CNET UK Podcast 547: Foldable phones, the iPad Pro and Michael Chabon
We've got giant tablets, folding phones, and hell maybe I'll even give out my recipe, for slow cooked beef chili, in episode 547 of the CNET UK podcast.
Hello, and welcome to the show.
Joining me is, of course, Rich.
How are you?
Just one name, like Kylie, or Prince.
[LAUGH] Or Satan.
[LAUGH] That is actually my surname, yeah.
Rich Satan, yeah.
Rich Satan, yeah.
I mean, that's what I've always called you but largely for other reasons.
Good to be here.
It's very exciting.
Good, how are you?
Yeah, very well, thanks.
Looking forward to talking about the foldable phone.
But before we get ahead of ourselves.
Let's dive straight into, I know last week we talked a lot about Apple and Samsung, and I said next week we won't talk about Apple and Samsung, so we are kicking off by talking about Apple, followed by Samsung.
I hope that's okay.
Well, let's face it, it's quite rare that Apple and Samsung both sort of do something big.
This is like proper big tech giants doing interesting things.
And sometimes there is a long wait for these things to happen.
I mean, if you like, we can talk about the new Xiaomi phones.
No, let's not, Apple had their iPhone launch, and shortly after, had their iPad and Mac launch.
Both events had quite interesting products, so that is why we are talking about them twice-
And the iPad has been neglected I think isn't it?
They are perhaps being neglected.
For quite a while they've had kind of incremental updates.
But this time around, Apple are doing something quite interesting.
So we have got the refresh of the iPad Pro coming out in two forms, 12.9 inch and 11 inch.
But both are identical other than the size.
It's not like yeah, you know like on some small phones, you buy the smaller light version and what you actually get is light hardware, you get pair down processor, you get a crappy camera.
These are the same
Have the same hardware except one is just bigger, which is interesting.
But, basically, it's the iPad Pro and this is the first time we really see Apple, I think, move towards what they think is the future of computing.
These are, if you excuse my little burp, proper competitors to the MacBook Pro.
This isn't just for casual competing anymore.
These are high end machines with the price to match.
Now coming to the price.
But overall basically these are they're bigger, they're more powerful.
We've got these narrow basels.
This refreshed design which looks a bit more pro in a way I suppose.
We've got FaceID on them now instead of having the fingerprint scanner, so that screen stretches right to the edge.
You've got face unlock, but without the notch, so you get this full screen thing those 3D-
And you don't get it on the phone?
No, the phone has a notch, because there's a little bit more room on the tablet, to kind of hide those scanners, basically around the edges.
We've got USB-C instead of lightning, which is interesting because Apple's ditching it's own lightning standard.
After the fuss they made.
Exactly, the fuss-
Did make about lightning.
And, again, that's cool.
It is huge, but it brings it in line with MacBook Pro which I have here which these also charge over USB-C there is no lightening on here.
It brings them very much in line as if not replacement products, very much synergism.
Which is quite cool.
They the downside is that there's no headphone jack.
They got rid of that.
Obviously they have.
So you can use USB-C headphones from any other phone I suppose.
You can, also bluetooth.
But these are really, these are powerful.
They talked a lot about how powerful these are for media, for.
You can do 4k video editing, multi channel 4k video editing.
Yeah, but you can't.
You can't type.
But we do have the type cover, like on other ones.
But crucially, now the thing that really sticks out for me and the reason I personally am so excited about these, is the fact that these are the tablets on which we're going to see for Adobe Photoshop, full versions of Adobe Photoshop.
Right now we've got Photoshop Express, and we've got Lightroom, both of which I do use on the iPad and I love using Lightroom on my tablet on location, cuz I don't have to haul around.
They do, Andy Hoyle he loves Lightroom on the iPad.
He really does.
But what I don't have is Photoshop.
If I need to do any in-depth Photoshop work on location I have to take my whole MacBook with the charger, and it's heavy, and I take that as well as my iPad-
They're so heavy.
Well it is, it weighs quite a bit in a kit bag when I'm also carrying tens of thousands of pounds of photography equipment.
This however now I can use full Photoshop using touch controls, using the new Apple pencil cuz they've updated the pencil.
It now magnetizes to the edge.
And charges inductively, which is so much better than the stupid way of shoving it into the charging port where it sticks out like a lollipop.
That's crazy, yeah.
Which was bonkers.
So these are really interesting and certainly as I say are very much aimed towards MacBook Pro users.
People who like professional creators.
Like me I'm a professional photographer.
That's what I do for CNET as long as with posting this podcast and annoying you.
I do a lot of photography.
I'm glad you do something else.
I do that too.
Cuz it does seem to take up quite a bit of your time.
Most of my time which is kind of cool.
Do you think you could work full time on a tablet?
I don't know but I know what you mean.
I can see that you're excited about PhotoShop and I mean I'm a huge comic book fan.
I like to draw and procreate on the iPad Pro, the comic artists been talking about for a long time.
When the first iPad Pro came along, there are a lot of comic artists going.
Well maybe I'll try it out and to content me from my whack home syndic and then more and more of them were going.
This is incredible, and then these people are starting to say, well I just done a whole page of professional comics on Procreate on iPad Pro.
And that was before we've got this even more improved, even more powerful version, so-
What about work generally?
Cuz you already navigate your Mac using it, you use a graphics tablet to navigate work, which is normally something that is as its name suggests is for graphics professionals.
Yeah, I prefer that to a mouse.
I always have.
Why is that, do you think?
I just find it easier.
I just find using a graphics tablet is, I think it's because you can type and you can sort of pick up, you've got the pen on the graphics tablet and you're like touching on the tablet.
And it just seems quicker and it seems more mobile and rather than just kind of moving the little movements with your hands and doing the little clicks with the mouse.
I don't like using a mouse.
I've never liked using a mouse.
I much prefer using a graphics tablet.
What tablet is it you use?
It's just like a Wacom Bamboo, one of the little fun ones.
Or the entry level-
Yeah the really basic ones, sort of like kid ones.
So it's not like drawing on the screen or anything.
It's drawing on the tablet.
But yeah, so I've never really like mouses, so I can sort of see the iPad thing, but I don't know, it feels like sort of a psychological barrier more than anything else to start using the-
I think that maybe could be, I am so excited.
This for me, genuinely without any kind of hyperbole, this could be for me, absolutely revolutionary, cuz this would allow me.
I've done before, when the first Ipad Pro came out, I did a story for seen It where I spent a week working on it.
Doing as much of my actual salaried job on the Ipad as I can.
And I could do 95% of it but it was when I got into the deeper levels of photo production that, I started to realize, okay, I actually can't do this.
The time when it first came out, it wouldn't really work with raw files.
And, certainly in terms of using layers in Photoshop, there was no way of doing that.
And now, I was concern, when they talked about a day before fat Photoshop on, I probably thought, okay that's fine, but I only probably.
It's still probably only gonna work for basic photo adjustments because the demands of working with very high-res images.
If you've got 50 layers on the go and stuff, is the iPad still gonna cut it?
And that's the thing.
Well, the demo-
I'm glad you asked-
Exactly, that's exactly what I was going towards because the demo on stage, they showed what looked like an insanely high resolution.
Sort of it looked like a merge between 3D CGI and photography, and it looked like about 100 layers deep, and the resolution was massive.
They were going right in there making real time adjustments, there's no lag, no delay, everything on there is optimized completely to work on the iPad and with that software.
I use Lightroom on my Mac and I, like every other Lightroom user, I'm constantly frustrated about how slow and laggy it is.
It's bogged down switching between the library module and the develop module.
It takes seconds and seconds and things won't load into focus in quite the same way.
Photoshop's better, but the idea of having that working so well on a completely touch screen interface, that is optimized to work with that, is incredible.
That does sound cool, but one note of caution.
Can you trust the demo?
Because you know what they might have done?
They might have photoshopped it.
They might have photoshopped the demo.
They might have photoshopped the Photoshop demo.
The other downside with this, of course, is the price, and that is where it becomes very clear that they're picturing this as a Macbook Pro alternative, because-
Okay, I'm ready, go ahead and hit me.
So it starts-
The 12.9 starts at 969, just under 1000 pounds, but that is only with 64 gigabytes of storage.
If you're using this for pro work, you're gonna be full of-
You've got a 100 layers on the go, yeah, exactly, you need one now.
Like I could not work with that at all.
That one terabyte version, the top model is 1,719 pounds, Wi-Fi only.
Now, if you add then, the Apple Pencil, which, of course, is a expensive extra, and the keyboard case, which you would also probably need, and 4G.
So that brings up total price To 2,187 pounds, we are firmly in MacBook Pro territory here.
Very, very much so.
I mean, I'm not defending that at all cuz that is an absolutely eye watering amount of money.
But you've gotta say, the form factor of an iPad with a terabyte of storage in it, and running Photoshop, that's an impressive piece of engineering.
Absolutely is and I-
Whether it's worth like three months rent or whatever-
There's no that's only three months rent for you, man you've got good rent.
I was trying to sort of connect with the plebs out in-
Who outside of London.
Wow, those guys.
Rent [LAUGH] I don't pay for rent.
There's certainly no question like, I'm not saying this is, so what I'm saying basically is no question a lot of money.
That is 2,180 man is a lot of money.
But I'm not saying it's too much money, it actually for what you're getting.
Okay, you would invest that much money in what would be, a really good tool to work with.
Because, well, going back to, if you are a professional photographer working with a lot of clients, one of the things that this would allow you to do, having full Photoshop.
If you go to a client meeting and you are showing the results of a photo shoot and the post-production you've done on that, instead of them giving you notes on that, yeah, we like that, and maybe you could have this and, maybe we could sort of change the color balance on this and do this.
You don't go away and then send them back this stuff.
This is work that you can do live in real time with them.
I mean, yeah, you can take your MacBook, but you can show them on this amazing screen.
You don't wanna be in a meeting with some client poking and prodding at your photos that you've caveat-
Unfortunately that is a reality for a lot of pros in there.
And I think that was actually a genuinely good use case of what you could do.
Having the power to be able to do that very quickly and easily there and show people, I think that just makes the iPad better than ever for what it.
Fair enough, I mean I think one of the key thing about the price really, that like you say, this is MacBook Pro territory and then for the first time they've made a device that you can have instead of a MacBook Pro.
Like up until now, the iPad is always been a thing that you have as well as your laptop, and in that case 2,000 quid for a laptop and 2,000 quid for an iPad is just crazy.
But if you reaching a point where you don't buy the laptop, you just get the iPad then.
Yeah, it's also your media consumption device in an evening.
It's your TV if you're in a hotel and stuff, it's great.
So actually, if you look at it in those terms, it's not that expensive.
And of course you don't have to have the one terabyte one, there is a 512 gig one, which makes it a little bit more affordable.
But for me, it's definitely really exciting, but so much of my excitement does really boil down to Photoshop.
It's down to Adobe's app rather than the iPad itself.
The iPad is just the vehicle.
For that, as it is for anything.
But really, for me, it's about that Photoshop and I don't think that's gonna be on.
It will be available on other iPads, how well it runs, I don't know.
I'm not sure if it's gonna be coming out on Android on Android tablets cuz-
Well, that's it, I mean what about Android tablets?
They've always been the poor relation, haven't they really?
They have, and that is still very much the case.
There's a lot less excitement around them.
Samsung still does have some.
And actually Google launched, when it launched the Pixel 3 it launched the Google Pixel Slate.
Which is effectively their answer to the iPad Pro It is not Android, it's actually Chrome OS.
Rather than Android, so it is different.
It makes it basically more of a office tool in many ways.
It's kind of geared towards using Chrome, using Google docs, those sorts of things.
And in which case, they have versions going from a basic Intel Celeron processor which I think starts at I'm not sure about, I think 500 pounds each.
Going through to it a very powerful intel core i7 processor with 8 gig of ram or 16 I think.
And that's like 1,500 pounds, a lot more expensive.
And a lot of people said what's the giving this Chrome OS those very intense apps like Photoshop are not available on there.
What's the point of having such high powered hardware.
If it's basically a consumption device for YouTube and Google Docs, then the basic tablet will do that perfectly well.
Which is an argument I see.
I have not used the pixel slate crucially, I'm getting one on Monday or Tuesday next week, I think, and I'm really looking forward to seeing how that-
We should revisit this, yeah.
I'm gonna be revisiting it.
I'm gonna use it.
Hopefully I'm gonna be using both for at least a week at a time exclusively, and I'm gonna be able to kind of talk about what actually it is like to work.
Cuz I do a bit of everything from Word processing, writing stories, the photo production, little bit of video here and there although our extra talented producer behind the camera over there is the one who you'll really see doing the video work.
So, but I think-
You will never see him, you will never see him do anything.
No, unless he wants to walk into frame now which you're welcome to do Jay if you'd like to give them a wave but, I think I could give them a good workout generally.
I do a lot of different things.
I mean, you need to do some spreadsheets and stuff just to pretend like you're an accountant-
I'm not gonna work on the Henderson account, Rich.
It's almost a weekend.
I need those figures on my desk by the end of the day, otherwise we're all fired.
You need them by yesterday, Rich.
I need then by yesterday.
You needed to by yesterday.
Of course it wasn't just the iPad that Apple has been talking about though.
We also had some long overdue updates to the MacBook Air.
And now MacBook Air has really become the forgotten child for Apple for several years now I think.
They've had at best a couple of basic processor upgrades when Intel launched new ones.
They're pretty good though, weren't they?
I mean, that's the thing about the MacBook Air.
It's a light-weight laptop that just, I mean this one right here, right and I've had this for a while.
This is fantastic.
You use it really well, and it is.
But the problem is Apple has been kind of upgrading the models on either side.
So, since the MacBook Air launched, it also then launched the MacBook.
The standard very, very thin and light one.
Which for people who just do office work, Word processing, web browsing, that sort of thing.
The MacBook is brilliant for that, I bet if you want to do more people go for the MacBook Pro which is why the Air is kind for this middle ground, the middle child, the forgotten middle child.
That hasn't really have to love an attention.
But Apple is off coming now, and it is beach of the process of the course, and it is throwing the retina display with narrower bezels.
Which again, the retina display has been out in Macs for so long, and the MacBook Air is only just getting it now.
And also fingerprint unlock, so it's-
I do like that, that's pretty cool.
I love using it on my Pro, but it just seems a little bit like, yeah we're giving it the basic upgrades that it needs.
It still kind of seems that the MacBook air is still kind of really a priority for Apple.
It's just, it's bringing it kicking and screaming into today's market but I don't really think it's much of a priority.
It's very clear where their emphasis is, and that's in the iPad.
Even the MacBook Pro doesn't really seem to be a huge deal for Apple, its innovation is going into the iPad.
So I'm so excited to see what happens there.
Also the Mac mini.
Which is even more forgotten about than the Air.
Wow, I'd even fogotten that was a thing.
Actually I thought about getting one of those recently.
And I looked and they're still really expensive for something that's so out of date.
Yeah, for something that is a desktop, you can't take it with you, it stays at your TV, your monitor rather.
Yeah they are quite expensive, and they still are.
The new one, they start at 1,099 pounds.
I mean that's not very mini, is it?
No, it's not very mini and I kind of think that's a mistake I think they would do really well in having a really stripped back version which is about 400 quid.
Yeah, that's what I wanted, I mean that's what I was looking for.
Something that gives you kind of macOS, you can use iCloud and do the essentials and is lot less than a grand cuz you're spending that much.
And again you probably got some demanding needs.
That said, they've patched them with new processors, better, faster RAM.
And I think it was, I'm not sure if it's discrete graphics in there, but either way, graphics capable enough to handle some games and photo and video production.
So yeah, maybe we'll get a Mac Mini in, give it to our producer.
See what you make of it.
He's not looking happy about it.
No, he's giving us the kill it, kill it sign.
Let's see how that goes.
Cool, well so that's Apple, that's some interesting new stuff from Apple.
Yes, and I think we should move on to Samsung.
Sure, what's Samsung been up to?
Well Samsung has yet again shown off a foldable phone.
Like a phone that actually has a foldable display, that can fold up underneath the folding handles.
Wow, is it like a Nintendo DS?
It's almost like a Nintendo DS, or maybe like a Bible.
Except that the screen actually.
Other books are available.
Other books are availabe, yeah the argos catalogue for example.
The, like I said the DS has two screens joined with a hinge, whereas this is one screen that folds up
Isn't though, isn't it two screens?
Or is there a second screen on the outside.
There's a second screen on the outside.
Right, got it, okay.
So what happens is basically the idea is that when it's closed, use the outside screen to see basic information.
It works kind of like your normal smart phone would exactly.
But when you want a tablet, you open it up and inside is a bigger display.
That's pretty cool.
It is a really cool idea.
And we've seen concepts from Samsung since I think 2013, 2012 maybe when they first started showing these things off in CES.
And we've seen concepts from LG and various other companies where yeah, we've got flexible screens.
We know the tech is there, but it's never really come to anything.
But something is, as Angie said, this is real, and according to Justin Dennison who is I'm reading this now.
Samsung senior vice president of mobile marketing said it will be mass produced in the coming months.
And that's pretty interesting, because these have just been proof of concepts, and nothing more.
And the demo that they showed was also kind of someone standing in the dark with a case on the thing.
I mean, did people actually get their hands on this thing?
No, so as far as I know, no, no one's really kind of done anything.
It's very much, what we saw is The proof of concept, it's just still not the finished phone.
But we know a lot more about it and we do know that it's coming.
So, DJ Koh, who is CEO of Samsung's Mobile business, actually told us in an interview last month, that you'll be able to use the device as a tablet, with multi tasking capability, before being able to fold it up into a more portable phone.
Now we saw, at Samsung's event this week, we saw a demo of flip board which is like the new sort of magazine style news app.
You see on the outside of the phone the basic quick access panels for quick news and that sort of thing.
And then you fold it out and you get the full magazine style flip board experience that's a really good idea.
I think that's really interesting, but do you think it's a gimmick?
I dint think it's a gimmick, I mean, one thing about that is that whenever we go down this kind of alternative form factor route there is always gonna be a time when there are apps that just don't work.
Because the app maker, the great thing about emulator for example, iOS or some versions of Android, is the great thing about that is that app developers just make one version of the app.
And it just works on every device.
And it's when you start getting like different form factors and stuff that they've gotta start making two versions of the app.
And are they gonna make a version for an app if Samsung's only sold three and a half of these phones.
And that's always been the case with Samsung, and Android at large, the whole fragmentation issue when you've got to optimize one app for screens that can vary from 4.5 to 8 inches or more.
Which is very difficult.
No, I don't think it's a gimmick though, I think generally it's a great idea.
It's obviously I think it's gonna happen, and clearly, the benefits are obvious of being able to fold your phone up, I'm gonna call it right now, it's a digital table cloth.
You pull out your phone and you look at your email and stuff, and you go, you know what?
I wanna watch a movie, and you just throw it out and it goes straight over the table.
And you've got a whole table sized thing, and you watch your movie on the table.
That would be good.
Yeah, get on it Samsung.
So again, their CEO said that this, excuse me, will not be a gimmick product that would disappear after six or nine months after it's delivered.
I mean, he says that, what about the Edge was their kind of previous sort of attempt at doing something a bit different and everyone was excited about phones with curved edges, and-
But they're still here.
We still have them, all of Samsung's current phones have them.
Most high-end Android phones, the Huawei Mate 20 Pro that I just got.
They're all doing, they've all got maybe the edges aren't active like Samsung's.
Samsung actually has software that takes advantage of that edge.
But most of them do have that rounded, as a design trend at the very least, those rounded edges to the screen are still there.
But Samsung has been very big on gimmicks in the past.
Like, we have had, they've done curved banana phones when when curved phones seemed like a big thing.
Yeah, yeah, you could press something-
They've have 3D phones, they've had the camera phones, we've had the Samsung Galaxy Camera or the K Zoom, where they're like, people want a really good camera.
So why don't we basically get one of our actual compact digital cameras, which is massive, and sort of give it basic Android functionality?
An idea that, in theory, is kind of cool, but in reality is you don't wanna carry around this gigantic camera as your phone all the time.
And so Samsung has very much been known to throw out the gimmicks.
And see what land, see what works in a way that Apple never has done.
Fair enough, mud at the wall.
Something is gonna stick.
Something will stick.
That's kind of why Samsung has very often been the sort of the antithesis of Apple.
Apple will do the one product and it will do it well.
Samsung is a little bit more scatter gun.
It will try these concepts, they will put them out, its been very often known to launch things only in certain markets.
Sometimes only in South Korea its home market, see what the markets says and then give it a go.
And that's kind of the issue that it has with this cuz we talked about like developers like well, this is something that's gonna rely on developers getting on board and making apps, making software that's gonna take advantage of it.
But are they going to be keen if this is something that Samsung kind of ditches after a year?
After it's first cycle.
Are we going to have a Samsung foldy phone two, and a two-S, and whatever.
I think what they've gotta be careful about is if they're the first ones in.
I mean, there's a lot to play for cuz this is a brand new market, and they're the first ones in, then they might clean up the market.
I mean, you could argue, that's kind of what Apple did with the iPad.
There was tablets before that, but they were the first major one that captured the market.
And I think that Samsung probably want to be doing the same.
But they don't want to go in to early.
I feel like 3D was, kind of, under cooked when all that started.
Very much so.
3D TV, 3D phones, all that kind of stuff.
And a lot of people went in early and went in hard and took a bit of a bath on the whole thing, Samsung included, yeah, exactly, Samsung's gotta be careful.
I mean, I think when this does happen it's gonna be really cool.
But it could be that it's a few generations away yet.
Yeah, I'm not sure it's gonna necessarily be there cuz we called the note a gimmick when that first launched.
This massive phone it's half phone half tablet how ridiculous.
And that's kind of laughable looking back now is sight of the success of the note line and how all phones are bigger even than the note is now.
So that is what a gimmick of theirs which it stuck they threw the model well and that time it did stick.
It may well be that this is the case, so as I said, what we saw isn't the final version, what we've heard about.
It's gonna presumable have some refinements.
Hopefully, it's the industrial design, cuz it looked a little bit blocky.
It looked almost like it was in a test case, basically.
It's quite possible then we will see something at CES in January.
Or possibly at Mobile Congress in February.
Now the thing is I think it can be interesting about that timing though is that MWC in February or around that time is when Samsung launches its flagship S series, like the S9.
And so this year we're due to have the S10, and that should be a bit of a milestone phone for Samsung particularly when the previous S9 and S8 have been kind of, they've done fine.
They've done okay, they have not been big sellers as I'm saying, because people aren't really excited about some of the stuff that Samsung was doing.
So I think it's been really interesting to see whether they launch an S10, which is a generally just very good, high end phone.
And they launch a foldable phone in the same rough time period, running the risk of overshadowing the excitement of the S9.
Or the, sorry, I would try it on the S10, or the S10 is the folding phone and they go all-in on the new tech, and their new mass-produced flagship phone is this new foldable thing.
Because that would be
That's a hell of a gamble.
That is all in in poker, isn't it.
That's all your chips, playing them all at once, no powder is dry.
Everything in, big red, high risk.
Know when to hold them and know when to fold them.
Rich, you're good.
I'm glad you're on the podcast, cuz you're so much better at words than I am.
So I think that's gonna be a really interesting time period.
Because I think Samsung could end up if it goes the two phone option, then it could end up stealing a lot of excitement from it's own flagship.
Which may not be something he wants to do.
We'll check back in a year.
Yeah, absolutely, so I think that probably enough of phones and tech for a little while.
So I think we should move on to-
What else have you been up to partner?
Well I'm glad you said it in such a lovely way because last episode if you remember I was gearing up for Red Dead Redemption 2.
Now I planned this lovely weekend and I'm gonna tell you a little bit about it Rich cuz I'm going to set the scene.
So I booked Friday and Monday off of work officially, so I had a good 4days of playing Red Dead Redemption 2.
I setup my house, I brought in American biz Goose Island IPAs, cuz they were the only ones I could find that were actually made in the US, in Morrison's.
I had slow cooked a beef chili, 12 hours slow cooked.
My God, it was so good, I also made corn bread, which is about quite traditional to have with the chili.
That was delicious and yeah, I sat down and played the game.
And I never played Red Dead Redemption before.
Didn't play the first one and I heard a lot about it and I've been told I've really liked it.
Cuz I like Grand Theft Auto 5, which is the same producers.
I've really like that game, I love the story, the plot, I love how the game kinda pan out.
So I was really excited to go all in on Red Dead 2, it's apparently like insane milestone in gaming of like the technical achievements that they've done.
And I found out for myself that that is true, it is.
So this is a video game set in a western world, it's an open world.
Yep, story line wise, it's a prequel to Red Dead 1. It comes before John Marsden does all these stuff, but it still is set in the same world.
It is the Old West of America, kind of as the Old West is coming to an end and modern America as we know it is sort of starting to take hold.
So the story line is interesting, I'm not gonna give any spoilers, but it's an interesting, gripping story line.
I've really enjoyed playing through it.
I'm nowhere near finished, but it's all the aside stuff that just makes this game immense.
And even if you're not fancying doing the story line.
There are so many other side quests, so many other things that you can do.
You can just bugger off and go fishing, you can look after your horse.
The world itself is absolutely enormous, it takes ages to get around cuz it's so big.
Like genuinely you can just spend half an hour trying to get to your next mission.
That sounds absolutely terrible.
That just, why would you, can you fast forward?
Can you make your horse go faster?
The horse can go reasonably fast and there are sort of fast travel options, you can take trains and it's really.
So you have to commute, this is a video game where you take a few days off work and relax and enjoy some mindless violence.
And what do you end up, you end up commuting.
I don't feel like you are getting there.
And having to eat and find food and skin animals.
And it's just work, how is it different to work?
It's not, it's escapism cuz you're working in this amazingly produced landscape.
It is, An already stunning part of the world, that whole area, anyway.
And it's so well rendered and it's pushing the graphics capabilities beyond what we currently have.
And so, really, it does just look stunning.
Everything about it, again, the story line, the voice acting, just the dynamics within the game.
Everything you do.
Even down to things that seem daft.
Like if you accidentally kill your horse, it's dead.
It's permanently dead.
It's not like you've been working on building us this horse's stats and it's bond with you, and all this stuff.
So, if it accidentally falls off a cliff and dies, go to the stable and it'll be there waiting for you.
No, it's dead.
It is fully dead.
And that really does change things for you.
Because the first time that happened, I didn't realize that would be the case.
And so when I then got a new horse, that again I had to buy, start from scratch to build up.
It really starts to mean something to you, you really feel committed to what it is you're doing, and you're more careful.
It's just really well done.
The reviews across the board have been stellar.
It was his five star-
I mean that's funny you said it, cuz the only thing I've really seen from not being much of a gamer.
I just kinda picked up on Twitter a lot of videos and the horses running into things.
Yeah, there's a lot of that, yeah.
The horse is running into other horses, horses running into rocks.
Horse is running off cliffs.
Yeah, mine ran off a cliff.
And with me on it.
And I was unscathed, my horse was not.
You were unscathed, and you fell off a cliff?
Yeah, I know.
Well, I think maybe I landed on the horse.
The horse really took the brunt of that fall.
And now that horse is dead for good.
I hope you're happy with yourself.
Yeah, but I replaced that horse with Mary Poppins.
You horse murderer.
So I've got Mary Poppins as my, and also Mary Poppins to be fair is a better horse.
Cuz I got my new horse later in the game where I have access to better quality stables.
So it actually came at a time when wanted to upgrade anyway.
And then now when I walk around a lot of people complement my horse street they're like, what a fine old nag.
And that sort of thing.
It's kinda like in Grand Theft Auto, where you get a lambo or something equivalent, you drive it around someone will say, like cool car or something.
It's the lambo of horses.
It is the lambo of horses.
It is the supercar of horses, and I'm really glad to be on it.
And you can drift the horse.
Yeah, you kinda actually drift the horse.
So there you go, that's Red Dead.
That's kind of a little bit, you know, of an overview.
It's not a full review because we don't review games.
But it does, I mean, looks great.
So I think I said last time, like, I'd play.
I've got a [UNKNOWN] 4k HDR OLED TV.
So, which is fully enabled to play that game because it's 4K enabled, HDR enabled, and it just looks stunning on that TV.
It just looks amazing, so it is worth, if you have never played one before or if you have done.
Play it, if you've got the right TV, and you can really enjoy all those details and then do, it's superb.
And if you are a fan of games, then check out gamespot.com, our sister site.
I'm not a huge gaming guy, but I do love Westerns.
So I was kinda excited by this but then I've heard the business about, you have to ride your horse everywhere [UNKNOWN]
Yeah, it's slow paced in that sense cuz a lot of time spent between things.
That has actually put a lot of people off but, it does kind of work.
Because, again it feels like you are really part of that world.
You conquered the west.
It's not just constant.
You have the good and the bad and the ugly.
[LAUGH] With a fistful of dead horses.
It sounds good.
I mean, like you said, I'm a big fan of westerns.
So I'm quite excited to see westerns being, kind of having their moment in the spotlight.
That's pretty cool.
Deadwood, they're making a movie of Deadwood.
Yeah they are, yeah.
That's just started filming.
Ballad of Buster Scroges will be on Netflix next week, that's the new Cohen brothers' movie.
That's a western anthology, which is kind of fun.
Very light weight, very frothy, but it's fun so yeah, yeah.
Is Boardwalk Empire at all westerny, or is that era?
No, that's in the 20s and 30s.
That was like prohibition era.
Okay, I've never seen it, which is now plainly clear.
It's very good.
It's kind of from a similar people who worked on Deadwood, and it is very, very good.
But it's not [CROSSTALK].
Would you recommend I watch it?
Very much so.
I love Boardwalk Empire.
I'm gonna give it a go.
All right, cool.
Well, yeah, look out for Ballad of Oscar Scroges next week as well.
Yeah, while we're on topics of me actually having watched things.
Cuz normally as regular listeners will know, I haven't really watched any TV or films.
Men in Black.
But I have been binge watching Gotham, which is great, so that's all I'll say.
[LAUGH] Excellent, very excellent.
I know I'm really late to it so it's not like I'm, I found this little thing that you might not have heard of.
I know it's a big deal and I know I'm very late, but it's good and I'm enjoying it.
It's great, isn't it?
It's a lot of fun, Gotham, yeah.
Another show, another TV show that I'm a big fan of is Star Trek Discovery.
And now the first season was earlier in the year, and the second season starts in January.
But in between they are doing these things called short tracks.
Which are little kind of online mini episodes.
Like a little hike?
A little hike, yeah.
A little hike through the Star Trek universe.
A little hike through space.
A little soldier to the final frontier.
That unfortunately you can't see that in Europe, they're working on getting these into places.
If you're in the US of Canada, you can see it on CBS All Access.
Which is CBS' streaming service.
CBS is c|net's parent company.
You can't get it in [INAUDIBLE]
You can't no.
You can see Star Trek Discovery on Netflix everywhere in the world.
Which is lovely.
But not in the UK?
But you can't take short tricks.
What are they doing?
Before I criticize too much, again our parent company.
I'm gonna have to be honest and say that is bonkers.
It is frustrating for Star Trek fans, I mean the thing is so far they're kind of like they're little mini episodes, they're kind of asides.
The most recent one though is kind of interesting, the reason I brought this up is It's set on the Discovery.
But the Discovery has been abandoned mysteriously and we don't know why.
The crew is missing and the Discovery's computer is just holding the ship there in space waiting.
And a new character comes along and has a little adventure on the Discovery.
[UNKNOWN] two people that wake up on the ship.
There's one person who wakes up and then there is also the ships computer.
Is that not, now I haven'e seen this film, is that not.
Not Interstellar, maybe Intersteller, the one with Chris Pratt.
Passengers, is that not Passengers.
Well it certain to have someone wake up alone on a ship, is kind of a sci-fi trope, certainly.
It is something you might see in Red Dward, and you might see in Passengers and stuff like that.
And this is kind of a Trek take on it.
But the reason we think it's interesting anyway, is because it was written by the bestselling author Michael Chabon.
Who is the guy who wrote The Adventures of Kavalier and Clay, and Wonder Boys, and Yiddish Policeman's Union and lots of other very heavyweight literary novels.
And he's kind of-
I'm not even like I know.
Yeah, and he's a big champion of genre fiction.
He's into kind of sci-fi, and horror, and comics and that kind of thing.
He's more and more writing short stories and novels that have become more and more sci-fi as his career has kind of progressed.
So now he is in the writer's room of a new TV show being developed.
In the Star Trek universe, which will feature the return of Captain Jean-Luc Picard, to be played once again by Patrick Stewart.
And they're developing that at the moment.
Not doing an earlier version, like they did with some of the Star Trek films, where they get like young Kirk?
They're not, no, I mean, I think that would be quite cool.
I'd love to see Tom Hardy come back and play Captain Picard again.
He played a clone of Captain Picard in one of the movies, which was pretty cool.
He might be, I don't know.
I think he might be a bit maybe he's a bit out of their price range now, I don't know.
But yeah, Patrick Stewart's back and Michael Shea's working on it and he also wrote this short episode.
But it was, I had an interesting chat with him about Star Trek and why Star Trek is relevant nowadays and how much fun he had nerding out.
So we're gonna listen to a clip of that now.
I think any Star Trek writer, any writing [INAUDIBLE] on any Star Trek show in the history of Star Trek, let's say, after the original series, had a responsibility.
And ours does too to consider canon, to be aware of canon, to know your canon.
You feel sense of responsibility to it.
All of those things for me is probably true for a lot of writers who have worked on Star Trek over the years.
But speaking for me, that's a incredible pleasure for me.
To have a legitimate excuse and get paid to know the without complaining.
The breach of the treaty between the Federation and the Romulans in 2235, or whatever it is.
To have to know.
To have to master the lore of Star Trek in order to do your job.
That's one of the reasons I want to do it.
That's one of the pleasures I get out of it.
But at the same time, and I think this has been true in the history of Star Trek, from the moment The Next Generation came on the air.
And this is true when you're dealing with any kind of canon, and this is true with any kind of fan fiction as well.
There always holes, there always gaps, there are cracks, there are contradictions, there are things that got left out.
There are mysteries that we never got the explanation of.
People allude to things in canon, but don't give any further explanation.
I mean the greatest example in our cannon ever is The Giant Rat of Sumatra from Sherlock Holmes.
You know, there's a solution to this case of the giant rat of Sumatra.
And the story then fans and [INAUDIBLE] ever since have tried to come up with possible explanations for that.
And so you don't just, I think it's important not just to view canon as the barriers, as the walls, as the perimeter beyond which you can't go.
As kind of a grid that you're sort of trapped on.
It's also You try to find your way around it.
You try to find loopholes.
You find the empty areas.
You find the things that Cannon doesn't seem to have anything to say and you say it.
And if you're really lucky and you get to be working on Star Trek so then what you say becomes Can in itself.
I bet it must be quite exciting for them because Star Trek is one of those genres, one of those, not genres, one of those properties that fluxuates massively sort of depenging on what it is that you're saying.
I mean, there's that spaced joke that every odd numbered Star Trek movie is bad.
So I think it would be quite exciting to have someone who's of such high esteem in the literary world actually being a part of that writing process.
And I think definitely, I mean there's always been something kind of quite high minded about Star Trek, I would say.
I mean, in Michael Chabon, you made me listen to you, which is online, you can read it now if you just search c/net for Star Trek discovery on Michael Chabon.
And he made the excellent point that Star Trek has always been about tolerance and egalitarianism and a sort of utopian view of the future.
And he points that dystopian sci-fi is a little bit cliched partly because we are living in a dystopian sci-fi world.
So Star Trek will always be important because it does have that use of powerful message of hope, and tolerance, and equality, and peace.
And thinking our way out of our problems.
And so yeah, it is great to see that kind of continue.
And that's kind of one of these things exciting about Captain Picard, because he is kind of like the exemplar of that.
So it's good to see that character coming back.
And we didn't tell as much about the details of the show because they're still working it out as far as we can tell.
But yeah, we're looking forward to that show coming up soon.
But you will be able to get Discovery season one on blueray this month.
In fact, and season two will be back in January, so look out for that.
I'm a big fan of Discovery actually.
I wasn't sure at first, but I realized what they were trying to do.
And I though it was pretty good by the end.
Well I've seen no Star Trek, almost at all.
With the exception, I went to the premier of is it, Into Darkness?
The one with-
Tthat's the worst one.
Is it the one that Cucumber Patch in it?
As the baddie?
You were there for the worst one.
Well done, okay.
It was a good time.
Very much something you said before, it's not really the case that what's this, come on?
Who are you talking about?
He played Bayne in Batman.
Tom Hardy, yes, yeah.
Tom Hardy played young.
He did, he played, so you may remember the movie Star Trek Nemesis.
The other worst one of all the worst ones out of the worst Star Treks.
It was like the most action oriented Star Trek Next Generation movie and it wasn't that great but he played a young Romulan clone of Captain Picard.
It was one of his first major roles and he was very, very good in it.
So they're suggesting that Tom Hardy is going to grow up into Patrick Stewart.
That's who he becomes.
I pretty sure that's the case.
He might slim down a little bit.
I think that he might have a nose, false nose.
Because Tom Hardy, he usually likes to put on a voice.
But I think in this one keep it on the nose.
Was anything else you needed to mention?
No that's it, Nerve Wrecking is on Netflix tomorrow, I think we talked about that the other week.
It was to be like Braveheart, it's not quite as good at Braveheart, some of it is, some of it isn't.
Is it inScottish?
It's incredibly Scottish, it's Chris Pine, Captain Kirk from the reboots Star Trek movies, being Scottish, he's being Scotty.
Is he Scottish.
He's not Scottish.
He is from like, I don't know, Omaha, or Ohio, or California.
Couldn't they just have gotten a Scottish actor?
Scotland is so lacking in actors, apparently they had to bring in an American.
Well, this is the thing.
It's a lot like Braveheart in that it's the famous American guy.
Well, Mel Gibson was a famous Australian guy, but it's the famous American guy playing the king.
And then every other Scottish actor ever, like, you're recognized every single person in it from like, all the tally, prime suspects and that's prime suspect.
Berseraque and other relevant contemporary timely pop culture references.
How do you do fellow kids?
Like how with Father Ted you used every Irish comedian.
Like if you were an Irish comedian on the circuit and you hadn't appeared in Father Ted, you were obviously
What were you doing?
Like what had gone wrong.
So there's a lot of like, all the Scotish guys are in it.
It's kind of fun, it's like the new Braveheart.
We needed a new Braveheart, that's what we need right now.
That's the thing, because you can't really enjoy Mel Gibson anymore, so this is like the Braveheart that you're allowed to like.
Maybe that's why Netflix did it.
Maybe that's what it is.
Probably, they wanted to buyBraveheart, they're like hm, I just don't think it's worth the licensing deal.
Let's just make our own.
Yeah, much easier.
Yeah, probably even better.
I mean if you like Scottish, you're a big fan of the Scottish Highlands aren't you?
Looks lovely, there's lot's of locks.
Yeah, but I just tend to go there and enjoy it.
I don't need to sit down watching it, I can just go.
Good for you.
It's only like a 12 hour drive from here.
It's that easy.
Easy to do.
Cool, Rich, I think that probably brings us to a close.
I hope so, that time.
Where can people find you online?
Around the usual
Rich Nightwel at, on twitter.
On twitter, you can find me with @batriachq on Twitter and Instagram of course.
And you can find CNET with @cnet on pretty all channels or you can email the show.
Directly with C, what is it?
You can find us on flipbook, we talked about that a little bit early.
You can find us on there.
It's very exciting.
Yeah, we're all over flipbook, it's like what, Snapchat.
What, do you follow people on flipbook?
[LAUGH] Some people might, I don't know.
I'm gonna get my iPad Pro and then maybe.
Okay, yeah, we'll figure this one out and maybe by next episode we'll have got our act together but I wouldn't count on it.
Thank you very much for joining us and we'll see you next time.
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