Larry Hryb, more commonly known as Major Nelson, is the Xbox Live Director of Programming at Microsoft Games Studios. Larry is most famous for his blog due to him being the first person at Xbox to actively blog. Contrary to popular belief, Larry is not hired to do his podcasts and thus everything expressed by him on the podcast is personal opinion. This can be seen by the fact that "rival consoles" such as the Playstation 3 and the Nintendo Wii are often discussed by him and his co-hosts, . Larry also posts announcements for Marketplace content releases on his blog. As of E3 2009 Larry also hosted a live blog on his website, which now has tabs for Marketplace, E3 and an IRC chat channel.
Larry shot to fame not for his role in Microsoft, but for his role in the Microsoft Community. He has been producing " Major Nelson Radio" since 2004 with co-host Eric Neustadter (more commonly known as "e," his gamertag). They regularly banter with each other regarding e's greater amount of achievement points. Recently Laura "Lollip0p" Massey and Stephen "Stepto" Toulouse have been featured as additional co-hosts. Larry's podcast (and blog) are often used to directly communicate with the community, albeit not being officially endorsed or hosted by Microsoft. For example, he announced that " Undertow" would be given away for free due to downtime on Xbox Live. Microsoft Game Studios executives such as J Allard, Shane Kim, Aaron Greenberg, and Marc Whitten have all appeared on Larry's podcast. The show also features many interviews with developers in the gaming industry, including Robert Bowling of Infinity Ward, Frank O'Connor when he was with Bungie, etc. Larry publishes his podcast every Sunday, though scheduling and other events can postpone or even double up the number of podcasts published. The podcast started with episode 100, so such podcast's as the special podcast 200 was actually only the 100th show.
The Major Nelson Radio podcast features several recurring segments:
Name the Game is a segment which Hryb plays a sound from an original Xbox game or an Xbox 360 game. The objective of Name the Game is to e-mail Major Nelson ( firstname.lastname@example.org) or Laura Massey the name of the game the audio is from (which often is a very recently released game at time of recording) with your gamertag. Hryb announces the previous winner at the start of each segment. Prizes usually range from gaming headsets to codes for games on Xbox Live Arcade.
Xbox 101 is a segment which e and Major Nelson offer beneficial information to Xbox owners. Subjects range from learning how to manage your download queue, deleting content from your hard drive, configuring family and child accounts, to Kinect placement tips.
Gadgets take up most the time at the end of the show, where Eric and Larry discuss any recently acquired electronic equipment. The items discussed usually are cell phones, HDTVs, GPS devices, computers, etc.
It is commonly known that there is often a "secret" segment after the official end of the show. The hosts have referenced it multiple times during the show proper. This segment usually lasts 5 to 15 minutes, where anything goes. One of the more famous "secret" segments involved Larry and Eric deep-frying chocolate and twinkies after Thanksgiving.
A secret challenge room in Bionic Commando Rearmed is introduced by a pixelated image of Major Nelson. The code to access the room is, from the title screen: Left Bumper, X, X, X, D-Pad Right, D-Pad Down, Left Bumper, D-Pad Left, Y, D-Pad Down, START.
Larry has a cameo in the live-action ending video of Ms. Splosion Man.
Larry and Laura recorded an unlockable commentary track for a level in The Gunstringer.
In other media
Larry has also been doing a feature on Inside Xbox known as "Major's Minute." He has also appeared as a special guest host of the gameshow "1 vs 100" on Xbox Live as part of the " New Xbox Experience."
In a live action Inside Xbox short, Larry squares off against The Gunstringer. He loses and gets sand kicked in his face.
Larry was a frequent guest on the radio program, Level Up, on the Maxim Radio Channel (ch 108) on Sirius Radio. The level up portion of the show is no longer an active segment.
In the 1996 movie "Sleepers," Hryb had a role as an extra and is visible on screen briefly.
During his Media degree program at Syracuse University, Hryb appeared on a skit spoofing the Tonight Show, dressed as a circus clown but delivering wry and deadpan jokes.