm?
Jeff Rubenstein: Yeah.
Larry Hryb: Because I know you do get ... It's a bit drafty.
Jeff Rubenstein: This ... It is ... Well, I mean, this is something ... I'm on the lower level here. Can you give me the full screen, Larry?
Larry Hryb: Yeah, of course.
Jeff Rubenstein: I need the full screen for this blanket. Yeah. So, it's just a very soft touch and it's got Xbox logos and ABXY, and ... I missed that.
Larry Hryb: This one-
Jeff Rubenstein: Yeah, I definitely like that.
Larry Hryb: This is so cool t-shirt that is tagless t-shirt that I have here, which is kind of neat-
Jeff Rubenstein: I don't have that one.
Larry Hryb: Yeah, this one's cool. So, I've got that one. What else do I have?
Oh, this is one of my favorites, Jeff. This is-
Jeff Rubenstein: Go on.
Larry Hryb: I don't know why, but I absolutely love this.
Jeff Rubenstein: Oop, let's go to you.
Larry Hryb: Let me bring this up. Are you ready? This is ...
Jeff Rubenstein: What?
Larry Hryb: It's a pillow. It's a controller pillow. There's the YouTube ... There's our YouTube thumbnail this week.
Jeff Rubenstein: Wait. No, we get to the thumbnail, get that back out.
Larry Hryb: All right.
Yeah. Actually, no, we need to go the other way.
Jeff Rubenstein: It's a tender episode-
Larry Hryb: [crosstalk 00:44:58]. Go back, go back, go the way you were going.
Jeff Rubenstein: Yeah. It's always reversed.
Larry Hryb: Okay, there we go. Anyway.
Jeff Rubenstein: Always a good use of your time, viewers. Thank you.
Larry Hryb: I've got the game drive for Xbox which works with Xbox ...
Jeff Rubenstein: Oh, I don't have that one. I do have the Gear's one.
Larry Hryb: Yeah, this is a nice-
Jeff Rubenstein: That's cool.
Larry Hryb: This is a nice two-terabyte portable hard drive that works with any of your consoles. Of course, on Series X and S, you store back-to-back games on here and whatnot.
Jeff Rubenstein: Always good for that. So, he sent over to us ...
Larry Hryb: [crosstalk 00:45:30].
Jeff Rubenstein: ... we're going to have a little bit of warfare in our house. We'll be dual-wielding needlers. How cool is that?
Larry Hryb: I have-
Jeff Rubenstein: It's the little NERF pistols.
Larry Hryb: I got a needler and the most powerful gun in the game, the pistol.
Jeff Rubenstein: You could zoom in! I hope it's got a scope on it, because that was always ... I always loved using the ... was it the Magnum in that game?
Larry Hryb: [crosstalk 00:45:52] the new Halo: Reach book. There's a lot of Halo stuff in here.
Jeff Rubenstein: Oh, very cool.
Larry Hryb: I've got some glasses, Halo sunglasses. I didn't even know they made something [crosstalk 00:46:04].
Jeff Rubenstein: That seems like your luck.
Larry Hryb: And a ...
Jeff Rubenstein: Actually, you got to get them to your kid.
Larry Hryb: No, I have [crosstalk 00:46:11]-
Jeff Rubenstein: They look like they're kid-sized.
Larry Hryb: ... there's some young kids up the street [inaudible 00:46:13], that come by every now and then, so maybe I'll give ... Oh, this is actually really, really neat. I'm glad we've done these. This is pretty cool. Socks.
Jeff Rubenstein: Oh yeah? Yeah, Larry?
Larry Hryb: There's one, two, three, four, five.
Jeff Rubenstein: Larry?
Larry Hryb: Got something show me there, Jeffrey? Let's [crosstalk 00:46:30].
Jeff Rubenstein: I got to zoom out here, because ... All right. Well, first of all, the socks, which-
Larry Hryb: Now we're really in Only Fans territory. Oh, those are nice.
Jeff Rubenstein: They're really comfortable, they are nice, and they have ... I can't, I'm not flexible enough, but they have that there and-
Larry Hryb: Oh, going back?
Jeff Rubenstein: ... the controller. This is what we've become. I'm not flexible enough to get my leg up there. But also, these joggers.
Larry Hryb: Oh yeah, I didn't get those. I got the pillow, I didn't get the joggers. Let me go fullscreen. So, gear.xbox.com if you want to check any of this stuff out.
Jeff Rubenstein: I mean, I spent my entire life ... I've worn jeans or non-sweat pants, you can count in the last year, you can count on one hand how many times I've not worn sweatpants. So, I'm usually wearing the Nike Tech Fleece which are definitely the gold standard there, but these are really good. They're not super baggy. I'll be wearing these out and it's not like overly branded, there's just a little ABXY up by the left pocket. Definitely a big fan of these.
So, definitely go to gear.xbox.com for these and more.
Larry Hryb: You know what else I have, is they sent me one of these long coats.
Jeff Rubenstein: Ooh. That's a good one.
Larry Hryb: Yeah. [crosstalk 00:47:55].
Jeff Rubenstein: I mean, it's Chief. Of course it's a good one.
Larry Hryb: So, anyway. That's kind of a look at some of the [crosstalk 00:47:59]-
Jeff Rubenstein: Yeah, I'm going to have to make room on my shelf for [crosstalk 00:48:00]-
Larry Hryb: So, anyway. Gear.xbox.com. I mean, this team is refreshing the gear over there on a regular basis. I got to get James on, James Monosmith who's one of the ... or John Friend, the team, two of the team members over there that work on this. And they've rebuilt the store, you can do ... It's amazing. So, if you're looking for something for maybe a birthday, a friend that has a birthday, or an anniversary, or whatever, if you just want to give them a good "Hey, man. You're cool" gift, then head over to gear.xbox.com.
Jeff Rubenstein: And some of it is loud, here's the big X on it. And then other ones, nice and subtle. It's just sort of like a wink, "Hey, I'm a gamer too." And how many times have you met somebody new and you find out very quickly you have gaming in common and then [crosstalk 00:48:44], you're just off and running?
Larry Hryb: Oh, wait a minute, [crosstalk 00:48:45] didn't send us?
Jeff Rubenstein: What?
Larry Hryb: Go to gear.xbox.com. Did you see this bling right at the top? What is this? They didn't send us any of that.
Jeff Rubenstein: Wait a second. What? I have the mask. What I don't have is the gold chain-
Larry Hryb: The gold chain-
Jeff Rubenstein: ... with the Swarovski crystals.
Larry Hryb: ... or the two-fingered ring. I didn't realize we were licensing this stuff.
Jeff Rubenstein: All right. Yeah.
Larry Hryb: That's ...
Jeff Rubenstein: I like the mug too. I like a good mug. Actually, there's this really cool Kait Diaz manga Gears shirt, which when you mouse over it, our good friend and co-worker Blain Howard is the model for that.
Larry Hryb: For which one?
Jeff Rubenstein: So, the Owl ... For the Kait Diaz Gears ... So, you look for the blue omen and when you mouse over it ... It's a really cool shirt and I will have to pick that up.
Larry Hryb: I will [crosstalk 00:49:38]-
Jeff Rubenstein: Hopefully I'll be wearing it next episode.
Larry Hryb: ... there's all these different collections. Oh, there it is. Yeah, there it is. Oh yeah, very nice.
Jeff Rubenstein: Very cool.
Larry Hryb: Anyway, check that out when you get ... Oh there's Blain. Oh, Blain. [crosstalk 00:49:50].
Jeff Rubenstein: We have a very good-looking coworker and I will not fill the shirt out the same way.
Larry Hryb: And he is the first to tell you that, too.
Jeff Rubenstein: It's true. He puts in the hours. When I'm awake, I'll know that he's ... When I wake up, he's already been up for hours [crosstalk 00:50:03]-
Larry Hryb: When you and I were at Shake Shack, he's-
Jeff Rubenstein: ... pumping the iron.
Larry Hryb: And I'd have it no other way.
Jeff Rubenstein: Yes, it's a protein shake. Yeah, true enough.
Larry Hryb: Oh boy. Yeah, so that's kind of the gear we got going this week. Some good stuff, wasn't it?
Jeff Rubenstein: Absolutely, yeah. No, thanks to the gear team. Again, great stuff and I love seeing that out. Walking around town, I'll see someone wearing the hat or wearing one of the shirts, and it's always just like ... I get a good feeling about this one.
Larry Hryb: You know what we're going to do? We're kind of coming to the end of the show this week. Next week, I got some really cool planned. We always have cool stuff planned. Next week ... we are going to be taking-
Jeff Rubenstein: What are we doing?
Larry Hryb: ... a dive ... on this.
Jeff Rubenstein: Ooh. The Xbox wireless headset, all new, coming out this month.
Larry Hryb: We're going to take a look at that.
Jeff Rubenstein: That'll be really cool.
Larry Hryb: We have some other cool stuff planned. It's always a fun week here, it's always a fun week at Xbox. I didn't get to see you this week, other than when we played together. Am I going to see at all this week?
Jeff Rubenstein: This is it, Larry. I wanted you to bring that Mustang by the house-
Larry Hryb: Oh, should we talk about the Mustang?
Jeff Rubenstein: ... but you didn't make it [crosstalk 00:51:09]. Sure.
Larry Hryb: Yeah. So, Ford, which they're friends of the show, fans of the show, they were like, "Hey, we know you like technology. Would you want to take a look at the new Ford Mustang?" which is this four-door ... If you go to my Instagram, I was uploading some photos of it, you can kind of take a look there. Unfortunately, I had to return it today, by the way, Jeff, so I apologize. But I'll see if I can get it again.
But they sent this Mustang to me. It's a Ford a four-door Mustang, which a lot of Mustang experts are going to go, "Whoa, no." But I got to tell you, as somebody who's had a Tesla and had BMW electric cars, this is not a bad out-of-the gate effort for Ford. A lot of things I really ... I'm not a big fan and you'll see that I call this out in the video, in the middle of the console for, down near your thigh where you're kind of shifting, it's got the circular dial to do a park-and-reverse and I'm not a fan of that model-
Jeff Rubenstein: You like the manual, you want to put it into overdrive, and [crosstalk 00:52:04]?
Larry Hryb: I don't even need that. Both my Tesla and my BMW, they had something up here, on the stock, where you just hit it up, drive and go. But anyway, this was an amazing vehicle for what it is, in terms of the whole ... The whole top was glass. I've got some pictures of it that I should probably send you. But yeah, it was really kind of cool that what they've done out of the gate. The UI looked great, it was ... I mean, go watch the Instagrams. I was filling up my Instagram stuff with this and Jeff has like, "Ugh, enough already," I'm sure.
Jeff Rubenstein: No, it is really cool seeing all these different automakers get into electric cars. It's pushing it forward. And I had a Chevy Bolt for a few years, I'm out of lease now. And when, we start going back to work, the kid goes back to school, good chance I will have a need for a new vehicle and I'll definitely be looking at all these different electrics, because-
Larry Hryb: Yeah. There are more and more now.
Jeff Rubenstein: ... it's great.
Larry Hryb: So anyway. So, I really enjoyed that one. Go check my Instagram out if you want and you'll see the outside, the inside. I don't want to say do a detailed look, and there's a ton of videos out on YouTube about this, but I tell them, "Hey, I want to look at the technology, because electric is great, I love it. But I want to see how does it integrate with your phone, what kind of remote experiences ... " And one of the funniest experiences, I have to send this to you, Jeff.
I don't think I've told you this one. This is a funny story.
Jeff Rubenstein: All right.
Larry Hryb: One of our cars that my wife just got is the X5. Did I send you this video, with the cameras?
Jeff Rubenstein: You did.
Larry Hryb: Okay, [crosstalk 00:53:31].
Jeff Rubenstein: You did, actually. Yeah.
Larry Hryb: So, it's funny. Anyway, [crosstalk 00:53:34]-
Jeff Rubenstein: You got to edit that in.
Larry Hryb: It has this ability to ... Well, I don't to because it's got pictures my house and all that stuff in it that I don't mind sharing with you. But it just has the ability to take all the cameras around it and then send them to you, remote. It's an amazing feature. I really enjoy what the car manufacturers are doing, to your point about getting them connected because it's what we want. We want to know what's going on. "Where's our car? Can we heat it up or cool it down, are the windows up or down? Is it locked?" and all of that in ... I almost said in-game, the in-game stuff that you get.
Jeff Rubenstein: Yeah, I was watching the Golden Globes, or at least part of it, this weekend and there was a commercial for the Nissan Kicks, which is a car that I've ... If you've rented a car recently, they probably had that as an option. And we did rent one, I was going to a wedding, right before all this went down. But the new one, you can actually start, get into the car, and I think you might even be able to start it with your smartwatch-
Larry Hryb: Oh, here you go.
Jeff Rubenstein: ... which I think is really cool.
Larry Hryb: So, this is the view.
Jeff Rubenstein: There it is.
Larry Hryb: That's the rendered car and I was trying to figure out where the cameras are and I'm bent over and looking at them and [crosstalk 00:54:40]-
Jeff Rubenstein: You look like ... You're like that country singer, coming out of the mountains, like, "Yeah!" That's what I was reminded of.
Larry Hryb: The Nissan Kicks, I've got to go take a look at that. I'm not familiar with that vehicle.
Jeff Rubenstein: Yeah, it was a cool commercial. More and more, so much of it is ... how it integrates into the rest of your life. And, look, if I don't have to carry a key? Which, by the way, I lose keys all the time. It would be really nice if it's like, "Oh," it just attaches to my phone, it attaches to my watch. I don't have to do anything.
Larry Hryb: So, let's talk about this for a second, Jeff, because I don't think I've done this with you yet.
Jeff Rubenstein: Okay.
Larry Hryb: So-
Jeff Rubenstein: Go on.
Larry Hryb: This car that we have here has a digital key. And so, to your point, I don't even carry a key when I take this ... Not the Ford. The Ford has one, I didn't get a chance to do it. But it has a digital key so I just need my phone. And what I'm doing right now, Jeff, if you check your phone, I just sent you a key to my car over text.
Jeff Rubenstein: You did? You have a lot of trust in me because ... I'm going to go on a joy ride.
Larry Hryb: So, yeah-
Jeff Rubenstein: Oh my god.
Larry Hryb: ... to the point of using your ... A lot of people use their watches, as you said, or their phones because we all have our phones. Now, if you were to say, "Hey, can I borrow ... ?" I would just send you the ... And, by the way, I can revoke it, obviously. I just hit one button and you're-
Jeff Rubenstein: No, too late. I'm turning my phone off so you can't revoke it. [crosstalk 00:56:05] that's how it works.
Larry Hryb: But yeah, this is the kind of the stuff that I'm happy that car manufacturers are putting in now. What I said with the Ford Mustang was the key, because that's what I did. This is where Tesla really pulls ahead in a lot of areas, is they update it frequently. They update your operating systems so they're going to ... I remember over the course of owning my Tesla Model X, I had a dozen to two dozen new features that, without me doing anything, they just appeared. So, I'm looking forward to seeing what commitment the car manufacturers have to their platforms and then, of course, to making things better.
Jeff Rubenstein: As long as I can buy my next car with Dogecoin, that's what I'm really looking at doing.
Larry Hryb: [crosstalk 00:56:45].
Jeff Rubenstein: That'll be the deciding factor.
Larry Hryb: I'm going to have to take this. I got to pull this car. I got to pull this back, I don't want you to come over and start driving my car. Invitation [crosstalk 00:56:54]-
Jeff Rubenstein: I don't know where you live, Larry, because you've never invited me. So, you're safe. You're safe.
Larry Hryb: Right there. Unlock and drive, revoke access, revoke access. Oh boy.
Jeff Rubenstein: Bright red. I wonder if it sends me a note that says, "Guess what, too late. You've lost your license to drive, you've been grounded."
Larry Hryb: It says, "Canceled," on my phone. Anyway.
Jeff Rubenstein: No.
Larry Hryb: All right, gang. We-
Jeff Rubenstein: One day.
Larry Hryb: One day. One day, what?
Jeff Rubenstein: We're going to be back at the office and I'm just going to make off with your car. I don't know, I don't have an endgame here, Larry. It's just a crime of opportunity.
Larry Hryb: We'll let you guys go. We'll be back next week, we got a ... We actually have something ... What? What are you laughing at?
Jeff Rubenstein: What?
Larry Hryb: Are you in my garage? [crosstalk 00:57:39].
Jeff Rubenstein: No, it's just ... You were like, "We're going to end this right now." And you know what? It's the right call.
Larry Hryb: I got to go outside and make sure Jeff is not in my car. He's not in my car, I know he's ...
Jeff Rubenstein: Got a lot of change out here.
Larry Hryb: But we got to-
Jeff Rubenstein: You keep 5 dollars in change in the ashtray.
Larry Hryb: Does anybody keep change in their ashtray anymore? It drives me crazy because it rattles around.
Jeff Rubenstein: Yeah. No, I don't know. Go on.
Larry Hryb: Well, we got a-
Jeff Rubenstein: You got a good guest next week?
Larry Hryb: Yeah, we've got some guests next week, we've got some cool stuff. We have some special things, I don't want to say them because I don't want to spoil them nor ... I don't want to say anything until they're, as we say in the biz, in the can.
Jeff Rubenstein: There we go.
Larry Hryb: But I've got a lot of stuff planned, so stay tuned for that. You and I will be back next week.
Jeff Rubenstein: All right-
Larry Hryb: Will we?
Jeff Rubenstein: ... I'll be happy to be here.
Larry Hryb: Will we?
Jeff Rubenstein: Look, every week is a gift, Larry.
Larry Hryb: That's-
Jeff Rubenstein: Every time I show up here, it's like, "Well, we made it another week."
Larry Hryb: That's exactly [crosstalk 00:58:27].
Jeff Rubenstein: So, I'll take it.
Larry Hryb: All right, my friends. We'll see you guys later. Jeff, final words? You want to do the like and subscribe thing?
Jeff Rubenstein: Yeah. Please leave your comments on YouTube, please like and subscribe. It does help the show and we love interacting with you. So, we will spend time in there. If you have constructive criticism, we'll take it.
Larry Hryb: Yeah. Thank you very much and we'll see you guys next week. Bye-bye, everybody.
Jeff Rubenstein: Bye.