Xbox Product Manager
[THEME MUSIC] LARRY HERB: Hi, it's Larry Herb, Xbox's Major Nelson. Welcome back to the official Xbox podcast, although I feel like you should be welcoming us back because we've gone for a couple of weeks. But Jeff is here, Rebecca is here. We're back, we're in September. Welcome back, guys.
REBECCA: Man, this year is flying by. Why do you have to put it that way?
LARRY HERB: Well--
JEFF: I know.
LARRY HERB: We didn't do a show last week because the holiday, the summer in the northern hemisphere, our friends down under are starting to get into spring. But we're--
JEFF: Larry, you're this guy that you go to Australia once and then you keep talking about the--
REBECCA: All my friends.
LARRY HERB: I've been four times, pal. I've been four times, so I'm almost a resident.
JEFF: Yeah, you're like, oh, this fall weather is really crisp, or is it spring weather? It's getting toasty. You're bi-hemispheral.
LARRY HERB: OK, if that's a thing. But we're here-- we're here.
JEFF: You're making it a thing.
LARRY HERB: We're having fun.
REBECCA: It's nice to be back, yeah.
LARRY HERB: It is nice to have all of you back. We were off last week because we were all-- I know a couple of weeks ago, we did a show-- we were just coming off Gamescom. We're headed right into Tokyo Game Show, which as this show airs, recently is in the process of happening, Jeff's going to cover all the news that we announce. So I'm excited.
JEFF: If I look tired, it's from staying up all night because every time I go to bed, they [INAUDIBLE] New York is a game, so I have to stay up all night so I don't miss anything.
LARRY HERB: I don't want to hear any excuses. I need you to go get some boss coffee and just deal with it.
JEFF: I actually I am drinking it. I'm not even joking. It's not in the can, I have the--
REBECCA: I know, I was like-- OK. We'll take your word for it.
LARRY HERB: Anyway, OK. Keep down on your coffee, get ready for your segment coming up in a little bit, talk about the Tokyo Game Show. We're going to talk a little bit about what we're playing. We've got a lot of news to go over. We are going to-- you know what this means, right Rebecca? You know what this means, right?
REBECCA: Oh. Ooh.
LARRY HERB: We're going to bust out--
REBECCA: Larry's putting the gloves on.
LARRY HERB: The new controls.
JEFF: You just spoiled it.
LARRY HERB: No, I got a whole bunch of stuff to show, so don't worry about that. I want to get people-- just want to whet the appetite a little bit. But I want to jump into-- we'll go through what we're playing because we got a lot of news to go over. I don't know, Jeff or Rebecca. Jeff, you want to go first on what you're playing? You talked about Yakuza, I'm sure you're playing another one.
JEFF: Well there's been a lot of games announced. 2023 is shaping up to be--
REBECCA: It's an exciting week.
JEFF: Absolutely crazy. And so I'm doing my best to actually finish the games I'm playing. So I spent a lot of time with Soul Hackers 2. I think I mentioned it last time, I won't go too deep into it. I'm pretty close to beating it, but I love it and I have to finish it before Persona 5 comes out next month. Once we hit in October, there's really a lot coming and so I am buckling down on my fun and making sure that I do it in an orderly fashion. Oh, and the other thing is--
LARRY HERB: If you're buckling down on the fun, is it really fun?
JEFF: No, it's just being disciplined. Not just flitting from game to game. Like that looks cool, there's games I really want to try. I heard really great things about Immortality. Last week, the Kinda Funny games cast folks were saying it was one of the games of the year. It's out on Game Pass. I have it there. There. See, right there.
It's right there. Yeah, that's Immortality. I'm just hearing amazing stuff. So I'm hoping if I finish Soul Hackers 2, buy it this weekend. I'll play Immortality this weekend and I'll be ready. I'll be ready for what's next because if you fall behind, 2023 is not going to be the year to catch up, let me tell you.
LARRY HERB: Not at all. Not at all. So yeah, it's been a few weeks. Rebecca, what are you doing? I mean, I don't know if you've even had a chance to play because I know you've been traveling.
REBECCA: Well, I haven't been traveling for a while, but I am getting ready to leave on vacation this weekend. But--
LARRY HERB: Holiday. You're on your annual leave, are you?
REBECCA: Yes. I had a friend visiting, so I haven't played as much. Thankfully, she's also very nerdy so we've been watching all the really good TV that came out the last couple of weeks. So what we nicknamed Hot Dog, so House of the Dragon, but then you add OG to the end of it, it becomes Hot Dog.
LARRY HERB: OK.
REBECCA: And then also the Rings of Power. And then there's also a new cyberpunk anime that's out on Netflix, which I just started last night. It's--
LARRY HERB: Edge Runners--
REBECCA: Kind of bizarre. Yeah. Edge Runners, yeah. But then I also-- I got the chance to play, I mean, it's not exciting. But I jumped back into Injustice because we were doing Couch Co-op-- sorry, not co-op-- PBB. But yeah, we were playing Injustice. Basically, just playing it so that we could see all of the different like. Super moves. I know it's a game that's been out for like five years, something like that. But it's a really good fighting game, especially if you're nerdy.
JEFF: Considering the fact that it's not Mortal Kombat because a lot of those moves we saw for the first time, those types of moves I want to say like MK9. It is a brutal game. They really just beat the ever living stuffing out of each other and it is-- is that g-rated enough?
LARRY HERB: That's great.
JEFF: I was like, whoa. It's a very hard hitting game, I love it.
LARRY HERB: All right.
REBECCA: What about you, Larry? What have you been playing?
LARRY HERB: I've been-- Jeff and I a couple of weeks ago played, we talked about our Saints Row. So I'm kind of chipping away at the Saints Row. Look at what else I have up here. Cult of the Lamb, which Phil Spencer has been badgering me about. It's good, it's really good. So he rightfully so said this is one you should look at. So those are really the only two-- I was away last week. That's why we weren't able to do the show. I had to go to Atlanta for some business.
So I was down there. Game Camp, which is a great event that we do with our friends at Xbox Game Studios do it. So I was down there meeting with some college students, looking at their games. And there's some really cool stuff that we're working with them on. So yeah, so I've been playing the travel game, which you're about to embark on.
REBECCA: I hope you wore that shirt. That's a really cool shirt.
JEFF: Yeah, tell us about-- forget what you're playing, what are you wearing?
LARRY HERB: Well this is--
REBECCA: What are you wearing?
LARRY HERB: This is the Xbox--
REBECCA: It's Fashion Week.
JEFF: Who are you wearing?
LARRY HERB: This is the Xbox Elite white core Jersey, now available at gear.xbox.com. Check this out. Check this out.
REBECCA: Matching controller.
LARRY HERB: No, no, it's really-- it's interesting. So these are some of the elite parts.
JEFF: Are those the buttons? When you buy a suit, like it's got the extra button.
REBECCA: Oh, my God.
JEFF: Oh, they stick.
LARRY HERB: It's magnetic. So they stick up here.
REBECCA: What a party trick that is.
JEFF: Is there a cup holder on the back of the shirt?
LARRY HERB: Well, no. So this shirt is you can get it over there. By the way, in full disclosure, the gear store sent one for each of you. So I have a shirt for each of you, Rebecca you're going to have to come back out and get it.
JEFF: We're matching next week.
LARRY HERB: But not only does it have this magnetic strip here to put your elite parts on, but it has this little zippered area you can put stuff in over here.
REBECCA: For when they're not on display mode anymore.
LARRY HERB: And then over here is like this Velcro section, you can put a patch on, I guess like some military wear.
JEFF: That's for the-- that's for the cup holder. You can--
LARRY HERB: Oh no, now Jeff, I know this is going to make--
REBECCA: But there's more.
LARRY HERB: Warning, this next section may make you uncomfortable. This shirt has something I've never seen before. It is a moisture wicking microfiber towel panel. Where is it you ask? Well, let me show you. It's got a little zipper and it flips up.
JEFF: Whoa we are now rated PG after that session.
LARRY HERB: So you kind of see that the--
JEFF: Oh, now we just moved to PG 13.
LARRY HERB: There's two zippers. And the two zippers flip up.
JEFF: Larry, Larry, before we get to--
LARRY HERB: I told you you would like--
REBECCA: The shirt came off.
LARRY HERB: Oh, anyway, so this is the Xbox elite core white jersey, which matches the controller that I'm going to show off in just a few minutes. Unless we should do it-- should we do that now? I mean, should we talk about the new controller?
REBECCA: I would love to.
LARRY HERB: Yeah, I feel like--
REBECCA: It's so cute that they made a shirt that's kind of customizable and similar to the Elite controller.
JEFF: It's a high performance gear.
LARRY HERB: This is-- what you're seeing here, this is the-- here it is right here. This is the Xbox Elite Series 2.
LARRY HERB: Jeff, do you have the copy on that? You can kind of read along.
JEFF: Yeah, I'll bring that up. Why don't you go full screen here, Larry?
LARRY HERB: Yeah, so I'll do that. And then you can take a look at what this thing looks like. So here we go. So this is the controller.
JEFF: This is the Xbox Elite wireless controller series 2 Core in white. It's designed to be the core needs of today's competitive gamers, putting an exceptional performance, customization and durability where it matters most: in your hands. We're giving fans more choice than ever with two elite controllers to meet your needs. So we know about the existing Xbox Elite wireless controller, you probably have one behind you there, Larry. But with this one, you basically get to-- it's the most, I'd say price-wise, accessible elite controller because it starts at $129.99.
So if you say I just want the controller, I don't need any additional things. Let's say you're getting a new one, you already had an Elite Series Two, you want a second one. But you don't need a case and everything like that. You get the controller and the USB-C charging cable together for $129.99.
LARRY HERB: Yup, by the way, it also includes the interchangeable d-pad. One of those interchangeable thumb-sticks. And then the thumb-stick adjustment tool. That's all in this one.
REBECCA: Oh, awesome.
JEFF: Very cool.
LARRY HERB: And then--
JEFF: But-- there we go. Look at this. So what we're seeing here is the complete component pack. So you can tailor your controller to the preferred gaming style with interchangeable thumb-sticks, paddle shapes and d-pad. Includes carrying case, charging dock and USB-C cable. It's also my favorite USB-C cable. I remember when we first saw the--
LARRY HERB: It's braided.
JEFF: About the cable, it's braided. I love it.
REBECCA: Oh, that's nice.
JEFF: And that retails for $59.99. So buy what you need. Don't buy what you don't. We're giving you more choice.
LARRY HERB: So anyway. We've got these here. And those are pre-order now, Jeff, right? And they'll go on sale, I believe, in a couple of weeks.
JEFF: Yes, that is correct. They are available for pre-order now. I'm scrolling as fast as I can. And the date, it is, yeah, it's coming up in a couple of weeks.
LARRY HERB: So anyway, that's--
REBECCA: So do--
LARRY HERB: Yes, go ahead.
REBECCA: Do we think that there's going to be a shirt plus controller gift set for this holiday because that would be--
LARRY HERB: Well, it's a good question. I mean, it feels like that-- let me take all my parts off here, if you don't mind.
REBECCA: I love it.
LARRY HERB: Yeah, I mean--
REBECCA: The shirt is so extra. It's great.
LARRY HERB: There could be. It certainly, I mean, go to Gearxbox.com. The elite core Jersey in white is now available. You can go over to gear.xbox.com right now. And as Jeff said, the controller, the core and the accessory pack, those two things will be available. Pre-order now and available in coming weeks.
REBECCA: You can even, for the lazy gamer, you could even be the Xbox elite controller for Halloween with this Jersey.
LARRY HERB: Maybe I'll just do that. I'll just put a whole bunch of parts on here and go out like that. Of course, knowing my neighborhood, all the kids will pull it off me.
JEFF: So there was one thing in addition that, one, you don't have to show it yet. But that is the fact that the Elite Wireless controller Series Two is coming to design lab this holiday. So if you want to design-- oh.
LARRY HERB: Now, her ears perked up.
JEFF: And it'll have all manner of customization. We're looking forward to talking more about that when it's available.
REBECCA: That's super cool.
LARRY HERB: Yeah, I'm working on getting one of those in with-- we go over there and you can see the new colors and things like that. So we're going to, I'll have one of those to show in a future show. But we're excited, getting into the holiday. Nothing says holiday like new controllers.
REBECCA: Wow, that's so cool. Coming to design lab. I love the design lab stuff, like, honestly, all the customization, bright colors. I mean, the elite controller is cool. But it's black and white. It's kind of boring.
LARRY HERB: When you did your when you did your design labs, did you do Syracuse University colors, like I did?
REBECCA: No, I did my controllers in the living room. But it's a-- I did the neon green, yellow, and then it did like white and gray accents all over it and I put my little gamer tag at the bottom.
LARRY HERB: Yep, that's the way to do it.
JEFF: By the way, September 21. That is when the Xbox Elite wireless controller Series 2--
LARRY HERB: So less than a week,
JEFF: In white will be available. Yeah.
LARRY HERB: Depending upon when you listen to the show, less than a week away. So thank you for covering that up, Jeff. You're on a roll there Jeff and I do not want to interrupt you, but I'm excited because Tokyo Game Show, which is-- I say this about all the shows, but Tokyo Game Show is one of my favorites. You and I haven't gone there for about a decade. Rebecca, you haven't had a chance to go to TGS, have you? First of all, Tokyo is one of my favorite places, period. Full stop.
So the fact that we're back there at the Tokyo Game Show live and in person. And I think Phil's over there, Sarah is over there. We had some great news. Jeff, do you have it in front of you, you can go through it.
JEFF: Yeah, well, the great thing about TGS these days is you don't have to be there. We don't have a booth, to my knowledge, in Tokyo in the Makuhari Messe, rather, TGS comes to you through streams. And a lot of them happening overnight. I had referenced earlier, every time I go to bed I feel like they announce a [INAUDIBLE] is a game. Seriously, three of them announced this week. I can't believe it. But we had a stream that took place overnight, Wednesday into Thursday.
LARRY HERB: Depending upon where you're located.
JEFF: Right, if you're in Japan it was like 6 PM Thursday early evening. And even for folks not in Japan, I would say some pretty notable things were announced. So I'm just going to go through the rundown here.
LARRY HERB: I just want to point something out here is that, I have this-- we're recording this right basically as the stream is happening. So I actually don't know some of the news. Jeff is going to-- we're going to have reaction right now.
JEFF: Very excited.
LARRY HERB: Have at it.
REBECCA: All right. There's going to be one lie. One piece of fake news dropped today, let's pick it out. No, just kidding, just kidding.
JEFF: So there's a notable amount of things available now on Game Pass, which is awesome. I love when there's a show and it's like, hey, go play. One of those things, Assassin's Creed: Odyssey, the biggest Assassin's Creed ever, available on Game Pass. Very exciting. There's a lot of awesome Assassin's Creed news that was announced during Ubisoft forward last weekend. I think three or more games, including one taking place in Japan called I think Projekt Red that will be coming up. But one that'll be coming out next year. That's a little more focused, taking place in Baghdad. Great time to be an Assassin's Creed fan. I'm one of them, Awesome.
Another game that is available today is Danganronpa V3: Killing Harmony. That's the newest mainline entry in the Danganronpa series. It's known for high pressure, real time, like, puzzle solving. Very big game. We announced a new character coming to Overwatch 2. If you're a support character, like I am, and you've been looking for somebody new-- new one named Chirico. Japanese based character, so that's why--
LARRY HERB: Did they go over what the abilities are?
JEFF: Yeah, teleport through walls, which is awesome. You have a healing [INAUDIBLE] You can dash towards enemies to take them out with your Kunai. So I want to say the third Japanese character, but first support. The other two are DPS.
LARRY HERB: Who was the other one? I know there's Genji, who else?
JEFF: It was Genji and Hanzo.
LARRY HERB: Hanzo, of course.
JEFF: You never want to be accused of being a Hanzo man, Larry.
LARRY HERB: And you can trust me, I will not be.
JEFF: So don't forget, Overwatch 2 is coming, October 4. So that's really, really soon.
LARRY HERB: It's almost here.
JEFF: As a support man, very much looking forward to Kiriko. All right, here's one, Larry, that I think you'll like. Normally, I say Larry, you want to play a JRPG, the answer is, I'll let you handle that, Jeff.
LARRY HERB: Jeff, that's your department, yeah.
JEFF: There we go. So available for the first time on Xbox and with Game Pass, Ni no Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch, Remastered. So you might not remember this game. This is a collaboration between level five, who is one of the greatest all time Japanese studios with Studio Ghibli, Larry. So there we go. I got him. Got him on the hook. So Ni no Kuni, I played the original one quite some time ago. I never played Remastered. Well guess what? It is available now on Xbox One, Xbox Series X and S and Windows PC through Xbox Game Pass. And then also announced, the second installment, Ni no Kuni 2: Revenant Kingdom will be available on Xbox next year. That's awesome. You should play this if you haven't before.
Really cool game. A lot of collectible elements, like collecting and training these little--
LARRY HERB: Studio Ghibli?
JEFF: Adorable things. Yes. Studio Ghibli. Those old animation--
LARRY HERB: A lot of people may not know this, but for Studio Ghibli, if is My Neighbor Totoro, Spirited Away, some of the greatest animated films to come out, frankly, ever.
JEFF: So imagine if you could play a Studio Ghibli film, that is Ni no Kuni. I'll leave it at that. It's a great game.
LARRY HERB: I'm in.
JEFF: You should try it out.
REBECCA: You said, is that one coming to Game Pass?
JEFF: That is, it's not coming. It's here now. Which is just amazing. And then also announcing that the-- and it's the remastered version and that Ni no Kuni 2 will come out next year on Xbox.
LARRY HERB: This was on PlayStation 3 like in 2011, or 2012.
JEFF: Yeah, which is when I played it. And it was awesome then. You know, so first--
LARRY HERB: Because you were still a PlayStation in 2011, right?
JEFF: I was. Yeah, so we're going back a long time. So it's been long enough that I'm like, yeah, I'm absolutely going to be playing again. One of the reasons I'm mashing my way through Soul Hackers 2 right now because I want to be able to play this and also play Persona 5, which will be coming super soon as well. So there's a lot to play. There was updates on Eiyuden Chronicles.
OK. This was another awesome thing, which is Death Loop, coming to Xbox next week. So pretty amazing stuff. So announced today, or this week and coming in. There's also going to be some new content along with that called Golden Loop, which brings a new weapon--
LARRY HERB: More loops?
JEFF: Mobility, more loops, new enemy types.
LARRY HERB: We've got Fruit Loop, we've got Loop-De-Loop.
JEFF: Thank you.
REBECCA: Well, but I heard there's been some new updates, like quality of life fixes too, I actually, I don't know if you remember, but earlier this year I started playing Death Loop on one of my friend's gaming PCs. And it was really cool, but I didn't have access to that PC for very long. So I'm really excited it's coming out on Xbox now. So yeah, everyone should give it a shot. Looks pretty cool.
JEFF: It's such a great game, I played it on steam last year. And I will 100%--
LARRY HERB: That was one of your top games last year, if I remember.
JEFF: Oh, 100%, no doubt. And the voice acting is phenomenal. So the new stuff, excited to try that and don't have to wait long, September 20th it will be out on Xbox. A couple non-TG-- well actually, it's not too often that you will be watching the-- on Nintendo Direct, and this was quite a good Nintendo Direct this past week. And find Xbox news, but guess what?
LARRY HERB: There it is.
JEFF: GoldenEye 007 is coming to Xbox Game Pass. So it's been 25 years since that was out on N64. Of course--
LARRY HERB: A quarter of a century?
JEFF: A quarter of a century. So if you-- for a lot of people, that was their first console FPS. And there's a lot of--
REBECCA: I think it was my first console FPS, actually. Yeah.
JEFF: And there was all kinds of interesting game modes, like golden gun and slappers only, and all kinds of stuff. So this is a faithful recreation of the game, to preserve the action incitement of the original. It's not a remake. This is like bringing what this was to--
REBECCA: Leave it with the potato quality.
JEFF: Exactly. And it will-- look, it'll have dual analog stick support, you're like, well, why wouldn't it? On N64, there was only one analog stick and then you had to use the yellow buttons to aim. It was like completely-- do you remember that?
REBECCA: Oh, yes.
JEFF: It was a different era. It's going to have native 16 by 9 widescreen support--
LARRY HERB: Feature, dual analog stick support.
REBECCA: I know, we're like, what?
JEFF: Refresh rate. If you go back and look at it, you're like, OK, that was like-- back in the day, you were playing at, I mean, I don't think it was hitting 30 frames per second back in the day.
LARRY HERB: But who cares?
JEFF: It was different times. It didn't matter back then. But modern--
LARRY HERB: Neither was your TV.
JEFF: Sure, I mean, you're running off 525 scan lines, in all likelihood. Now it'll support--
LARRY HERB: That's the NTSC standard, for those of you keeping track.
JEFF: I did learn something in college. That, for some reason. OK, so anyway, so GoldenEye 007 will be available on Xbox One and Xbox Series X and S, as part of Xbox Game Pass. And additionally, players who own a digital copy of Rare Replay, which was the 30 game compilation of classics from Rare, will also be able to download it and enjoy the game, free of charge. That is a nice touch. Imagine be getting Rare Replay, what was it, 5, 6, 7 years ago.
LARRY HERB: Everyone was asking for Golden Eye. And now that we've been able to deliver it, or Rare was able to deliver it, it's so nice--
REBECCA: Really nice fulfillment on that, yeah.
LARRY HERB: Right, to go back and just has a little surprise gift.
JEFF: So that'll be a walk down memory lane. Last thing I want to talk about, this is not TGS related, but something we all get to access now. A number of updates for-- well, for the PC experience, why don't we start there? So if you are downloading games through, let's say, Game Pass using the Xbox app on PC, there's some new updates there.
My favorite one is they're integrating with-- there's a community site called How Long to Beat, and I use this all the time, especially when I'm starting out playing a lot of JRPGs, and some of them can go on for a very long time. Before I start, I want to know what I'm getting into. And you go to How Long to Beat, and it's like, here's effectively, how long people that just like speed around the main story, it'll take you this long.
If you're going to be doing extra stuff, it'll probably take you this long. If you're a completionist, it will take you the 100 hours, or more. And it says that for every game, and people register how long it took them to beat the game. And some days, there's nothing I love to see better than, Oh, it will only take 5 hours to beat this game, great because length is not always the best experience or the best indicator of a great experience. I will say great example being Escape Academy. That only took us, I don't know, 5, 6, hours, 7 hours.
One of my favorite games of the year, but it was great to know it was something we're going be able to play through in a weekend. And you set that aside. So that is getting integrated into the Xbox app on Windows, which is awesome. They're also speeding up how fast the app launches, how fast search works, all those things. So continuing to improve, which is always awesome.
Last thing, and this has-- if you're a PC gamer, this might be good for your console friends and how you communicate with them. We've talked about the testing of Discord Voice coming to consoles, well now it is available to--
LARRY HERB: We had an interview about a month and a half ago when we launched it coming to the insider program.
JEFF: It was announced in July and starting this week, Discord Voice is available on all Xbox Series X and S and Xbox One consoles. You use your phone with the Discord app, you authorize it and then you're able to just move a conversation from there over, and it's great when you're playing cross-platform games, when you're playing games-- any cross-play. A lot of times, Discord is the way that you might want to communicate. And now you can do it through the console. You'll be able to just put the phone down after you connect, play the game, control everything through your dashboard. It's pretty awesome.
LARRY HERB: Yeah, it's all integrated. I mean, you've heard other consoles may have had Discord integration, but this is like deep integration within the user interface. So excited. Thank you, Jeff.
JEFF: Of course.
LARRY HERB: We talked a little bit about-- we've got some other news here and I think Rebecca, you've got some news up over there, right? If you want to pull that up.
REBECCA: Yeah, just a couple of quick things. So first, this upcoming month is Hispanic Heritage Month in the US. So September 15 through October 15, Xbox is trying to honor its Hispanic and Latino community with different ways that folks can get involved. So we usually have a collection, different like games that highlight protagonist stories from Hispanic and Latino communities. We have rewards, different ways for people to donate to organizations that are helping further those communities.
And then we're also just going to be highlighting some community content creators on the Xbox Twitch channel, which is always a good way to find new talent, discover new people who are streaming games and having fun. So check it out. We have an Xbox Wire post up that just went up yesterday. Yeah. And then one more thing, the Sims 4 is going free to play. So I think that starts October 18. Download across PC and most consoles. We will have an Xbox wired post about that as well.
One thing I'm curious about, does the Rosebud hack still work, or is that just like really old school Sims?
LARRY HERB: Now that's a deep question.
JEFF: Go on, this is something I don't know.
LARRY HERB: That's a deep cut, explain that, would you?
REBECCA: Oh, OK. So I played a lot of the Sims back in the day on my dad's PC. It was like one of those-- it's like, let's see how many ways I can kill my Sims characters, or get them to mate with each other. And just anyway, Sims was really fun. But you're always really restricted--
LARRY HERB: I just had health to worry about that when I was in high school, I didn't realize you're doing it in Sims.
REBECCA: Yeah, well anyway. And you only have so much budget to work with the Sims. I think you have a job and you're working. But there was this hack that was the Rosebud, and you could just basically fill up your bank account that way so that you could buy all of the nice furniture. So I would do that. And then it was before I started playing Minecraft, this was really my relaxation creation game because I would create this giant house that I would always think, oh, it's going to have this huge complex manner and it's always just ends up being a really big rectangle, anyway.
And then I'd buy all the most expensive furniture, all the most expensive wallpaper, but anyway, so using Rosebud, you were able to basically pad your bank account very heavily. And it was a cheat.
LARRY HERB: Does that sound familiar, Jeff?
JEFF: No, actually I want to ask you, Larry. What was your favorite cheat code in day? Because I have something in mind, but I want to know--
LARRY HERB: For Sims?
JEFF: An all time favorite, for anything. We all, and don't say the Konami Code because we all know it. Do you have a favorite cheat code--
LARRY HERB: There was one, I'd have to think about it, there was one in Sonic. There was one in Sonic that I used--
JEFF: What did it do?
LARRY HERB: I think you were able to go to any of the levels and move around--
REBECCA: That's really cool.
LARRY HERB: There was something in there and then there was the one in Super Mario World, which always gave you Yoshi.
REBECCA: That's cool.
LARRY HERB: That always gave you Yoshi that I remember.
JEFF: I didn't know about that.
LARRY HERB: And then there was, or you'd always. Of course, there was invincibility, always the Star Man. So anyway, what about you?
JEFF: I always loved back in Doom, so we had computers in school that could play Doom. I did very badly in this class. And when you first started the game, you could type in ID chop ID choppers, and you would get a chainsaw. And it would just--
LARRY HERB: Is that your WiFi Pass code when I come to your house?
JEFF: It is yeah, of course. So id choppers, and then it would just stay under there, and a little notification would come in that would say, doesn't suck, or something like that. And it was signed off by someone's name. Somebody who might be a coworker of ours these days. And then you had the chainsaw. And you could just go vroom all the way through.
So maybe I was just as warped as you, Rebecca, killing your Sims in creative ways.
LARRY HERB: Rebecca, I'm sorry, was the Rosebud-- was that a code like Jeff and I just talked about, or was it something you did like Jeff did in Red Dead Redemption 2.
REBECCA: It was-- so it's been a really long time. So if I'm-- anyway, it's a code. So there was a way that you could-- I don't remember how to do any of it now-- but you could bring up a dialog box, you typed in Rosebud, and then I think you just hit Enter a bunch of times, Your bank account would go tsk, tsk.
JEFF: Ding, ding, ding, ding, ding, ding.
LARRY HERB: OK, got it.
REBECCA: Yeah. And also--
JEFF: Oh, go on please.
REBECCA: I was going to say I mean, now that I think about it, it was really just fires and drowning, how else did they die? I don't know, just got very creative with those kinds of-- anyway.
JEFF: Wow. So what Larry was mentioning is in the early days like right when Red Dead Redemption 2 came out, he had discovered-- he's like, hey, I hear there's a trick over if you come to this village, or an abandoned town, it was a ghos town, I guess.
LARRY HERB: Bank or something.
JEFF: Yeah, there were some sort of abandoned area. Yeah, at the bottom of a hill. And if you did something-- and I remember what it was, you would open up this chest and there would be silver in it, silver a gold. But if you did the right thing, you could just keep reopening the chest and just get like tons and tons of money. So he was like, yeah, come with me and he showed me where it was. And I did it, I'm like, this is great, this is amazing. And then he was like-- and then he turned around and he just shamed me. He's like, I would never do that. That would ruin the experience. This is not what the creator's intended. And I was like, but I, I-- he's like, and then he just logged off. And he just left me.
REBECCA: Clearly, he has no shame or regret about this.
JEFF: He left me wallowing in my own shame and wealth. And it's true, I never needed money for the rest--
LARRY HERB: So now that's-- now let me just, Jeff, we have a moment of honesty?
REBECCA: Opportunity to defend himself.
LARRY HERB: You're right. I would never do that because I spent an hour before doing it and [INAUDIBLE].
JEFF: Oh, you really-- you made me feel, like, maybe I just-- maybe, I didn't rob the bank, maybe I robbed myself. And this is 10 years ago, and you're just now coming clean. All right, we made a lot of progress this week.
LARRY HERB: This was a good show.
JEFF: Nice therapy session.
LARRY HERB: Good-- all right, doctor. Rebecca, can you get us into the interview so we can get out of this uncomfortable moment?
REBECCA: Yeah, this week, you had the chance to chat with Ivy Krislov, who's an Xbox product manager on the Xbox insiders home redesign. So let's check that out.
LARRY HERB: Joining me today is Ivy Krislov, who is the Senior Product Manager for Xbox. Ivy works with our engineers and everybody else, and me and you on the dashboard update. Ivy, welcome to the show.
IVY KRISLOV: Hi, nice to be here.
LARRY HERB: It's great to have you. Now a few days ago, we announced for Xbox insiders because that's where we test a lot of the new features and things coming to Xbox, is that we've invited folks to help us shape the new Xbox home experience, which is a lot of people know what that means. And that is, of course-- and here's a screen of what it looks like. That's the home screen on your console.
And your team is working on kind of updating it and modernizing it. Tell us a little bit about what you all are doing there.
IVY KRISLOV: Yeah, so about a year ago, we started looking into what people were looking for a revamped version of home. And we really consider this to be an evolution of current home. Taking a lot of the things we did well previously and building upon those. And so the first thing we wanted to do was streamline people's browsing experience. Help them find things, like the store, or help them find things like search and settings and pull those out of their most recently useless so that there's more space for games. And get them back into games faster.
And then as you scroll down, we wanted to evolve the discovery experience. So you can't see it a ton in this screenshot, but I'm sure anyone who's testing it currently can tell you, what's below the fold on home now are many different curated lists of games for Game Pass and things to purchase. And really, that's about helping people find new things to play. And all of that's managed on the service. So from an engineering perspective, the last year has been us putting into place this infrastructure that will allow us to test this stuff much more quickly, react to your feedback much more quickly.
Something that a lot of Xbox fans might not know is that, typically, it can take us three months to test really small features. And so our hope is that by building this infrastructure, we can test stuff, get your feedback, iterate, and come back to you with something even better.
LARRY HERB: I also want to point out that you have a blog post up on the insider blog that I can link to in this podcast, but this is going to insiders first. And for those of you that don't know, I'm sure people listen this podcast know, but I'll explain it, insider's is an early look, as I said a moment ago with some of the features. You have to opt in and sign up for it. And as you said, Ivy, even though you're in insiders, you may not see this home page yet because you guys are doing a test, what's called in the web space an A/B test. Like hey, what does it look like if we give this to group A and this group B to see what they're doing in terms of what performs better.
But I also want to point out that what I just showed here-- and let me bring it up again, is this is the beginning. This is where you're starting. And you're going to start taking feedback. It's not going to be-- everyone's not going to see this in a week, or probably not even a month, or maybe not even in two months. But this is a journey because you're trying to find out what makes a better home page, right? I don't want to put words in your mouth, so feel free to correct me.
IVY KRISLOV: That's totally true. We are not even anticipating having something we would send to everybody until towards the end of this calendar year. And at that point, we'll continue to be evaluating feedback that we're getting from the program and making a call based on how successful we are.
LARRY HERB: Yeah, and that's something I also want to point out is-- you've been around Xbox for quite a while, I've been around frankly, since the beginning. But I've seen all of these evolution's. I remember doing updates to the original Xbox dashboard. And then of course, the Xbox 360 dashboard X1. And there's kind of this meme in the community that we change things all the time just to change them. But we're-- if you look back, you'll see that it's an evolutionary.
First of all, I want to point out one thing right away because I know people are going to drop in the YouTube chats, or hit me up on Twitter, you on Twitter. No, you can't have the blades back. That was lovely, that was nice. But you can't have the blades back because they don't really scale, as we say, in the business to what we want to do. But tell us about your design approach, you kind of went over a little bit a moment ago. But tell us about the design approach for the modern version, this updated version that you're working on?
IVY KRISLOV: So the biggest piece, when you're just looking at this comp of the very top of home is, one, we've obviously changed the size of the most recently used list, the jump back in list. And that's just to take better advantage of game art. This is something we've already seen feedback about and that we'll be continuing to tweak as we go.
LARRY HERB: Can you tell us about some of the feedback?
IVY KRISLOV: Yeah. So the feedback we've gotten so far with the test has been that top row is obscuring dynamic backgrounds a little more than some customers would like. And I can empathize with that, I love my dynamic background. I have our little Xbox mascot as mine. So we're actually-- we have a meeting set up for tomorrow to go look at all of that feedback and start to talk about, hey, how would we address this? What tweaks do we want to make for the next test, which we are currently planning to do in October.
LARRY HERB: And before you continue, I want to point out something. The feedback that Ivy's talking about is people that are in the insider program. You can hold down the Control button and there's a thing called send feedback. And that actually goes right into-- I don't know what it's called. It used to be called the raid. I don't know what-- it's just product studio, right? It goes right into the database that you, as engineers and product managers look at.
So I mean, certainly you're going to look at Twitter and Reddit and some of these other places, but that's the feedback because we know these people are using it, right? And these are people that have things to say. So I just want to point out what that feedback, that feedback--
IVY KRISLOV: I get an email. I get an email every morning at 8:00 AM with your feedback. And it's the first thing that I read usually on my phone.
LARRY HERB: Don't start Ivy off with a-- don't start her day off poorly. Be kind. Anyway, go ahead Ivy. Let's continue about the design approach.
IVY KRISLOV: Yeah, so the other stuff that we did for top of home is we pulled the store out of the most recently used list. We pulled settings out of the most recently used list and we added those as permanent entry places on home. So you can see there on the upper right, we have the settings, little gear. And on the second row, we have the Microsoft Store button next to your library, my games and apps. And that's really just about making those things more streamlined in terms of-- especially new customers, discovery of these places, it was just a little tough for them. And similarly--
LARRY HERB: I want to jump in here for a second. Let me just show-- I don't mean to cut you off, but this is actually my console. And you can see, you've got this big settings there and I've got the rewards and the accessory and the stores over there. So that does away with most of this and cleans it up significantly to what will be something like this, right?
IVY KRISLOV: Yeah, Yeah. That's totally right. The other one that we've pulled out here is that settings bar-- or not settings bar, sorry, search bar on the top. And that's one where we've actually had search on the console for, well as long as I've been in Xbox. Maybe Larry remembers the before time. But most customers aren't aware that you can search from home. They think that you have to go into the store to search. And the thing that's nice about home search is that it also searches, things like your settings, help topics from the assist app, stuff like that. So we wanted to pull that out, make it more accessible to people. Make it so they don't have to click into the store to find mapping.
LARRY HERB: And I also want to point out that, Ivy, this is what we're showing today are changes that you're working on, as we've said. We're testing, we're going through it. This is not final at all. But you're also-- I mean, you can still find many of these features in the guide, right? So that's also something that-- and I know we haven't talked about this part, but are we doing anything with the guide?
IVY KRISLOV: We're considering. We don't have any plans right now. It is one of the things that we have been tossing around, especially with the amount of feedback we've been getting around, hey, I want more customization. I want more options around pinning my games and maybe evolving the approach there in guide. But nothing to share yet.
LARRY HERB: OK, good to know. All right. I'll let you continue on here. And again, if you want to participate and maybe brighten Ivy's day up every morning at 8:00 AM, feel free to join insiders and let send that feedback. But I'll let you continue on here because I know we've got a lot to talk about.
IVY KRISLOV: As you scroll down on home, you will see a bunch of content that is served from our service back end. And this is the aspect that I was talking about where everything is super flexible. We're able to change things up at a drop of a hat and show you different content. And we want to balance that with content that customers have come to expect below the fold on home.
Today, most customers have their default content blocks, like store, the community, Game Pass, et cetera. And then they have maybe one or two pinned games that they really care about. And what we see is that not that many customers are using other kinds of content blocks like clubs, or friends. And so for the vast majority of customers, we wanted to make better use of that space.
People don't scroll down that often because they're going to be jumping right into games from top of home. That makes perfect sense. So how do we help people with that 80% of the time that they do scroll down. And so to do that, we've started by building an infrastructure where we can put different game channels with curation, with personalization, with customization in front of the customer. And then as we progress through these tests, which right now we're in the first one, but we already have two more planned, adding different content types in.
So for example, for customers who use their console to watch TV, we're going to be adding a media experience. And I'm certainly one of those, always watching Crunchyroll and Netflix on my console most weeknights, do most of my gaming on the weekends. And that's actually also one of the most common pinned groups on home, is people pinning their apps that they want to watch TV with. So we know that's important and we want to make sure we're emphasizing that. The other one--
LARRY HERB: I know that-- I'm sorry, I know we see in the screenshot and, again, we don't have live code here because it's being tested so all I have is a screenshot. But in this screenshot, we see all games, but we could see, like you said, Crunchyroll in this area as well, correct? Even though it's not represented here.
IVY KRISLOV: Absolutely, yeah.
LARRY HERB: OK, just want to make sure I talk about that. All right, I'll let you continue on.
IVY KRISLOV: No, I just get into a role, feel free to interrupt me. The other one that we know we want to tackle on this one is most likely for our third test is taking the game blocks that customers already pinned to home and evolving them to look and feel more like this new version of home, but stay true to the customers followed games and have those represented on home with content.
We also hope to add more information to those blocks. Today, they're a little bit stale. They have mostly achievements screenshots. And those things are great, but we want to see if we can add other things like DLC events. And that way, especially for people who follow service-based games like Destiny or Fortnite, they can find out what's new and happening in those games.
LARRY HERB: Yeah I mean, that's really-- because that's something that has changed over the years is we always had the ability to kind of program into the dashboard certain things, but nowadays, every game is doing in-game special events and limited time this and go do this. So being able to-- for your team or frankly, for the publishers to go into our pipeline and push it out so that people that are interested can see it. That's a critical-- so it's discovery. It's discovery.
IVY KRISLOV: Discovery Home is what we call it, internally.
LARRY HERB: Yeah, there you go. Anyway, so good. So what else do we have there because otherwise, we, again, this is a journey. You're not going to see all these radical changes for the holiday and the next year, we're going to change them again. We're going in, we're trying to find a nice way to evolve the home screen, as Ivy has gone through to bring you content that makes sense to you based on what you're doing. And I know that a lot of folks have a lot to say about their home screen on their console. So I urge you to join the insiders program and join us and help us make it better. Anything else you want to talk about, there Ivy before I let you go?
IVY KRISLOV: I mean, I think on that topic we really, the other big investment we're making is in personalization. I think this is something people expect at this point from experiences like ours. I mean, you think about Netflix, you think about Sony, you think about Steam, everyone has personalization. We've done it other places before, but we've never done it on home before.
And so really bringing that here and--
LARRY HERB: That's-- there you go. So that's your-- one of your many, many incentives to join the insider program and be part of that daily email that Ivy gets every morning at 8:00 AM with all the feedback. Yeah, it's really going to be interesting to see how we take this, again, this is a snapshot of what we're doing today. And whenever we settle on what it will turn out to be in the future, Ivy, I'd love to have you come back on and say, hey, what have you learned over the past few months, or maybe six months or more, I don't know. We don't when it's going to be, when this journey is done.
IVY KRISLOV: I'd like to know that too.
LARRY HERB: Yeah, but it's interesting. You've got this huge project and you really don't have an end date. You know there's an end date in the future, but you don't when it is, but because this is going to be-- the community is going to help us mold this clay and to create this home screen that, hopefully, it will work for everybody, right?
IVY KRISLOV: I hope so.
LARRY HERB: All right well listen--
IVY KRISLOV: I have confidence.
LARRY HERB: I'm confident as well, Ivy. I'm looking forward to seeing what you got there, so Ivy Krislov, the senior product manager for Xbox. Thanks for joining us. We'll have you back on again, maybe, at least, one more time at the end, but maybe again during this journey when you make some of the interesting changes or have some learnings to join, can I have you back on?
IVY KRISLOV: I'd be happy to.
LARRY HERB: All right, thanks Ivy. We'll talk to you next time.
IVY KRISLOV: Thank you.
JEFF: Thanks Ivy. Super interesting stuff. Thanks Larry for that conversation, which reminds me a bit. Very interesting conversation that you had at Pax that we didn't get to talk about because we didn't do a show last week. And the setting is we're hanging out in Justin Roiland's hotel room, go.
LARRY HERB: Well that's pretty much it. I mean, it's high on life, which I know Rebecca, you said you took a look at it when you gamescom, they were in Pax in Seattle a couple of weeks ago. And as Jeff said, we didn't do a show last week. So I got this email, or this phone call from a mutual friend of ours who handles the game and she said, hey, do you to go meet Justin? He's a big fan of yours. And I'm like, no he's not. No, he's not.
So Jeff and I go over with some folks from the team, we go up to the room and there he is. And he apparently he's a big fan of the show. And we're going to get him on the show in a couple of months.
REBECCA: We have a new friend of the show.
LARRY HERB: We do. He's going to-- and not only is he a friend of the show, but you can tell from his writing in the games Jeff and Rebecca, he plays games. I mean, he and I were talking about different levels, different types of games and different elements of games that he really liked and he didn't like, and it was fascinating. And we had a great conversation with Matty, who's the executive producer in the other room-- Matt, that was his-- or Jeff, that was his name, Matt.
But what's interesting is we get into the room and he's just really, Justin's talking about-- of course, everybody knows him from Rick and Morty and some of his other games. And Jeff, you've got scored big points because you had played his other game that he says basically no nobody really plays.
JEFF: Trover Saves the Universe, yeah. I played with Beat. But it was interesting. He had a lot of cool stuff to say. One of the things, because you mentioned it, Larry, he wanted to make a game that did things that he didn't like in other games, or corrected things he didn't like. And one of the things he mentioned was he doesn't like it when-- especially when you're playing a game for a long time, where the characters will say the same thing, you keep hearing the same lines over and over again. And so his goal was to make it so that you wouldn't hear these characters say the same thing twice during an entire playthrough. Which is just-- that is a feat. And so they've got some--
REBECCA: That's a good detail, yeah.
JEFF: Known actors. There's JB Smoove, and Tim Robinson, from I think I Think You Should Leave are two of the weapons. And he's like, there's just so many lines that they have and it was just-- it was just really interesting to hear because he's, I mean, he's someone who is a gamer like us, but then like made the jump to actually really being involved in creating a game. And he's got the mind for it, certainly.
LARRY HERB: So we were in there for a half hour, weren't we, Jeff?
JEFF: Yeah, at least. We played as well.
LARRY HERB: Yeah, you played the game. And then and then it was so kind of him because as we were leaving, he says, hold on, I got something for you. And he handed me this--
JEFF: The gloves are back on.
REBECCA: I know, I know--
LARRY HERB: He handed me this fascinating card, that he-- this is what he does, Rebecca. He doodles and then he basically hands them out as like business cards. So this is a piece of art that he did.
REBECCA: That's so cool.
LARRY HERB: And it's in this little plastic case here, but it was just fascinating. I've got it up on my-- I've got it up on my bookshelf with some of my other really precious things that I've collected over the years. But it was really a fun moment to talk to Justin. As I said, we'll get him on the game launches later this year in Game Pass, which is really exciting. And he had-- boy, and he-- I don't want to put any words in his mouth, but he had some really amazing things to say about Game Pass, didn't he Jeff?
JEFF: Yeah, really. And so he's just a gamers gamer. I guess, creating a cool game that a lot of people are talking about.
LARRY HERB: And rightfully so.
JEFF: Yeah, for sure. So it would be really fun playing that one.
LARRY HERB: So anyway, Pax was a lot of fun. Of course, Matt Booty did the keynote. We had him on the show a couple of weeks ago to talk about that. It was fun to be there. It's good to be back at Pax. Looking forward to returning a little bit to that show. And I know, Jeff, you've got some travel plan to see some shows. Of course, we just finished talking about TGS, so that happens. So we're getting back into the rhythm of things, aren't we, gang?
JEFF: Certainly feels that way.
LARRY HERB: So anyway, all right, we're going to wrap it up. I know Rebecca, you're going to be hitting the road. You've got some personal stuff you're going on for a couple of weeks, some travel. So you won't be here. We'll find someone to fill in that third box. I don't know who it's going to be. We'll find somebody, right Jeff?
JEFF: You're irreplaceable, Rebecca. But we'll find somebody.
LARRY HERB: But you're coming back. You're not going anywhere. You're just coming back. So
LARRY HERB: All right, gang. We're going to wrap it up. We'll see you next week. Jeffl, you got time next week to come back in here and--
JEFF: Always for you. Always for you. Rebecca, please take me somewhere cool. I want to go somewhere cool.
LARRY HERB: Rebecca--
JEFF: I'll be here.
LARRY HERB: Yeah, and I'll be here too. Rebecca, I know we'll see in a couple of weeks. Have great travel. And for everybody out there, enjoy the TGS news. There's some great games that Jeff went over. You can go download them right now. So go check them out and we'll see you guys next week. Bye everybody.