|Larry Hryb, Xbox LIVE's Major Nelson||Host||Xbox Live|
|Xavier Woods||WWE Superstar and Gears 5 Character||17:03|
|Tim Peak, Astronaut, ESA||Astronaut, ESA / Mars Horizon Consultant||29:30|
|Jon Campbell, Gaming Expert for HermanMiller||Gaming Expert for HermanMiller||49:39|
|Cyberpunk 2077 - new Xbox footage|
|Minecraft Star Wars details|
|Minecraft Dungeons Cross Platform play|
|Yakuza Like a Dragon producer interview|
|Backbone mobile controller https://playbackbone.com/?ref=producthunt|
|HermanMiller Gaming Chairs|
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Larry Hryb: Welcome to the Xbox Podcast. My name is Larry Hyrb, Xbox Live's major nelson, and it's almost a holiday here in the UK, or ... in the UK ... in the US.
Jeff Rubenstein: Where in the UK?
Larry Hryb: Jeff, hold on a minute. I need to bring you in. Much like a WWE superstar, there's your entrance. [inaudible]
Jeff Rubenstein: [crosstalk] music, and I do pyro. We'll work on that over the holidays. You're in the UK now? You don't tell me anything.
Larry Hryb: I'm so messed up. Later on in the show, we have Tim Peake on, who is an astronaut from the UK. I've got UK on my mind, so we have got him on. Xavier Woods from WWE is going to come by to talk about Gears 5, Jeffrey.
Jeff Rubenstein: He's a star, a superstar. That's awesome. He's a super nice guy.
Larry Hryb: And then later on, also as an interview this week, we have a gaming expert from a chair company called Herman Miller. Even if you can't afford a gaming chair from Herman Miller, he's going to tell you how to optimize your chair so that whether you're getting your chair at one of those Scandinavian superstores or not, he's going to tell you how you can optimize it to make sure to get you gaming better.
Jeff Rubenstein: That's someone who, he has a lover for seating, you know? It's not just about selling, he just wants to make sure your butt is comfortable.
Larry Hryb: So I did, I pre-recorded the interview earlier. You'll see in his ... I think he mentions this during the interview ... You know, you and I have consoles in the background?
Jeff Rubenstein: Yeah.
Larry Hryb: He's got a human skeleton spine. So this guy is committed. John is committed, so I'm looking forward to chatting [crosstalk]
Jeff Rubenstein: Yeah. Okay. Lumbar John. Yes.
Larry Hryb: Anyway, so good to see you, Jeff, as always. You and I are hanging out, doing our thing again.
Jeff Rubenstein: Yeah.
Larry Hryb: Oh, programming note. Programming note. No show next week because there's a holiday here in the US, so we will, as they say in the entertainment business, be dark.
Jeff Rubenstein: I mean, in the UK as well. We already had Canadian Thanksgiving last month. I didn't realize, maybe it's UK Thanksgiving coming up? I'm just going to rag on you for thinking you were in the UK.
Larry Hryb: Are you—
Jeff Rubenstein: You know what? Here's the thing. You're talking to an astronaut, you've been playing Watch Dogs: Legion. I get it. I see where it come from.
Larry Hryb: I finished it! Where is it? There it is. I finished it over here. You finished it as well. We had a good time. Did you—
Jeff Rubenstein: I did!
Larry Hryb: Okay. Okay, spoilers, gang. Spoilers. Did you do the final Bagley storyline?
Jeff Rubenstein: I did do the final [crosstalk]
Larry Hryb: I don't know, Jeff, that was my favorite part of the game! I just, it was so emotional.
Jeff Rubenstein: Let's talk about this generically. Let's talk about this generically for those who haven't finished the game. And lengthy game. I want to say I must have put in at least 30 hours into this, which is great. I like a good value. So, after you finish the game—
Larry Hryb: Says the guy who never pays for a game.
Jeff Rubenstein: That's completely not true. I've paid for all my Nintendo games. So, at the end of the game, it immediately tees you up. After the credits roll, it tees you up with another mission. So it's not like it's super hidden, but it is well worth it, even though you get the final achievement, which is worth 90 gamer score, to keep going and doing this mission. Without giving too much away, it revolves around Bagley, who is your voice AI assistant, and you end up going around different parts of London and taking pictures in order to unlock more of the story.
Larry Hryb: Learn more about him. Learn his origin story.
Jeff Rubenstein: And what I think is really ... Well, first of all, there's a lot of Black Mirror involved in Bagley and in the AIs in general in this—
Larry Hryb: Black Mirror, the TV show, yeah.
Jeff Rubenstein: It's super dark and disturbing in a lot of ways. These games are usually a little more light-hearted; this game is not at all actually, now that I'm thinking about some of the storylines, and I appreciate that. But also, can you imagine if Cortana or Alexa, if you liked them enough to discover their backstory? Do they have a backstory? Does Siri secretly pine for her past?
Larry Hryb: What's going on with Alexa? Who knows?
Jeff Rubenstein: It makes you think. I don't know, I'm sure just by saying that, she's lit up in your room. Actually, I think my smart speaker, I have to be careful what I say.
Larry Hryb: I've got to tell you though, I really enjoyed it. I don't want to, again, to your point of spoilers, I don't want to say too much, but if you do it, please do it. I think you'll really enjoy it. It's worth it.
Jeff Rubenstein: I would also love, love for a Siri or Alexa voice option to be Bagley. I'm not Ubisoft marketing—
Larry Hryb: Or Cortana, be a company guy.
Jeff Rubenstein: Or Cortana. But I think that would be really awesome, a little more snark. I actually have my Siri set to Irish because she's just much more pleasant.
Larry Hryb: Is there a Scottish option, or [crosstalk]
Jeff Rubenstein: There's not a Scottish [crosstalk]
Larry Hryb: "Ah, we're having a wee problem here."
Jeff Rubenstein: Yeah. It's just 'wee' a little bit more often. But it is, sometimes hearing the pronunciation of my friends' names is entertaining. But it just, it's much more pleasant. I'm like, "Yes Siri, I will talk to you, because [crosstalk]"
Larry Hryb: You know what I don't think you have ever heard it say? I don't think you've ever asked Siri to, "Hey Siri, call Larry." Can't say that that has happened.
Jeff Rubenstein: No, because you don't call anymore. Calling is the new drop-in. There was a time, like when I was growing up, that you would just show up at your friend's house. You would knock on the door ... I'm talking when I'm, like, 10 or something. You would just knock on the door, "Hey, what's going on?"
Larry Hryb: And they gave you a lunch and snacks.
Jeff Rubenstein: Whether they liked it or not. And I feel like calling is the new drop ... A lot of people do not like a drop-in like that, and [inaudible] like, "Whoa. Someone is calling me? There must be something wrong." It's like outside of [crosstalk]
Larry Hryb: [crosstalk] Yeah. Yeah. Yeah.
Jeff Rubenstein: Yeah. Basically. So you text, and then like that, then it's like, "Are you available for a call?"
Larry Hryb: I am getting better with you.
Jeff Rubenstein: That's all I ask. If you call me directly, I'm like, "Something is wrong. Something happened." So I don't make a habit of just calling people. I don't know what you're up to.
Larry Hryb: Anyway, we have got a lot of interviews, so we're going to get to those, but we have got some news. You want to go through the news this week first, or should we do it on the other side of the interviews? We talked a little bit about what we're playing—
Jeff Rubenstein: Yeah, why don't we talk about what we're playing, and then we'll ... like the usual, and then we can get into the news after that. What do you think?
Larry Hryb: I've got Watch Dogs, Mars Horizon, which I play because of Tim Peake—
Jeff Rubenstein: Wanted to talk about that one. Yeah.
Larry Hryb: Yeah.
Jeff Rubenstein: It looks really interesting. That's a new release for this week, I had it in my news list, but we have a post with some tips. This looks like something, if you're interested in the space industry ... I know a lot of people are. Elon Musk had a rocket go up out of Cape Canaveral this week. My mom took a picture. She saw it from her back yard. She lives, I don't know, 150 miles from Cape Canaveral. You could still see it.
Larry Hryb: Oh. Well, we're going to talk to—
Jeff Rubenstein: That's like a Florida thing. Yeah.
Larry Hryb: We're going to talk to Tim Peake later on, an astronaut who works a little bit with the ESA ... ESA, am I saying ... ? The space agency, the European Space Agency.
Jeff Rubenstein: European Space, yeah, ESA. It was in this game. So if you like space, take a look at Mars Horizon. [crosstalk]
Larry Hryb: But, I mean, you're going to hear some stories from Tim about what it's like to be in space, and more importantly, what it sounds like. It's very interesting.
Jeff Rubenstein: No one can hear you scream, I'm told. That's just what I heard.
Larry Hryb: Well. You may be right, you may be wrong.
Jeff Rubenstein: Does he talk about space diapers? I want to hear all about astronaut—
Larry Hryb: You know, it's funny, he only had about 20 minutes for me, and I could have gone three hours and 20 minutes, because I was nerding out with him hardcore, so ... No, we didn't talk about ... It's funny because, two things ... We didn't talk about space diapers ... and when I went out and I saw my wife in the other room, she's like, "Who are you interviewing?" I said, "An astronaut." She goes, "Oh! Did you ask him if he saw any aliens?" I said, "No, I can't ask him that!"
Jeff Rubenstein: You can ask, he just can't tell you.
Larry Hryb: I just, I was like—
Jeff Rubenstein: It's just like, "Blink twice, Tim, if you've seen extra-terrestrials, because let's be honest, we know you did."
Larry Hryb: Yes.
Jeff Rubenstein: I feel like everyone in the air force, everyone ... I know a lot of people in the air force, but ... in certain corners of the internet, the truth is out there.
Larry Hryb: So, I'm going to play that, I'm playing Watch Dogs. Oh, I played Jeopardy. You probably saw me playing Jeopardy because Alex Trebek passed away and there's a new Jeopardy game out, so I felt like I wanted [crosstalk] It's actually kind of cool. Have you played it?
Jeff Rubenstein: Yeah, it's like an episode of the show.
Larry Hryb: A real-life episode.
Jeff Rubenstein: Yeah. But you use your phone to answer. [crosstalk]
Larry Hryb: And you can use the voice-to-text on the phone. It's kind of cool.
Jeff Rubenstein: Yeah. And the thing that I like about games like that, and we have talked about how Jackbox Party Pack does this well, is you don't have to know ... It's not like you're chiming in to hit the X button at a certain time, and if you're playing with people who aren't gamers, they're like, "Which one is X?"
Larry Hryb: Right.
Jeff Rubenstein: Everyone uses their phone, they're familiar with it, and you can just play Jeopardy. I think that's awesome.
Larry Hryb: Yeah. And in fact, it's funny, one of the answers was Microsoft on my episode, so I was like, "Oh, I've got this one!"
Jeff Rubenstein: Now, it'll be a Thanksgiving thing for us. We're just going to have a small group, but we'll ... I can't even call it a group. It's the people that live in my house, plus my brother.
Larry Hryb: So that's four people, so you're well under the five.
Jeff Rubenstein: Yes.
Larry Hryb: Okay.
Jeff Rubenstein: Thank God my sister lives far away, because it would have been like, "It's either you or your husband. You have to make that choice." So we'll play that and we'll play some FIFA and it'll be a chill Thanksgiving. But yeah, I'm glad to hear that you're enjoying Jeopardy, because we all will miss Alex Trebek. If you're an American, that and Wheel of Fortune [crosstalk]
Larry Hryb: But he was Canadian, ironically.
Jeff Rubenstein: I know!
Larry Hryb: Right?
Jeff Rubenstein: So he's a legend in multiple countries.
Larry Hryb: He's a North American legend. Just leave it at that. Leave it at that.
Jeff Rubenstein: We'll leave it at that.
Larry Hryb: So yeah, that's really what I've been playing this week. I'm just having a lot of other things that I just haven't had any time. I mean, doing the interviews and getting the show ready, you and I are constantly tweaking the show so that I can do fun things, make the show even better like this, you know, make you look good.
Jeff Rubenstein: People love that. You get two subscriptions on YouTube every time you hit that button. I worked out the math.
Larry Hryb: Is that the way it works?
Jeff Rubenstein: Yeah.
Larry Hryb: I feel like I need to have some sound effects in there, so I'll talk to [crosstalk]
Jeff Rubenstein: You have to. You have to.
Larry Hryb: I've got to get a graphics guy. What else are you playing?
Jeff Rubenstein: Still playing Yakuza: Like a Dragon. I made the unfortunate/stupid mistake of starting three epic games roughly around the same time—
Larry Hryb: Don't do that.
Jeff Rubenstein: So Watch Dogs, Assassin's Creed Valhalla ... Don't be me ... and Yakuza: Like a Dragon. I couldn't help it. So I'm glad I really focused on Watch Dogs over the weekend and I finished that, so now I can focus more on Yakuza and on Assassin's Creed so that I can hopefully finish them both before we see Cyberpunk 2077 [crosstalk]
Larry Hryb: Which we saw gameplay this week.
Jeff Rubenstein: Yes! It looked so good!
Larry Hryb: On Series X and S.
Jeff Rubenstein: That was really awesome.
Larry Hryb: Yeah.
Jeff Rubenstein: Well, you saw it on Xbox Series X and on Xbox One X as well.
Larry Hryb: Right, One X, right. That's right.
Jeff Rubenstein: So for those who have not had the opportunity to join us in the next generation, you're not left behind. Thanks to the magic of smart delivery, you'll get the right bits for you, and I'll tell you what, it looks—
Larry Hryb: The right bits at the right time.
Jeff Rubenstein: It looks really good on Xbox One X. And then when you have the opportunity to upgrade to an Xbox Series S or X, you'll just carry all your progress with you.
Larry Hryb: Woot!
Jeff Rubenstein: So, I love that. Upgrade when you're ready or when you're able to, and in a few weeks, we'll all be playing Cyberpunk. Hopefully you'll have finished your backlogs by then. Focus, people, focus. Because you know when Cyberpunk comes out, you're not going to be able to play anything else.
Larry Hryb: Well, and I know I don't ... Look, I don't even need to look in the comments, because I know they're all filling up, "But I can't even find a Series X or a Series S!" I know we're making them as fast as we can and getting them into the retail channel. We're refreshing as quickly as we can.
Jeff Rubenstein: Was that Bill Clinton complaining about ... ? That's what it sounded like.
Larry Hryb: "I need my Series X! I need the Series S!" No—
Jeff Rubenstein: That was a very good Arkansas accent, by the way.
Larry Hryb: "Let me just say ... "
Jeff Rubenstein: Wow, you've got the thing down. He said, "We're going to leave politics behind," but [crosstalk]
Larry Hryb: So yeah, so we know you want consoles, just hey ... And like I say, I love the people that are commenting on my Twitter or on Reddit like, "I can't believe they didn't make enough boxes." Like I describe, making atoms is one thing; making bits is another. Very, very different in doing those things. Making atoms—
Jeff Rubenstein: It's not called 'easyware', it's called 'hardware'.
Larry Hryb: Yeah! Oh!
Jeff Rubenstein: I don't think that's going to stick, but ...
Larry Hryb: We can try.
Jeff Rubenstein: I don't know anything. Yeah.
Larry Hryb: We can try.
Jeff Rubenstein: I think the bottom line is we're making them as fast as we can, and we want you to play.
Larry Hryb: That's what you need to know. That's what you need to know. So yeah, that's important, and I wanted to bring that up at the top. Yes, you have something to add, Jeffrey?
Jeff Rubenstein: Well, just one other game I was playing that I wanted to talk about.
Larry Hryb: What are you playing?
Jeff Rubenstein: Destiny! Destiny 2!
Larry Hryb: Oh, that's right! You went back into Destiny 2 on Game Pass.
Jeff Rubenstein: Yeah! So it's part of Game Pass now, and I wanted to get my daughter into something that ... We play a ton of Apex, but it's like, "I want you to play more than just one game." She plays a ton of Minecraft as well, I should say.
Larry Hryb: Right.
Jeff Rubenstein: But I wanted her to play something with a story, and she loves shooters, so I was like, "I'm going to sit you down, we're going to sit you down in front of Destiny 2, and you're just going to play it." And not surprisingly, she got to ... "What, I can customize my character? She looks cool." She went with the hunter, just purely based on looks.
Larry Hryb: I think that was my character too when I played.
Jeff Rubenstein: Yeah. The one that I had the furthest along was a titan. Of course, now ... That light level was, like, 200; now they're up to 1050. It automatically upgrades you there. All of my exotics and my legendaries are baby toys now, so I'm getting new stuff, but ... It took a little bit of time to find my berries and where all the different levels are. I have missed quite a few updates and new content [crosstalk]
Larry Hryb: You have it in the back there. I see that over your right shoulder.
Jeff Rubenstein: There it is. Beyond Light. I haven't even gotten to the Beyond Light content yet, because there's so much other stuff. There's a series of missions on Mars, there's a series of missions on the moon, so we started that and I ... There was actually a new onboarding process where you go down to the Cosmodrome and you speak to this new person whose name escapes me right now, and you've got to get your sparrow, and you have to do a few other things. So they walk you through, what is a strike? And how do you customize this and that? There's some new things. You can customize your shell, your ghost, and not just the looks, but you can add things to it which increase the rate in which you get XP.
There's actually a really cool thing, like essentially like a sonar radar that is just passive. I invested everything into that, so any sort of either chests or materials—
Larry Hryb: They just appear?
Jeff Rubenstein: They just appear from a pretty far distance, so I'm constantly like, "Oh, there's something there." [crosstalk]
Larry Hryb: It's like Loba!
Jeff Rubenstein: It's kind of like Loba. You see it right through the walls. So we're alternating with that, and I mean, the gun play in that game is still just phenomenal. You come right back into it. Go on.
Larry Hryb: No, I was just, you said 'gun play' and I just was thinking about the gun play in Cyberpunk looked great, didn't it?
Jeff Rubenstein: The racing in the car looks good. I was wondering how was that going to work. Racing in first person is tough ... because that's what they mostly showed ... but it's like, "Oh, when you're in the car, you can pull back to a third-person," like I'm used to doing in Forza or Dirt or any other racing game that I ever play. I prefer the chase cam. It's a lot easier to see around you and what you're doing, so ... Every bit of that game, I just get more and more excited. It's so nice that I just want to lose my entire December to that game.
Larry Hryb: Well, that's where we're headed right now.
Jeff Rubenstein: I mean, it could be worse, right?
Larry Hryb: So you're playing Destiny. What else you got there, Jeffrey?
Jeff Rubenstein: And Yakuza, like we told. It's just really getting prepared, I think, for Cyberpunk, and it was really great seeing that footage. We should drop a link to that footage in the comments, right? Or in the description?
Larry Hryb: Yes. If you send it to me, I'll put it in the show notes. And I want to be clear, Jeff used to do show notes when we were just doing audio, and I need to remind you, can you do show notes and send them over to me? Because I tend to forget them.
Jeff Rubenstein: Yeah.
Larry Hryb: I'm just live on the air, I'm just putting you on the spot.
Jeff Rubenstein: Well, you're the director. We're all taking on new roles here, so I think that's probably a good idea, and I will make a new show notes doc in OneNote.
Larry Hryb: If you can. So we have got ... we talked about it just a moment ago ... a bunch of interviews. We have got WWE superstar Xavier Woods, who is a huge gamer. We're going to talk with a gaming expert of Herman Miller, which is a global leader in amazing chairs, so we're going to learn about that. And then we're going to go to space with Tim Peake to talk about Mars Horizon, which you can't see on my screen, but it's back there. Which interview should we do first? Jeff, why don't you set us up and we'll just roll them one after the other, because these are pretty interesting stuff here. Why don't you go ahead and bring us [crosstalk]
Jeff Rubenstein: Sure. You know, I feel like, due to some current news, it makes a lot of sense to have Xavier Woods go first. He's a WWE superstar, you know him as one third of The New Day, you know him as a host of UpUpDownDown, the WWE gaming-focused YouTube channel which makes some awesome content. A lot of gamers in WWE. So I would love to hear more about the connection of Xavier Woods and Gears of War.
Larry Hryb: Gears fans, you have some great news. This is very exciting, and I've got a man who is going to deliver the great news. Ladies and gentlemen, I am so excited to have on the show today for the first time, WWE superstar Xavier Woods. How are you, my friend?
Xavier Woods: I'm so much better now that I'm talking to you! I'm so pumped to do this!
Larry Hryb: Aw! You know, you and I were talking off the air. We have run into each other at various parties, because you've been in the games industry for a little bit, and of course doing what you're doing with the WWE, but this is our first time to really proper say, how you doing?
Xavier Woods: Yeah, and it's very nice. I'm excited to get this, because you're somebody, like you've said, you've been in games for so long, and you're somebody I aspire to be and look up to. I'm seeing you doing all these things, I'm like, "I want to be there one day!" So I'm pumped to just be talking to you right now.
Larry Hryb: Well, I've got to tell you, I'm just so excited. When they came to me and said, "Hey, you want Xavier?" I'm like, "Yeah!" But we're not only get you on to talk ... We could talk forever about what you do in the WWE and the great work there, but the Gears 5 has teamed up for The New Day for the WWE Survivor series crossover event, which is coming up. Tell me about that!
Xavier Woods: I have been a fan of Gears for a very long time, to the point where I have read through the novels to get more of the backstory and what's happened about the history and the characters and development and the relationships between them, so to be a part of Gears 5 and that universe just ... Last year at E3, I got to just be part of their stage show essentially, and that was a huge goal of mine, so to be able to sit down with them and just be a part of that was ... It blew my mind. [crosstalk]
Larry Hryb: Hey, wait a minute. Wait a minute. Let me tell you something.
Xavier Woods: Oh, yeah.
Larry Hryb: You've been on the E3 stage. I haven't even done that, and I work there! But that's okay, you're a bigger star.
Xavier Woods: We were technically underneath the stage, so [crosstalk] I haven't been on yet.
Larry Hryb: That's true.
Xavier Woods: But I was low-key like, "Oh yeah, it would be cool if I could get in the game," and then a few months later they're like, "Yeah. Yeah, let's do that." So it has been blowing my mind, the fact that we have been able to do this, and the fact that Gears is such a dark, heavy, brooding series, and we get to come in now with the flashiest gear ... it's bright yellow, pink, purple, and blue—
Larry Hryb: Hold on a minute, I think I've got some ... Here we go, here we go. You ready? Let's—
Xavier Woods: Oh, yeah.
Larry Hryb: Okay. So tell us what we're looking at here, because this is pretty spectacular.
Xavier Woods: For those of you who don't know wrestling, I, Xavier Woods, am part of a group called The New Day. So right above me is Kofi Kingston, who is the first African-born WWE champion in history, and then above him is Big E and he's our muscle. He's the man. But we are very much ... If you remember Lisa Frank at all from back in the day, we're three dudes that Lisa Frank threw up on. And that's kind of our whole shtick. We're very bright, very colorful. Unicorns, rainbows, we have got our own cereal, stuff like that. But I have had a—
Larry Hryb: Oh, look at that! Look at that!
Xavier Woods: Yeah. That's underneath the stage from E3.
Larry Hryb: That's right.
Xavier Woods: I've been in the game space for about five, six years with a YouTube channel. We're lucky enough to have 2.2 million subscribers right now. We're still trying to keep growing as much as we can. And in that, I've been trying to mash wrestling and video games together, because I feel like it's the same kind of fan; people who either got made fun of throughout adolescence and they came through it and they still like wrestling, or same thing and they still like video games. So trying to hold up a mirror and saying, "Let's combine and be one." So this is a very huge milestone for me, because I feel like it's bringing both those worlds together, and to be able to team up with Gears 5 and be a part of it and be DLC ... it's so good.
Larry Hryb: Let's be clear, so The New Day, which is one of the most popular and decorated tag-teams in WWE history ... not everybody can say that, my friend ... are now playable characters in Gears 5. You can unlock the $20 pack with Xbox Game Pass Ultimate Perks, and it's now through December first. So it's got everybody you mentioned. This is amazing, because we have got some game play here and it's so fun because ... Let me pull it over here. Because look at this. I mean, you guys are just great. Tell me about your work and what you did. It's not like you just said, "Yeah, here's my name"; you actually did a lot of work to bring this in, right?
Xavier Woods: Yeah. We went in and did full body scans, and the company that made them, they did full 3-D ... I just saw them, actually, I just came from the place ... full-body 3-D printed versions of us, so I stood next to a 3-D printed version of myself and they built the armor all around it to our exact dimensions. We had a lot of say in what our armor looked like, and like I said before, Gears is such a dark, brooding game; my thought was, "Well I want us to still be New Day and be like our brand." But at the same time, it's DLC, and people have been playing Gears already. It's like, "What's something new that we can give them that they haven't seen?" So it's like, it's one thing—
Larry Hryb: And then at the same time, it's a video game, so you can have fun, right? There's no rules.
Xavier Woods: Yeah. Exactly. Exactly. So they were really cool and let us just go off the wall with all the colors and stuff like that. For me, as somebody who will stay on a video game for as long as he can, if I see DLC, I want that stuff to be different. Since there hasn't been a color scheme like this in Gears yet, I feel like this is what people are going to want to get, because it's going to be super obnoxious to get popped by somebody wearing this armor and doing these dances that we're going to have in the game. It's just wild to see it.
Oh, and if you look on my back right shoulder, there's the logo for my YouTube channel, so there's a couple of Easter eggs in there for people who know us.
Larry Hryb: And also I noticed when you guys are doing some finishers here is that some of the, for lack of a better term, some of the gore and blood was rainbow-y [crosstalk]
Xavier Woods: Oh, yeah. Yeah.
Larry Hryb: Here's a great shot. Look at this. There you go. I mean, that's just good-looking armor.
Xavier Woods: That looks awesome.
Larry Hryb: That is—
Xavier Woods: Exactly.
Larry Hryb: You've been doing this for a while. When you were growing up, did you ever think you would see yourself in a video game? Especially something like Gears of War.
Xavier Woods: Yeah, it's what I definitely wanted, and you know, you always aspire to fulfill your dreams. But when they become a reality, like when I first saw the pictures, I wanted to cry. It's such a cool thing, because it's one thing to think that of yourself, but then when you know that other people who are in charge of these things see yourself in the way that you see yourself, that means you've been making the right decisions and putting yourself out there in the way that you want to be perceived and people are understanding that. So overall it's just a very humbling experience that they would want to put us in the game, that people would want to play as us, and it works for me. It works for me. I'm super happy.
Larry Hryb: And it's funny, because you've been in WWE games like WWE 2K19 and WWE Battlegrounds, and now you're in Gears. I mean, come on man, that's unbelievable! You're just making quite a biz over here as not only just the body scan, but for ... I know that I was reading, they told me that for Gears you guys recorded over 700 lines of dialogues and expressions?
Xavier Woods: Yes. Yes. I haven't done a ton of voice acting. I've done a little bit for a few games, but this was definitely the most labor-intensive one that I've done. So I'm learning the secrets about, "Put a little bit of lemon in your water," and, "Scream from your diaphragm," and do all that stuff. Voice acting, my hat is off to people that do that for a living ... whether it's TV, movies, et cetera ... because that is work! They are working! So, hat's off.
Larry Hryb: Now, did you get a chance to talk to John DiMaggio, who is like the top drawer when it comes to voice acting in Gears? Because he's amazing, right?
Xavier Woods: Oh, yeah. Yeah. [crosstalk]
Larry Hryb: Did he do Bender for you? Did he do Bender?
Xavier Woods: Yes! Yeah! Yeah! Because I looked through all of his stuff, I was like, "Oh my god, you've done so many great voices," but I told him I am a huge Futurama fan, so it's like, "Bender is so good." And then for, like, five minutes he just went Bender and then went through a bunch of voices. I'm like, "How do you do this?"
Larry Hryb: Yeah. It's kind of amazing. Yeah, when you learn from some of these guys ... You're on that path right now. You may be Bender V2 someday.
Xavier Woods: Oh, I'm trying! I'm trying.
Larry Hryb: When the DLC is available, the New Day content is available, are you going to go online, and obviously you're going to suit up, so you're going to be playing yourself. That's going to kind of be wild when you're playing up against your own character, right?
Xavier Woods: 100%, because the greatest joy that I will receive is popping somebody and having a video of myself in the corner thumbs-upping my character in the game, and then hopefully knowing that person and tweeting them that five-second clip. "You got killed by me with me, and it's this cyclical universe that we live in now."
Larry Hryb: Yeah, everything is just going to melt down. Now, you had the Gears armor on in 2018, right? That seems like so long ago. But you've been to Gears, we have had you at E3 a few times. That's a great experience, and you and I miss that, don't we?
Xavier Woods: Very much so. I feel like we may have underestimated how much we actually need conventions for our own emotional stability.
Larry Hryb: Yeah.
Xavier Woods: It's just those crowds of people that all love the same stuff ... I always say this and my friends make fun of me ... walking into a convention and then just going [inaudible] It's not a good smell, but it's a necessary smell.
Larry Hryb: It's very memorable. It's very memorable.
Xavier Woods: Yes. You could smell that you're at a convention, and I miss that so much.
Larry Hryb: Now, you've got the Survivor Series coming up this weekend, depending upon when you're listening to this or watching this, but this weekend right after recording this. What should fans look for? Gears fans, WWE fans. It's a big weekend for you.
Xavier Woods: For Gears fans, obviously now that we're part of the Gears universe, come on and support your boys and come see Survivor Series. We're going to be going up against a team called The Street Profits, and they are the tag-team champions of the other show, so it's champions versus champions. We are 10-time WWE champions. We have been setting records, really trying to make our mark on this industry, and Survivor Series, we're going up against one of the greatest teams to come up in recent memory, so it's going to be a hell of a competition. And then you can watch it and go, "Wow! That guy won his match, and now I'm going to win with him while playing Gears," so everybody wins.
Larry Hryb: Right. It's win, win, win, win. I mean, it just keeps going. That's really exciting. And then also ... I know I've got to let you go because you're getting ready for that show, but you mentioned your YouTube channel. How do people find you?
Xavier Woods: Just check out, go to YouTube or Google, whatever you want, just search 'UpUpDownDown'. That's the YouTube channel. We are doing videos constantly, like four or five a week. We have weekly Uno games, actually, ever Wednesday. We're 35 weeks deep and it has become this very intense thing that we do, but you get to see a lot of [crosstalk]
Larry Hryb: Why Uno, out of curiosity? I think I know, but tell us why Uno.
Xavier Woods: We just started it one day, and then we were like, "Well, this is it now," because after we played, we were like, "Well we all hate each other." And I guess people like that kind of content, where we're just arguing and screaming.
Larry Hryb: Right. Yeah, I mean, people tune in and they want to be part of it, and I know that when I played games online ... like Uno or what have you, or You Don't Know Jack, which is also another option ... is it's great to just kind of ... It's not as like you're leaned forward and you're twitching and you're shooting; it's a bunch of friends hanging around a table playing a board game, right?
Xavier Woods: Mm-hmm (affirmative). Something that everybody can get into. The rules are easy, basic, but it calls for the most heightened of emotions when you're playing. And I think a lot of people tune in because they're used to seeing the wrestlers in one light on the wrestling shows, so when they see us in this video game world, they go, "Oh! They're nerds just like we are. Cool." So I feel like it brings people closer in that respect, and that's all I'm really trying to do with the channel is show everybody, we're all the same. We should all just have fun.
Larry Hryb: Yeah. We're all varying degrees of nerds, and you happen to be in the WWE, and that's got to be amazing as well. You're living the dream there. You're a WWE superstar, YouTube star, gaming voiceover guy. I mean, you're just checking all the boxes right now, my friend!
Xavier Woods: I just want to make eight-year-old me proud. That's all I'm trying to do.
Larry Hryb: Well, I didn't know eight-year-old you, but I'm pretty sure he's pretty darn ... He's like, "What? What?" He's probably pretty astonished right now. All right, my friend, well listen, I'll let you go. I know that The New Day, the most popular and decorated team in WWE history, now available as playable characters in Gears 5. Check that out, get a discount if you're a Game Pass Ultimate member. Kofi Kingston, Xavier Woods, Big E are going to be appearing as their in-game personas at the WWE Survivor Series November 22nd.
Can you come back on again? Because I know you've got to go and I've got to go, but I would love to have you come on again. Maybe I'll come on your show! Can I play Uno?
Xavier Woods: Please! Please! Please! I would love that! I would love that. And all of you, go ahead and tweet me or check me out on Instagram @AustinCreedWins and tell us what we should play when he comes on.
Larry Hryb: That's what we're going to do. All right, my friend, well listen, we'll let you go. Good luck this weekend, and great to see you in Gears.
Xavier Woods: All right, thank you so much, man.
Larry Hryb: Mars Horizon is out this week on Xbox One ... You can see it right behind me, that's planet Earth right behind me ... and not a lot of people have seen in real life the Earth kind of like that from outer space, and I figure the best way to talk about that would be to bring in an expert, an astronaut; Mr. Tim Peake. Tim, good to see you!
Tim Peak: Hi, Larry! Great to see you, too! Good to be joining you.
Larry Hryb: I have to tell you, I get an opportunity in this, what I do for Xbox, to talk to a lot of different people, and my nerd meter is off the chain right now because I have never had a chance to really have a conversation with somebody who is an astronaut, who ... I've always wanted to be an astronaut. I'm frustrated you actually made it happen. I went to do video games. But I'm just so excited to have you on here. We're going to talk about Mars Horizon in just a minute, and kind of the role that you played in that, but I want to see if you could just tell people a little bit about your background and your journey to out space, as it were.
Tim Peak: Yeah, sure. My background, on the one hand, it sounds fairly stereotypical, because I was a military test pilot. I joined the British Army at 18 and I flew helicopters, loved it, and I did everything I possibly could to stay flying. So I went instructor pilot, test pilot, and then from test pilot to astronaut.
But actually, you know, I wasn't an academic genius at school. I did pretty much fail my A levels, and it wasn't until the age of 33 that I went back to school and got my degree and got the necessary professional qualifications, academic qualifications to become an astronaut. So it was one of those journeys that I just did it incrementally, and I wasn't a young boy who dreamed of being an astronaut right from the age of seven. It kind of just happened that way. I figured out a path to get there later in life.
Larry Hryb: Yeah. You and I are roughly the same ... You're a little bit younger than I am, but you and I grew up in kind of this interesting time of space, where the Americans had the space shuttle going up, we had Soyuz going up. There was a little bit of a space race ... not as big as back in the '60s, when you and I were younger or not even born yet ... but what kind of grabbed you and said, "I've got to go up there"?
Tim Peak: I was the same as you; I loved watching the space missions in the '80s. The shuttle was such an exciting vehicle, and so unique. And again, the Mir space station being built. So, that was all really exciting. But you know, when I was growing up, it seemed to be something that the Americans and the Russians were doing, and as a British boy, there wasn't a clear path to becoming an astronaut, so I was more of a spectator. It wasn't until I was a test pilot that the European Space Agency, they opened their doors. They had a selection process, just an online application, and said, "Hey, anybody can apply." And along with eight-and-a-half thousand other people, I just jumped on and thought I would give this a shot.
Larry Hryb: That's incredible. And then of course, there's a lot more to that story, but we're going to talk about Mars Horizon. Now, did you play video games growing up?
Tim Peak: Yeah, not too many, but I started off with a ZX81, my first home computer, and then [crosstalk]
Larry Hryb: The Sinclair! Yeah!
Tim Peak: We're going back to the days, you know, the ZX81 was uploaded by cassette tape.
Larry Hryb: With that crazy touch screen, right? It wasn't even a keyboard.
Tim Peak: That's right, that's right. But I loved it. And my dad had an Amstrad, so I was playing Apache Tomahawk games on that, because I was into flying and I loved any flight simulator I could get my hands on. So they were the kind of games that I was playing. Of course, these days, wow! Kids don't know how good they've got it.
Larry Hryb: Yeah. You know, of course we just came out with Microsoft Flight Simulator, which was around when you and I were growing up, but it has been rehashed. You can go to anywhere on the earth and it uses realtime mapping from Bing Maps, so Tim, I urge you to check that out if you can, because it's pretty extraordinary.
Tim Peak: Oh yeah, I have played it. It's unbelievable. I mean, you can become such a professional pilot or air traffic controller now by playing these simulation games. Unbelievable.
Larry Hryb: Now, let's talk about Mars Horizon. The game is out, now available for Xbox. Tell us about your role in that. I know that you've played it a little bit; I've played as well. Tell us a little bit about your role in that.
Tim Peak: This was great. I obviously work for the European Space Agency, and ESA have been involved in the production of Mars Horizon. It's a wonderful game, because it takes you through every stage, from the beginning of the space race to creating your own agency, and if you make mistakes along the way, you're going to have a rougher ride of it. But it actually, what I thought was fun was you can actually play [inaudible] I really wanted to get a human into space before the 12th of April, 1961, see if we can actually do better than the Russians. So that was really a great amount of fun, being able to develop your own agency and think about the compromises between safety and efficiency when you're choosing a rocket, what sort of payload you want to launch into space, and all of these really interesting concepts.
And even along the way, there are little snippets thrown in there, for example, like PR. "Do you want to congratulate China on their success or not?" And that will have an influence on the game as well. So it brings in so many aspects, this all-encompassing kind of holistic view of space flight. I thought it was fascinating.
Larry Hryb: Having you on here, again, is ... I've always wanted to fly helicopters; you said you do that. So I'm looking at you, going, "I should have done what you do." You're kind of my spirit animal at this point, Tim. Let's talk about, not many people can say that they have selfies like this. I mean, this is unbelievable. And you've actually done EVAs, I think 'extra-vehicular activity', or you've done spacewalks, right?
Tim Peak: Yes, yeah. This is probably one of my favorite photographs actually, from space. I was out there at the very furthest edge of the space station. We were repairing a solar panel, myself and Tim Kopra, who's in the reflection of my visor there. We had about 10 minutes. We got out there early ahead of time and we weren't allowed to touch the solar panels because there was live electricity coming from them, and NASA just said, "Listen guys, the only way to wait is for the sun to go down and then the electricity will be cut off, so hang out for 10 minutes." So for 10 minutes, Tim and I were just there—
Larry Hryb: So you're sitting up there in space with basically free time to play with a jet pack. Now, you obviously need to stay close to the space station, but you can kind of look around. I mean, that's amazing!
Tim Peak: It was unbelievable, yes. Our jet packs, it's a one-shot-only chance to get back to the space station. We weren't going to use the jet packs, because that fuel is precious in case we fall off.
Larry Hryb: Sure.
Tim Peak: But we clipped on and then just pushed ourselves away on these long tethers and just floated there in space watching the sun go down. It was unbelievable.
Larry Hryb: When you're up there, you're looking down, and we can kind of see it in this reflection in your visor, you see the other astronaut and then you see ... I mean, it's amazing because you can actually see the circular ... You can see Earth there. What's that like? You're looking down, you're one of a handful of people that has actually been out there in space, untethered. That's got to be probably one of the highlights of your life.
Tim Peak: Absolutely, the highlight. I don't think anything will beat a spacewalk. It was secretly what I was really, really wishing to do, because from my perspective as a test pilot, I love the aspect. Spacewalking is like a flying sortie to me. The preparation that you do and the way you approach it is just like approaching a test flight, so I really, really wanted to do it, but not everybody gets the chance, so I was really fortunate that a spacewalk opportunity came along and Tim and I got the chance to go out the door and do it. It was unbelievable though.
Larry Hryb: It's not like you go up to the space station and you're like, "Hm, I would like to go out on a spacewalk." It doesn't work like that. Everything is very, very specific, and I don't want to say 'scripted', but it's methodical, right?
Tim Peak: It is. It is very methodical. Until something breaks, and then opportunities come up, but otherwise you're absolutely right, it's completely scripted. Your whole six months, you know exactly what sort of science activities you're going to be doing, what cargo vehicles are going to arrive, crew changes, changeovers. It's all very scripted, yeah.
Larry Hryb: Now, you're here in the space station in this shot, and that's the ... What do they call that, with all the windows? I'm sorry [crosstalk]
Tim Peak: Oh, that's the Cupola.
Larry Hryb: The Cupola, right.
Tim Peak: I like to think of it as the Millennium Falcon, but yeah, it's our Cupola. It's seven windows and one looking down on Earth.
Larry Hryb: I mean, that is an amazing ... If I were an astronaut, I feel like I would be down there all the time, just kind of doing what you're doing. Here you are reading a book, right?
Tim Peak: Oh yeah. Yeah, yeah, yeah. We spend all our spare time in there. It's our window on the world, and that's where we get these incredible photographs of Earth from. But yeah, it's just a beautiful place to hang out, take photographs, or just to relax with all this natural light coming into the space station.
Larry Hryb: You know, when you went out on your spacewalk ... and we have done it all; when I say "we", gamers, they're doing it in various video games, and obviously it's a video game ... but what is it like ... I mean, we all hear that space, there's no sound. It's a vacuum. But is that really, or do you hear maybe the space station creaking, or? Tell me a little bit about that. What is that like?
Tim Peak: Yeah, it's fascinating, because there is sound inside our space suits, because we have a constant hum of the ventilation system, which is actually reassuring. Without that, then you need to be getting out of your space suit within about 20 minutes or you'll get carbon dioxide poisoning. So that gentle hum keeps the air flowing around, but otherwise it's very, very quiet. The interesting thing is, when you're in the airlock getting ready, there's all of our metal carabiners and tethers and tools, and they're clanging around making a really loud noise, and then as we depressurize the airlock, you suddenly realize that you're still banging around these tools and tethers, but you're not hearing any of that. You've just got the gentle noise of the ventilation fan. And you can get a big wrench and bang it on the side of the space station and it won't make any noise when you're in the vacuum. It's quite crazy.
And the other interesting thing is when you're inside the space station and your crew mates are outside doing a spacewalk, because you can hear them tinkering around in the whole space station [crosstalk]
Larry Hryb: That's got to be off-putting, right? You're like, "What is that?"
Tim Peak: Yeah.
Larry Hryb: I mean, that's amazing.
Tim Peak: The great thing is about the whole onset of VR though is it opened our world in training to be able to practice spacewalks before we go. We have some HoloLens VR headsets up there and we can just do our spacewalk—
Larry Hryb: Oh, that's right!
Tim Peak: Yeah, we can do our spacewalk in VR 10 times before we actually go out the door, and it's a brilliant environment for training for that.
Larry Hryb: You know, it's funny I forgot about the HoloLens, because I work with one of the inventors ... a few of the inventors ... and I remember when I ran into them, because if you recall correctly, we were sending HoloLenses up and one of the missions got scrubbed, or I think they were destroyed even, and he was really bummed out, but I'm glad we finally got you guys some up there in the space station. Because I've heard about that. I've never seen that experience, but I've heard that it's really helpful for astronauts.
Tim Peak: It's really helpful. In fact, Scott Kelly and I were using them for the first time training for this, and unbeknown to us, you guys had put a great Space Invaders game in there as well, which we didn't know about until we got to the coffee break, and then somebody said, "Hey, check this out." We just loved it, playing VR Space Invaders in space.
Larry Hryb: Playing Space Invaders in space. I know that there's lots written about what it's like and the hum of the space station and the sheer ... Because a lot of people don't know, if you haven't been paying attention to space, is that it went up as a module and we have been adding on gradually over the years. Give us a sense for how big the space station is. I know some people, when it travels overhead, you can actually see the glint, and I've seen it in my front garden. Tell me about how big this thing is.
Tim Peak: It's huge. I mean, the space station itself is the size of a football pitch, and the pressurized modules make up about the same volume as a 747, so you can appreciate ... There's only six ... now there's seven crew members on board, so there's plenty of space to move around. And when you first get on board, you're so used to it. You've trained in all of these modules, so you know where everything is, but it's still that sense of how large the space station is takes you by surprise when you first get on board and you're floating around this whole space station.
And as you mentioned, it's continually evolving. We have got another Russian module that will go up in the next year, we have got commercial crew now delivering crews, we have got Bigelow with a sort of experimental expandable module that was attached, so we're constantly reinventing the space station.
Larry Hryb: Yeah, and I want to point out that it's not just like we decide, "Hey, we need another Cupola here," or something here. It's very methodical in how you guys are building it out. It's not like those crazy people that are always adding on to their houses, that I'm sure every neighborhood has, right? It's pretty prescriptive. When you went up to space, this was your first trip to space, right? When you went up to the space station?
Tim Peak: Yes, yeah.
Larry Hryb: I guess I'm kind of speechless, because you went to Russia and you went up on a Russian space vehicle. How long did the trip take, from the moment you lifted off to the moment you're kind of floating around in the space station?
Tim Peak: It's remarkably quick, actually. We were about 12 hours from launch ... Oh, sorry, no, we were about eight hours from launch to opening the hatch into the space station, and we spent six of those hours actually doing the rendezvous. So the trip to space is eight minutes and 48 seconds. Really quick. In that time, you get up to 200 kilometers altitude, but most of that time is not getting you to 200 kilometers; most of that time is getting you to 25 times the speed of sound, which is just crazy. And the acceleration, same as a Formula 1 car, but maintaining that rate for eight minutes, 48 seconds. So that's the fun part, is that ride into space.
And then we have six hours, four orbits of Earth, to gradually raise our orbit up to 400 kilometers, rendezvous and dock with the space station. But we have since reduced that down now to just three hours, so we're constantly trying to get there even faster. The Space X that launched recently, they took 27 hours, but of course Space X is a fairly new vehicle and they're taking it gradually. They're doing all sorts of tests and procedures along the way. But the Soyuz now will do that in three hours.
Larry Hryb: Yeah. I mean, that's the equivalent of going down the highway or the freeway, the M4, and pulling into a gas station and waiting an hour-and-a-half, right? As you kind of creep in slowly to fill up your tank. Because you certainly don't want to crash into anything. You've got to be careful, make sure you're all on the right ... There's a lot of science involved, right Tim?
Tim Peak: There's a huge amount of science involved, yes. You want to make sure that the engine burns are perfect to get you into the right orbit, and then as you mentioned, you need to do this fly-around. So when you arrive at the space station, you need to gently fly around, get to the right docking port, align, and then bring it in for a docking.
Now, the system can do that automatically. In our case, we had a failure and Yuri, our Russian commander, had to fly it in manually, so that takes even more skill and practice to be able to do that. But you have to be really careful. Docking is one of those periods of a mission where you need to be very cognizant. Bringing two vehicles together in space is always a high-risk maneuver.
Larry Hryb: And does it make that 'ka-chunk' sound when you connect? What's that like?
Tim Peak: It is more of a reassuring jolt. You do actually want to have a nice, firm connection. You don't want to just hit it too lightly and then bounce off back into space. So you've got a probe that's going into a cone, and you want it to be a nice, secure connection, so you get a reassuring sort of thump as it goes in. But yeah, you don't want to hit it too hard.
Larry Hryb: I would love to hear that someday. I don't know if I ever will. Tim, I know we're here to talk about Mars Horizon, which is now out on Xbox One. There are so many steps in this and this looks so complicated, but this is really, this is just a fraction of kind of what you have to do when you're traveling for space; the training, the checklists, and things like that, right? I mean, it's a simulator.
Tim Peak: It is a simulator, and that's the great thing about it. There are so many permutations of the decision tree that you'll take in terms of your training, the buildings, the infrastructure that you want to have, the launch sites, even weather windows of when you want to launch. And this is space flight. Space is hard. It's a compromise in everything that we do, always weighing up benefit versus risk, and yes, there's a lot of risk involved in what we're doing, so that's what I like about the game, is it really gets you to think carefully about when are you prepared to take risk and when are you not prepared to take risk. That's very accurate to how we operate in space.
Larry Hryb: I mean, you say space is hard, and that would be an understatement. We're not supposed to be up there, okay? That's not a natural habitat. So saying it's hard is a slight understatement. It's extraordinary.
You know, I've got to wrap it up here, because I know I need to let you go, and I could talk to you for another two hours. What do you offer somebody who is interested in making that trip to space or pursuing a future in space flight and hopefully being able to have a few minutes to [theirselves] as they wait for the sun to go down during their spacewalk? What do you recommend for somebody who wants to take that path?
Tim Peak: Well, I mean, I would whole-heartedly support anybody who had a passion for that. I think it's really important to be passionate about what you're doing, and to follow what it is that you want to do. The thing about astronauts is we now come from a really diverse background. In the early days, it was the stereotypical fast jet test pilots—
Larry Hryb: The right stuff, yeah.
Tim Peak: The right stuff, yeah! On both the Russian and the American side. Now it's school teachers, medical doctors, engineers, scientists, pilots still, but a whole diverse range of people can become astronauts. The important thing is that you do something to the best of your ability, work hard at it, and try and find out at an early age what it is that you want to do and enjoy that journey, because astronauts are always selected in their early 30s onwards once they have made those initial decisions about what it is they're going to do before they become an astronaut. That's the tough thing; what is it you're going to do before you become an astronaut?
Larry Hryb: Well, I just want one more glance through these photos, this epic selfie of not many people in the planet in this world or out of this world have. Tim, I really appreciate your time today. As I said, I could talk to you for many times, but you're really here to talk about Mars Horizon, now available on Xbox One, so be sure to download that and check it out, and you too can kind of not only go to space, but in this case, go to Mars. That's someplace you haven't been yet, Tim.
Tim Peak: It's next on the agenda.
Larry Hryb: It's next on the agenda. All right, my friend, I'll let you go. Good luck, and I look forward to chatting with you again soon.
Tim Peak: Great talking to you, Larry. Thanks very much.
Larry Hryb: If you follow me on Instagram, you've noticed that I have posted I have a new gaming chair. This is an amazing ... You can't really see it right now because it's behind me, but it's right here. It's from a company called Herman Miller, and anybody that knows design or chairs, they are familiar with Herman Miller. So I wanted to reach out to those guys and say, "Hey, tell us about your gaming chair." Well, it turns out they have a gaming expert, and there he is! Jon Campbell from Herman Miller, great to see you. Thank you for joining us.
Jon Campbell: Thanks for having me. I'm looking forward to the conversation.
Larry Hryb: Yeah, let's talk about this. Herman Miller is a brand that some people may know, like maybe in their ... When we were going to offices, people had office furniture, and there's a lot of history with Herman Miller. But recently you decided to get into the gaming chair space. Tell us about that.
Jon Campbell: Yeah, it was a really, I think an interesting opportunity for us to find new ways to serve more customers. It's the one thing, and actually a lot of people think that this started due to COVID as another way for the big organization to go and find more ways of generating revenue, and actually it's not true at all. It was about two-and-a-half years ago where I kind of set out on this journey, and also we had a relationship with Logitech that started well before that as well. Really what our goal was is to find more people to serve with our understanding of ergonomics, the product that has been wildly successful in the office world, but really about finding more people to really find and understand those needs and meet them through both product and education as well.
Larry Hryb: You talked about the fact that you worked with Logitech, and I want to talk about that in just a minute, because they've got a great history of mice and peripherals, and I'm staring at a Logitech webcam probably like you are.
Jon Campbell: Yeah.
Larry Hryb: But when Herman Miller looked at the gaming space, and in your experience in your studies and working with Logitech, how is a gaming chair or what gamers do different from working in an office? I mean, they're very similar, right?
Jon Campbell: Yeah. In those early years, about two years ago, we were doing a lot of research. What Herman Miller typically does is we start with observational research based on a problem that we think that we have identified, one of them being this understanding that the gamer is really an athlete. And yes, they sit, they use a mouse, they use a keyboard, they work at a desk just like any other office worker would; however, they do things at such an extreme level compared to an office worker. I don't know the last time you sent an email and you had a little bit of sweat coming down your brow, or you had to flick your mouse extra hard in order to send—
Larry Hryb: Funny you say that, because I just did that before this interview with my boss! No ... But yeah, I know what you're saying. It's a little different.
Jon Campbell: It's very different, and the thing that we have been learning is that gamers, the amount of leverage and power that they need in order to do what they do, especially at a competitive level, is much greater than what we have ever realized. This puts us in a unique position to really start to focus in on your chair not just being this aesthetic thing that you started off this conversation with, like these race car style chairs that are essentially a billboard, right? But now what your chair becomes is a part of your performance gear, right?
So just like the way that you would think about your controller or thinking about your monitor and having a high refresh rate so that you can see everything quicker and faster than your competitors, now what players are starting to think about is, "How do I put my body in the right position so that I can improve and increase my performance?"
Larry Hryb: Now, the chair that you guys sent over to me is the Embody, and we have got some pictures of it right here, and I'm going to roll through. So everyone looks at this and, "Oh! That's a nice chair, but it's ... " Tell us a little bit about what Herman Miller did to this design to kind of game-ify it and make it a little more appropriate for gamers, if you would.
Jon Campbell: Yeah. In that research that we started, one of the big things that we did was actually work with professional gamers and content creators. One team that we worked with specifically was TSM. When we worked with them, we were really trying to understand what are their specific needs, so we spent an entire week in their game houses just watching them, understanding the way that they use their furnitures, looking at the way that they position their bodies, talking with them specifically about what are their needs and what do they want in a gaming chair. The thing that we heard over and over and over again was first this growing dissatisfaction with the race car style chair in really supporting them and giving them long-term comfort.
The other thing that we learned is that they sit in a very different position than an office worker sits. Most athletes, or players, sit more upright, slightly leaned forward. In that more upright, leaning forward position, they were removing their back, pulling their back away from the chair, and in doing so, losing all the support in the chair. So we actually took the Embody platform, which is a chair that we have designed back in 2008, and the purpose of that design was actually to build the first health-positive chair that actually would help decrease your heart rate as you sat in the chair. We built upon that platform knowing that gamers sit for a very long time, and then modified that chair to better support their unique posture.
Larry Hryb: One of the things when I posted this on Twitter, everyone was like, "Well, it ... " To your point, it doesn't have this large extension up here for your headrest, but you guys have done a design ... and I can't really see it here ... but I guess you don't really need it, and I haven't missed it, to be honest with you.
Jon Campbell: No, it's the really interesting thing that a lot of people think that they need a headrest because their car has a headrest.
Larry Hryb: Right.
Jon Campbell: Or [crosstalk] Yeah, the dentist [crosstalk] How often do you find a player, right ... If you're going to take a break and relax, I think the best thing to do is probably go find a lounge chair to sit in for a couple of minutes and change your posture and move around. But while you're playing and while you're sitting, the best thing that you can do is make sure that you get your head in proper alignment. The way that you do that is actually through proper spinal support.
So, in the chair that you're in right now, what it has built into the chair is what we call PostureFit, and PostureFit is a proprietary technology that supports your sacrum. This is why I have these crazy things in my room. Back here I have a spine. I spent a lot of time talking [crosstalk]
Larry Hryb: Wow, interesting!
Jon Campbell: ... About how their spine is actually put together, because a lot of people think you need lumbar, right? "I need lumbar support, lumbar support, lumbar support." If you stop and scratch your head and like, "Well why do I need it?" most people will go, "My spine is shaped like this, so I need to put a pillow right there." In all reality, what you need to do is, your spine, the base of your spine is actually connected into your pelvis, and if I can support my base of my spine and prevent my hips from rotating back, I can actually give my spine that really strong foundation that will give me that nice S shape curve that you need.
Larry Hryb: And you talked about that, and I think this ... This is what I'm looking at right here. You talked about those things in the back of the chair. What did you call them again?
Jon Campbell: Those are specifically called H-flexors, and those H-flexors allow for dissipation of pressure across the back. Then at the bottom of the chair, or at the ... Let's see if you come by a picture, but actually, right at the base of the chair, right where your butt would actually go all the way in the back part ... you'll feel it when you get it ... is there's a little bit of a, it kind of protrudes out ever so slightly. That's the support mechanism that's built in to actually prevent your hips from rotating back.
Larry Hryb: Got it. So that's kind of one of the ... I don't want to say 'magic', but that's one of the design elements of the chair. Tell me about working with Logitech, because it's obviously, like we said earlier, they've got a pretty big history in gaming.
Jon Campbell: Absolutely. If you think about the way that Herman Miller typically approaches design challenges, if you trace our history all the way back to the '40s, we have always worked with outside designers. [crosstalk]
Larry Hryb: Well let's talk about that Eames chair, can we? Because I've got my eye on one of those things. Oh man! I don't have one, but I love those.
Jon Campbell: They're amazing.
Larry Hryb: Yeah.
Jon Campbell: Yeah. I absolutely love them, too, from the Eames Lounge to the EAG as well. They're just, they're incredible chairs. But we worked with tons of designers; Yves Béhar, another one that designed the Sayl chair over here. And the way that we approach challenges like this is less about just trying to internally try to solve problems on our own, but we look externally for people that are the experts in these fields, and being able to leverage their insights, their understanding of who the customer is, what their needs are, and really working together in this idea that one plus one equals three. That's where Logitech ultimately, why we worked with them. They're an industry leader, we share in very similar design values, and also they understand the customer better than anyone, we thought, from a gaming peripheral standpoint. We worked really well together in the design of this chair, working hand-in-hand from the very beginning, from our research all the way into early [concepting] and prototyping, and then all the way through to manufacturing and commercialization.
Larry Hryb: Yeah, the Embody chair, which I'm sitting in right here, is ... These chairs, you know, it's your back, so if you want something good, you kind of get what you pay for. People look at that and go, "Wow, that's expensive." You've got one ... you kind of alluded to it, it's the one over your right shoulder ... which is also kind of could be a gaming chair, right? Tell us about that. Yeah, that one.
Jon Campbell: Yep. Yeah, so that's the Sayl chair. What your audience will see more from Herman Miller in the future is that we're going to be investing both in designing brand new gaming chairs that are bespoke, but also taking our existing product and making modifications to it in a couple of different ways to better suit the player's needs.
There's two different ways that we're doing that. One of them is just directly through color. A lot of our chairs today are designed in a way to fit into the office environment, and what we're doing is we're taking those products that are already chosen by players today and adding more colors to them that really fit well within the gaming environment.
Larry Hryb: So that kind of looks like an Xbox green in the back. It needs to be a little bit darker.
Jon Campbell: We designed it almost specifically for you, so I'll send another one in the mail.
Larry Hryb: I mean, they're really good, but what I wanted to get from you since you're the gaming expert, you work at Herman Miller, which is world-renowned with chairs ... for somebody that can't maybe afford the Embody or the Sayl chair, what should they look for in a chair, maybe something that's cheaper, until they can save up to get something that maybe suits them a little better?
Jon Campbell: Absolutely. I think the biggest thing that they can think about is the way that they adjust the chair in order to fit them. There are some really simple things that all chairs can do, one of them being your height adjustment. I see time and time again, no matter what chair you're sitting in, people raise the chair up too high, and the reason why they're doing that is usually because their desk is too high. So what you want to look for in any chair ... this is going to be a really important thing ... is actually making sure that from your quads to your calves, you have a 90-degree angle there. That will give [crosstalk]
Larry Hryb: So you don't want to have your feet dangling, right?
Jon Campbell: Nope. You want your feet flat on the floor. That is your anchor point. When you think about the amount of leverage that you need and the energy in order to create that leverage through the rest of your body, having your feet anchored on the floor is going to allow for you to create that power that then will be used for leverage.
Larry Hryb: That's, again, regardless whether you go out and buy a cheap chair at your favorite Scandinavian warehouse or you want to get something a little more expensive, like the Embody or perhaps the Sayl chair, that's the best place to start is making sure ... And pretty much every chair has an adjustment, right?
Jon Campbell: Exactly. Every chair has a height adjustment. The other big thing that you want to be thinking about is making sure that you're sitting all the way in the back part of your chair, because what I see, most people will sit up on the front part of their chair and they'll perch. You might as well just go get a stool if that's the way that you're going to sit. No matter what your chair is, is you sit in the back part of your chair and get your butt all the way in the back, get your feet flat on the floor, get yourself locked in.
Larry Hryb: Hey, you paid for the whole chair! Use the whole darn seat! You didn't pay just for the edge!
Jon Campbell: I know!
Larry Hryb: That's a great tip there. I'm really looking forward to seeing what you guys are doing, and I know that we're chatting with you guys about some cool stuff, but it's great to see that some larger companies like yourself are helping gamers kind of get better posture and looking at it, and you've got years and years and years and years and years of experience of office chairs. And like you said at the top of the interview, it's similar; it's slightly different, but you're able to take the learnings there and bring them and make a great game experience. So the TL;DR is, great chairs, make sure you have your 90-degree angle for your knees. You don't necessarily need a tall headset. You can get away with something like that as long as the chair is designed properly, right?
Jon Campbell: Correct.
Larry Hryb: All right, anything else you want to leave us with, Jon, before I let you go? I know you've got to run.
Jon Campbell: Yeah, no, this has been a really great conversation. I think the biggest thing that people can think about is, their chair can now be a part of their performance gear. This is the way that we think about players, is we see them as athletes. We don't see them as just a video game player, but it's the way that an athlete thinks about the way that they position their body properly to perform in order to increase their power. A seated athlete is just the exact same way, so being able to put your body in the right position in order to properly support you in order to increase your performance and power is going to be really important for people not only just to be competitive, but to stay comfortable, too.
Larry Hryb: Yeah, and look, I know a lot of gamers out there, they're trying to find the RTX 3080. They want that graphics card, and it's great to have that, but don't undersell your desk, your monitor, and more importantly, your chair. We all talk about keyboards and the ergonomics, but don't forget that your bottom is sitting on something and it needs to make sure that it could be the best it can be. With some of the tips that Jon just gave us today, you can get started, and you're on the road to good posture, right?
Jon Campbell: Yes. We want to keep people healthy and playing longer. That's our goal at the end of the day.
Larry Hryb: Likewise. All right Jon, I'll let you go. Jon from Herman Miller, you're a gaming expert. I appreciate you joining us today. Let's have you on again in the future, all right?
Jon Campbell: I would love it. Thank you so much. I appreciate it.
Jeff Rubenstein: I feel like I need to sit up straight. I learned a lot in that segment. Thanks Jon from Herman Miller for joining us. I love my chair, but I guess it's not just the chair, it's how you sit in it, so that's some good advice.
Larry Hryb: And I'm going to have him on the show again. They're working on some cool gaming chairs, so ... You know, we didn't even talk about this in during the interview; it feels like it needs to have a cup holder or a place to put your controller, right?
Jeff Rubenstein: You're not wrong.
Larry Hryb: I don't want to get too American. You know how—
Jeff Rubenstein: [crosstalk]
Larry Hryb: American cars always have 50 cup holders. I'm not saying ... I don't know, it just feels like ... I've got to talk to him about that.
Jeff Rubenstein: Well, it's like the chairs in WALL-E. That's where we're moving towards.
Larry Hryb: Right.
Jeff Rubenstein: You've got the cup holder, it moves everywhere. If I ever left this room, it would be very handy. Very handy.
Larry Hryb: Do you have any other news coming up? Because otherwise, like I say, we have got a pretty long [crosstalk] Okay, what have you got? Tell me.
Jeff Rubenstein: This week, we have been playing the Halo Master Chief collection on PC now for over a year, and the journey is complete, if you will, as Halo 4 is now available on PC for the Master Chief Collection, but also, for those of you who upgraded to a Series X or a Series S, it is also now optimized. That means super high frame rates.
Larry Hryb: [crosstalk] Optimization.
Jeff Rubenstein: So, 4K resolution on Xbox Series X, 1080p on Series S, proved split screen, and high frame rates, which is really cool. Obviously your TV is dependent on those things. You have to be able to support that. Yes, Larry, we know you have a very nice TV.
Larry Hryb: We all do.
Jeff Rubenstein: Well, I mean, I'm not complaining about mine. It doesn't do 4K 120 yet, but ... In time. In time. So anyway, Halo 4 is the only one I have never played. I've been sort of catching up on PC via the Master Chief Collection on a few of the games that came out while I wasn't working here. I recently played through ODST, I played through Reach, which I think is still my favorite, but I haven't played Halo 4 yet. There's also 25 multiplayer maps added for that. That is a lot of maps. So, a ton of stuff there, obviously.
Larry Hryb: Ian and I have so many memories. We played hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of games. I've got to go back and look at those.
Jeff Rubenstein: Yeah, I definitely played some multiplayer, but I never played through the campaign. I'll be remedying that come the holidays. But I will say, if you have Xbox Game Pass for PC or for console ... of course Ultimate includes both ... you've already got this. It's sitting here waiting for you. Upgrade if you've already had the Master Chief Collection downloaded; it should be ready for an update on your Series S or Series X if you've got it sitting on your SSD, so make sure you take that upgrade and enjoy it in the best it's ever been.
Larry Hryb: It's fantastic.
Jeff Rubenstein: A couple of Minecraft bits of news—
Larry Hryb: What have you got?
Jeff Rubenstein: Which ties back to what we were talking about before, which was Star Wars. So Minecraft Star Wars is there. Now, if you think back to a long time ago, like the Xbox [crosstalk]
Larry Hryb: In a galaxy far, far away?
Jeff Rubenstein: If that helps you. There were some skins for Star Wars, but this is a full pack that is in the Minecraft Marketplace. When you look at it, there's a trailer, and I'll link to it in the show notes, but the Mandalorian is in there. In fact, the Mandalorian ship is in there. And it's not just Mando, there's Mando ... From Mando to Lando, it's got everything that you could possibly—
Larry Hryb: You didn't do that, did you?
Jeff Rubenstein: I don't work in marketing, but I should. There's a new map, there's a skin pack, there's texture sets, there's mob and item re-skins, so you can turn it into Tatooine and just know that they will come back and in larger numbers than before. There's even a licensed soundtrack. There's a Hoth level here, or a Hoth sort of biome. There's some really cool stuff that you can do, so I will link out to that.
Larry Hryb: Minecraft, check it out in the marketplace.
Jeff Rubenstein: Yes! And then, something that the team has been talking about for Minecraft Dungeons I've been looking forward to is cross-platform play. So I've got a copy of the game on Switch. I of course have it via Game Pass. I have it on my Xbox Series X and S behind me, and I have it on PC. But I couldn't, beforehand, play it from one to the other. So now I could be playing on my Switch next to my daughter, who is playing on an Xbox, and we can be sitting next to each other and playing together.
Now, what is not there yet but what is coming is that cross-save, cross-progression stuff. Reading in here Cloud saves are coming soon to Minecraft Dungeons. That means you'll be able to play on one platform, use the new Cloud save feature, pick up the game and your progress on another platform. We do not have a launch date set for this feature, but the team is hard at work. Stay tuned, there will be more there.
So that will be when the whole thing is complete, but in the short term, just the idea of being able to play cross-platform, that's what people ... People love that. That's becoming more and more common these days, and that's awesome. That goes across Switch, PlayStation, Windows, and Xbox; basically everywhere that Minecraft Dungeons is a thing.
Larry Hryb: Awesome! Love that Minecraft Dungeons.
Jeff Rubenstein: A couple of other little things. Age of Empires 2 has a battle royale mode from part of, it's the anniversary update for the Definitive Edition. That means it's been out for about a year now. Battle royale, how does that work with a RTS?
Larry Hryb: Yeah, how does that work?
Jeff Rubenstein: Yes. Yes. So you basically start with two heroes, and resources are constantly ticking up, and they accelerate if you can maintain control of supply buildings. It's basically just like a free-for-all with up to eight players together, so just sort of a different mode. There's also a new quickplay mode where you can just jump into more of a traditional multiplayer experience faster than ever, and a few other things, so good to see that Age 2 DE, Definitive Edition, is still being developed.
Larry Hryb: [crosstalk]
Jeff Rubenstein: Indeed. We talked about Gears 5; Gears 5 multiplayer re-launched today with Operation 5. [crosstalk]
Larry Hryb: You also heard from Xavier, the awesome New Day for WWE Survivor Series cross-over event. You heard all about that earlier in the show. Tune in this week. Check that out and make sure you unlock that pack with Xbox Game Pass Ultimate Perks. Now through December 4th, it's only $19.99.
Jeff Rubenstein: They have also ... and for us, we have enjoyed Horde the best. We get our butts kicked when we're playing just versus. But we have had a lot of Horde matches, and actually we should probably get another one going over the holidays, when we have got a couple of hours we can set aside and go [crosstalk]
Larry Hryb: Because we have no game supply?
Jeff Rubenstein: We have plenty of games, but it's just a fun social thing when we don't see each other, so we get a good chunk of the team together to play Horde. There's a new overhaul where you can pair any character with any class, and even characters that were not previously available in Horde or Escape are. So you can do a bunch of Marcuses together, but some could be more of a heavy, and some could be more of the tech class, the engineering class, which is my preferred class. I like repairing those turrets. Plus you get credit for all the turret kills, which ... I like that.
Anyway, lot of new stuff there on Gears. You're going to want to check that out. And just a couple of other little things; new DLC for Human: Fall Flat, which is a very popular game on Xbox Game Pass, and we had a cool interview from our French team—
Larry Hryb: Oui.
Jeff Rubenstein: 'L'équipe', as you would say for 'team' ... with Hiroki Sakamoto, who is the lead on the Yakuza: Like a Dragon team, or on the Yakuza team in general, and just sort of talking about some really interesting stuff about how the game was not initially well received when they announced that Like a Dragon was going to be an RPG instead of an action brawler, and how they have won people over ... which they really have, myself included, but the reviewers and everyone else—
Larry Hryb: You are a big fan.
Jeff Rubenstein: And so, just some really interesting stories on the people that make those games, and how they're now, they realize they're making these games not just for Japan anymore, they're making these games for a worldwide audience. That's why you saw the localization. It's not just in English, but in French and other languages as well. I just can't help but root for that team, so please play Yakuza.
Larry Hryb: Please.
Jeff Rubenstein: That's the news, sir.
Larry Hryb: You know what I've got here, Jeff, is ... This is the kindest note. Have you heard of this device called the Backbone?
Jeff Rubenstein: I have! Yeah, actually I saw somebody using that on Twitter just the other day, where they were using console streaming to play on their iPhone.
Larry Hryb: Yeah. So this is a controller, and your iPhone snaps in the middle here. It's specifically for iPhone. But I got the nicest letter from the developer, the guy who invented this thing.
Jeff Rubenstein: Is that hand-written?
Larry Hryb: Yes! I don't want to say too ... because it's got his phone number ... but he hand-wrote me this—
Jeff Rubenstein: Oh my god!
Larry Hryb: And I don't want to read the whole thing, because it's quite a personal letter to me. I have never met this individual. [Monit], I believe, is his name. You can find him on Twitter, @Backbone, but basically he's going through about how he grew up watching me, and he wanted to create something that was meaningful for gamers, and how a great opportunity. He wrote this note at 4:31 in the morning because he was ... I'm going to frame this and put this on my wall because this is so incredible. There's a couple of things here.
A, that he went through how much he was watching my videos when he was younger ... when he was a kid, he was playing Halo 3 ... and also just the fact that he took time to hand-write this entire note! I mean, it's a lost art.
Jeff Rubenstein: Yeah. Super nice handwriting. My hand would have been exhausted by that [crosstalk]
Larry Hryb: At 4:30 in the morning, man. I can barely even get out of bed and this guy is writing notes. So, congratulations on the launch of the Backbone. Add that to the show notes if you can. I want to link off to that, because it was such ... I emailed him and all. I got his email address and emailed him—
Jeff Rubenstein: Sure. We can do that.
Larry Hryb: And I thanked him for that, so that was a lot of fun. Hey, like I said at the top of the show, no show next week. We'll be dark because we have got the holiday and we'll be playing Gears and Jeopardy and Hunt the Wumpus.
Jeff Rubenstein: Hunt the Wumpus?
Larry Hryb: Oh no, don't you even do ... Don't. Stop. Just stop.
Jeff Rubenstein: What? What is—?
Larry Hryb: You don't know what Hunt the Wumpus is?
Jeff Rubenstein: Should I know what Hunt the Wumpus is?
Larry Hryb: It's like one of the very first early computer text-based games that ... Anybody who grew up in the early nerd-dom knows what Hunt the Wumpus is. Go ahead, look it up.
Jeff Rubenstein: Okay. I'll look it up, and if I deem it worthwhile, I will add it to the show notes alongside the Backbone.
Larry Hryb: 'Deem it worthwhile'? I know [E] is watching or listening, and he's probably getting really angry right now at you for this.
Jeff Rubenstein: Not the first nor the last time E will be angry with me for probably [crosstalk]
Larry Hryb: Anything. Anything.
Jeff Rubenstein: Hunt the Wumpus. What are you doing for Thanksgiving, Larry?
Larry Hryb: We're staying here. It's just my wife and myself and my daughter. We've been hardcore self-quarantining, as you know.
Jeff Rubenstein: Yeah.
Larry Hryb: So we're going to be here and playing games, playing some ... What are you doing?
Jeff Rubenstein: I'm looking up Hunt the Wumpus, and there's graphs and flow charts and dodecahedrons. I'm not making this up.
Larry Hryb: See?
Jeff Rubenstein: You know what? If you're interested, you can search for that on your search engine of choice. It doesn't get a link.
Larry Hryb: And I'm just going to warn you right now, if you're so outraged that Jeff didn't know that, hit them at his Twitter, @jeffrubenstein—
Jeff Rubenstein: Please do.
Larry Hryb: And you know what? Torch him.
Jeff Rubenstein: Come at me.
Larry Hryb: Torch him!
Jeff Rubenstein: You know, I feel confident in my Wumpus illiteracy.
Larry Hryb: I believe you have already proven that, so ...
Jeff Rubenstein: Yeah. No, for sure.
Larry Hryb: Anyway, all right Jeff, I'll let you go. Thanks for joining me for the show this week.
Jeff Rubenstein: No, it was good! I like the interviews. It's good work.
Larry Hryb: Well, you know, I try to do what I can do, and it's great. I just like interviewing ... I mean, look, I had an astronaut, a chair expert, and a WWE Superstar. It's like a joke, you're right. I don't even know what to say.
Jeff Rubenstein: "On the next episode of The Bachelor."
Larry Hryb: Well, you never know what you're going to get with this show, but we just try to ... What we want to do is, at the end of the 45 minutes, an hour, or however long this show is, we want to just leave you just slightly more informed. Just slightly. And hopefully [crosstalk]
Jeff Rubenstein: Despite my best efforts. Let's play some games tonight, Larry. Let's play some Apex. I know it [inaudible] last night, but [inaudible].
Larry Hryb: All right.
Jeff Rubenstein: Let's do it tonight.
Larry Hryb: All right, my friend.
Jeff Rubenstein: All right?
Larry Hryb: All right, gang, we'll see you guys next week. Jeff, any final words before we [crosstalk]
Jeff Rubenstein: No. Happy Thanksgiving. Be safe, be in a small group. We all see what happens when ... Look, I'm sick of this. We're all sick of this. I miss my family, who I have not seen in at least six months.
Larry Hryb: You and I haven't had a pastrami sandwich in a year.
Jeff Rubenstein: No. But if we ignore it, it doesn't go away; it gets way worse. And as someone who has had COVID, you don't want it. You really ... Please. Again, I know it sucks, but we have got to make the sacrifice to hopefully keep the numbers down, keep people out of the hospital, and for those who need to be there, that there's room for them. So please, even if you don't do it for yourself, do it for people you've never met who may have their lives saved because of it.
Larry Hryb: All right. On that note, we'll see you guys in a couple of weeks. Look for us online. You can find Jeff at @jeffrubenstein, as always, seen right there on your screen. You can find me, @majornelson. Look for me, because I'll be Fleeting.
Jeff Rubenstein: Have you Fleeted yet, Larry?
Larry Hryb: I Fleeted last night! Didn't you see it? I said—
Jeff Rubenstein: I never take the updates on my phone, so ...
Larry Hryb: Oh! As well as I know.
Jeff Rubenstein: I'm like, "I have 51 apps!" And now that I'm hearing about Fleets, I'm like [crosstalk]
Larry Hryb: Hey, did you know that Twitter can go to 280 characters?
Jeff Rubenstein: I refuse to do it.
Larry Hryb: Have you had that update?
Jeff Rubenstein: I won't use it. I won't use it.
Larry Hryb: All right gang, we'll talk to you guys, we'll see you guys in a couple of weeks. Bye-bye everybody.
Jeff Rubenstein: Bye!