November 2nd 2012 4:31 pm PT

Show 456: Halo 4

Host: Larry Hryb, Xbox LIVE's Major Nelson (Xbox LIVE ) (Twitter)

Co-host : e (Xbox LIVE ) (Twitter)


Interview: Frank O'Connor, Halo 4 (28:03 - 1:07:35)
Special Guest: Burnie Burns, Rooster Teeth (1:07:35 - 2:13:05)

Show Details: 

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Duration (approx): 02:13:46

File Size (approx): 61.33 MB

Format: MP3

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  • Matt Honan

    It would be interesting to know what web sites are best exerienced from the dashboard browser, I really cannot think of a reason to use it unless there was some sort of integration, like battlelog or EA’s autolog…

  • joristhewise

    Who doesn’t love Halo ;-) :-D. Thank you for this Halo show :D. Am really enjoying it right now and I can’t wait to get my hands on it :-D. I think from what I have read that 343 Industries has nailed it and have outgrown Bungie with their 2nd game! :-D.

    • Russell Gorall

      Right here (alongside 75% of 360 owners).

    • DeFFeR

      Halo 4 is 343’s first game…

      Also, define “outgrown” – I don’t see a clear use on how that would be accurate.

  • Jeff K

    I’ve never had a problem with anything you’ve said before, but I really didn’t like the explanation given early in the show about the perceived increase in the number of ads on the dash.

    I don’t want to say I was insulted or offended, because this is pretty small potatoes, but it definitely didn’t sit right with me. People think there are more ads on the dash than there used to be. I don’t really have an opinion on that, they don’t bother me, what bothered me was your response. That they aren’t really advertising, they’re “suggestions” for content we might be interested in. Come on, I know you’re smarter than that. “Targeted advertising” is not a new term. Just because it’s tailored to me doesn’t mean it isn’t still advertising.

    Look, I’m not naive, I know this show is 100% Microsoft Employees, I’m not expecting you to confront your guest on air and tell him he’s wrong and get all angry. But trying to tell us it’s not advertising, while chuckling and saying we’re just “a little confused,” really left me with a bad taste in my mouth. That kind of condescension isn’t what I expect from this show.

    I hope this doesn’t come off as an attack, I’m not interested in fighting or getting into an argument with anyone. I just enjoy the show, really respect you guys, and didn’t like the way you decided to reply to a community concern here.

    • Major Nelson

      Good comment. That is why I make the point that advertising is clearly labeled with the word ‘Advertisement.’This is real estate on the dashboard that advertisers pay to deliver their message directly exactly as they’d like. Some of the other areas on the dash are not advertisements they are merchandising like I said in the show. This is content placed by the programming team that is not advertiser driven. Does that help?

      • kit walker

        your really splitting hairs there larry….

        • Major Nelson

          To anyone who has worked in the media it’s not splitting hairs. There is a VERY hard line in the sand on the difference.

          • Yakko Warner

            I think the issue is, from the point of view of someone *not* working in the media or advertising, it doesn’t look that different. Whether it comes from someone putting money on the table or from some computer algorithm based on your play history, we as consumers just see something trying to get us to buy more stuff.

            For me, though, I don’t mind as much. 20 years of internet use has trained me to ignore most of what I see as ads. As long as it doesn’t interfere with me consuming whatever media I’m after (which is why video prerolls and internet popovers annoy me the most), I can deal with someone offering something to me. Especially when they try new things to make their advertising content interesting. (50 free gamerscore for playing a silly Temple Run-type game? Thanks, 5 Gum, I may just buy a pack. :) )

          • Major Nelson

            That is why we label advertisements clearly

          • Zack Stein

            However, whether Microsoft (Xbox) is suggesting content, or an outside company is selling their product, it’s advertising. If Xbox tells me I may want to play Battlefield 3 because I enjoyed Modern Warfare 3, that’s advertising. A suggestion is advertising. I hear your point, Major, but I agreed instantly with the original poster when I heard your podcast today. People aren’t confused. They’re correct. There is more advertising. Even though it’s coming from in-house, versus another company, it’s advertising. It’s selling a product. When Amazon suggest something to me based on another product I viewed, they’re advertising to me. There is no gray area here.

            That being said – I love you, Larry. Love the show. We all dig the show. That’s why we’re taking time here to read your blog and respond. It’s a healthy dialogue, not an attack in any form. Sincere thanks for your efforts, and for your show.

          • Russell Gorall

            Sticking up for more ads and getting mad at anyone who has a problem with them? I can smell a bigger Christmas bonus coming for you.

          • Major Nelson

            Not sticking up, just trying to educated and have a conversation.

          • Russell Gorall

            Oh, I thought since you were sticking up for more ads and not acknowledging any opinion on Dashboard advertising that is coming from someone not in gaming media, ie MS employees?, as legit was a bit off. I didn’t realize that was an educational and enlightening conversation.

            You should go directly to Twitter and @ some celebs who only have something to do with you for business reasons. That would be even more “to educated”.

          • Major Nelson

            Actually, I was not ‘sticking up for more ads’ at all. I try to have educational and enlightening conversations. I also try to keep the conversations productive and positive and not attack anyone personally.

          • Zack Stein

            How is the weather in Green Bay?

          • Russell Gorall

            He is a phony, I’m the real macaroni.

            Please direct all loving praise for his amazing posts to me.

          • Major Nelson

            Um. Ok.

          • Zack Stein

            Your mugshot is priceless.

          • Boe2

            It’s both trying to push people into trying to buy new content, using estate that could otherwise be used for meaningful content (almost the entire start screen). A difference for you maybe. ZERO difference for the end user, except for the “advertisement” tag.

            Imagine the Windows 8 start screen looked like that. Many heads would roll.

      • Gil Garcia

        In my opinion as an Xbox Live veteran for 5 years, I would have liked Social to be the default tab. The first thing I do when I sign on, is see what friends are online playing what. I could care less about a quarter of my screen showing an Old Spice commercial. It simply slows the dashboard performance and load time of my friends’ avatars. I understand its a business, and getting dedicated subscribers to pay more because of ads makes sense, but its an inconvenience and almost insulting. It makes the Xbox experience seem less personal, and more like walking into a Best Buy.

        • Roger Joseph

          Sorry had to reply to this guy/person … Xbox Live Vetran for 5 years. Wow what does that make me it’s almost 10 will be in 2 months and that’s just for gold. I had let it LApse for 6 months then came back.
          Anyways onto Advertising. The Spin larry has on it depends on the direction you look at it. From ours “we” see advertising meaning “someone selling”, from his he see’s them “M$” or they “3rd party” so both are right but in the end there is no winner, smarter netzens won’t click buy.

          • Major Nelson

            Good point. It all depends where you are coming at it from.

      • Boe2

        It’s not just the advertisements. I can live with advertisements if we get proper service in return. Problem is the total picture. I don’t know if you have children. Ours are 6 and 8 and don’t know how to find their own games on the dashboard. There was the recent game list, but after the latest update you made that harder to find too. You gave us pinned apps, but this is also hidden behind another button among many.

        After the update an extra problem showed up: My girlfriend had problem finding one of the games my kids wanted to play, so I had to start it for them: The xbox interface actually became even less userfriendly instead of more.

        • DeFFeR

          “Ours are 6 and 8 and don’t know how to find their own games on the dashboard since those are xbla games that are several menus away.”

          Just “pin” the games/apps. Go to the games, press “X” and select “Pin.” Then from the home screen it’s no different than “recent games” was on the prior dashboard.

          I know it doesn’t solve every problem – just trying to help.

        • Karl Cramer

          Could also help if you set up their own child accounts. My niece has one and there’s no advertising on it other than the Xbox house ads.

      • Russell Gorall

        I wonder if you are going to say anyone who hasn’t worked in the gaming media can’t have an opinion.

        • Major Nelson

          I was not referring to gaming media. I am referring to anyone who works in any form of professional media.

      • JuanCabrera

        I actually don’t mind the ads at all! Some I even like. Especially if it gets us some cool content. BUT it would be nice to see where our money is going as well as ad money.

      • WilliamRLBaker

        Advertising is a form of communication for marketing and used to encourage or persuade an audience (viewers, readers or listeners; sometimes a specific group) to continue or take some new action. Most commonly, the desired result is to drive consumer behavior with respect to a commercial offering, although political and ideological advertising is also common.

        Recommendations are a form of marketing used to encourage us to take a new action based upon stuff we’ve done on the xbox 360.

        Trying to define Advertising as anything else is one of the reasons I’m not renewing xbox live and likely wont be getting the next xbox *since it will be kinect required, and will have ad’s play before your able to play games* along with the fact said advertising and “”recommendations”” take up 30% of the dashboard now….

    • Russell Gorall

      I wouldn’t mind knowing how to get rid of the useless recommendations now up. I delete twenty and they keep coming back.

    • Emmanuel Santos

      what i dont understand is why in a PAY service of xboxlive Gold that there are any ads at all. when someone pays a premium for a service it usually eliminates the ads and gives you the product. i know money must be nice for a giant company like microsoft but this kind of double dipping has been irritating me ever since ads showed up on the dashboard updates. I could understand if it was for a Silver live account but for ads to be on Gold is ridiculous

      its probably nothing you can do about it because i bet your upper management is telling you to spin it in a way that sounds nice. but im not ever going to buy that kind of logic.

      • DeFFeR

        I’ve never understood how/why people are so bothered by advertisements. It’s not a pop-up that jumps out at you or slows your machine down. It only makes noise when you scroll over it, and I’d say 7 out of 10 times it’s gaming related. What’s the gigantic deal?

        Sure, I pay for LIVE, but I also pay for cable… yet I’m inundated with 8 minutes of advertising for 20 minutes worth of show every half hour.

        I go to the movies – pre-show trailers are just advertisements, and most people LOVE trailers… double standard?


        End of the day – LIVE ads take absolutely zero time to ignore, so I have zero issue with them. If there’s ever a “forced” advertisement (think YouTube-esque) before getting to the dashboard I’d be pissed with the rest of you, but until then… it’s not a huge deal like some are making it out to be.

        • Karl Cramer

          Agreed. I have no problem with the ads. If it’s not something I’m interested in I ignore it. If it’s something I am interested in, well then targeted advertising has done its job. Pssst. Lots of those ads have contests. I’ve won, not once, not twice, but several times. Once a family vacation.

  • Lee Rayson

    downloading it now, an Major is there no fall arcade promo this yr?

  • Russell Gorall

    You really shouldn’t have.

  • Russell Gorall

    I’d like to congratulate Halo 4 on getting a Metascore in the 80’s, enjoy your ban.

    • John

      I hope you get one for life on this site, you dumb tras troll. Make it his IP address (the entire range if you have to) and his other account where he showed his dumb face before he started trolling every post on this site, Major. Many people on this site are truly sick and tired of his BS.

      • Russell Gorall

        I am a classy white person. I enjoy reading fine literature while drinking tea amidst the glow of gentle and expensive lamps. Very upper class.

        This is my real name. Let’s be friends on Facebook?

  • Yakko Warner

    I think I’ll wait until well after Tuesday to listen to this one. I’m already insanely jealous seeing “Halo 4″ on your gamercard for the past week. :P I don’t imagine you’d spoil anything, but I’m still playing it safe.

  • Russell Gorall

    Apparently only MS employees and Halo fans are allowed to post on the blog… Thanks for the ban, Major.

    I just came by to congratulate Halo 4 on their ever-dropping Metacritic score, down now to 88.

    It is almost as if the more you play it, the worse the opinion of it is.

    Many thanks for Microsoft for letting out early reviews on embargo, cancelled my preorder. May rent at some point. I have never been so loving of MS.

    • Major Nelson

      I look forward to playing a game that you make and ship.

      • Emmanuel Santos

        i know i already put in my two pennies but man that guy is a whackjob

    • Boe2

      Here I am, defending Halo, a game I don’t even play, heh.

      Metascore is pretty pointless, since “professional” reviews just can’t be trusted. The metascore for my favorite game of 2010 (Nier) is 67. One reviewer of a really famous review site gave it a score below 50%, while ranting about an fishing quest he claimed was impossible to do and therefore the game sucked. Tons of reactions pointed out that the reviewer didn’t even bother to actually READ the quest and he was fishing in the wrong pool all that time. Instead of apologising afterwards he claimed the game should have had more guidance (a giant arrow) towards the right pool so this kind of confusion can’t happen. Guess that’s why the “Press A to not die” gameplay style is so popular now.

      Personally I’m going for youtube playtroughs. Some users give really fun walktroughs that give you a good idea if you will like the game or not (hint: If MS is not sending early review xbla copies to TotalBisquit yet: you are missing out on great cheap advertising). NOT buying a game because of a metascore of 88 (wich is a great score?!) is just silly. Learn to think and judge for yourself instead of focussing on a number.

  • ONI_Assassin

    Man, so many haters. Just three points id like to make.

    First if you dont have anything positive to say, dont say anything, anybody can hate, but there aren’t enough people who can genuinely love what other people do/say. Major does a great job of running this blog and the associated show, theres no need to hate on him just because of his views. Stay strong Larry!

    Second, congrats to 343 studios for Halo 4, im sure its going to be awesome. While metacritic is a good source for information, it is by no means perfect, in fact nor are sales figues, so i say ignore it all and listed to the community of fans.
    Last but by no means least, the key topic here, advertising. While i agree, it would be nice to pay for a premium account and not get any kind of advertising from anyone, 1st or 3rd party, the unfortunate truth is in a business world, people/companies are out to make money. The advertising helps facilitate that goal for both Microsoft and 3rd party companies. Let be real about it, microsoft is providing this service to you so it can make money, this is no differnt to most other services you subscribe to. If you can take a moment to be mature enough to realise this is a business and as such is out to make as much money as possible to keep the share holders happy, then you’re already one step closer to understanding why there is advertising. However, what would be nice is for Microsoft’s Entertainment division to offer up for an extra lets say $10/year the ability to switch off all advertising.
    Let me be clear though, im not hating on the comments, im by no means a fanboy, i give Sony and Nintendo similar levels of praise and critisim; and to their comunities too.

    • Bush O Connor

      the thing is we are paying for a premium service(gold). xbox is the only place i see ads on a paid service that i use, i dont use tv for the reason of ads every few minutes, i use ad blocker on the internet, i hear ads on the radio but its free so i dont mind that.

      if they want to put ads on the dashboard it should be for silver accounts and then silver accounts should be able to play online. gold is a rip off as it is, the only reason im still using xbox is all my friends still use it.

      also i hate the new dashboard(NXE) i want the one i paid for originaly the 2006 blade version.

  • Ben Knight

    Was it me or no mention of Hurricane Sandy? Sad.

    • Dan Etheridge

      It was mentioned.

      • Ben Knight

        must have been real quick… or maybe at the end? Please give the time mark.

        • Dan Etheridge

          I’m pretty sure it was mentioned during an interview, if that narrows it down a bit?

  • Dan Etheridge

    Great podcast as always. I listened to it this morning while patiently waiting for my copy of Halo 4 to arrive. I took the day off of work to play it, and it will probably be here late afternoon – typical.