When we first heard about Roxio’s Game Capture back in March, we quickly became very intrigued and reached out to get our hands on a review unit. They quickly dropped a unit in the mail and provided very timely support when we had a little difficulty getting it set up. Roxio Game Capture is a very slick, and perhaps more importantly, affordable solution to capturing your PS3 or Xbox 360 gameplay. At the time we first reported on this, we said that Roxio Game Capture isn’t Hauppauge HD PVR – and it’s not. What we can say though, is that it is an excellent introductory solution for those people that just want to try out capturing their gameplay, but don’t want to spend the extra $100 when they aren’t sure this is something they will stick with.
Roxio Game Capture is a hardware and software combination for recording and sharing console game play. Roxio Game Capture enables the real-time capture of gameplay videos from Xbox 360 and PS3. Users may play games in full HD on the TV, while recording the content to the PC. The quick-to-set up USB hardware capture device includes: component video and stereo audio inputs, a Roxio GameCap device, RCA audio cables, and USB cables*. Users can record game play in 480p and output to AVI, WMV, DivX, and MP4. Still image screen shots can be saved as JPG, PNG, TIFF, BMP or GIF file types. Alright, so that’s the retail spill and now it’s time to give you the real deal.
The first thing that you will notice is that there isn’t much to the setup at all. It comes with a set of component cables and the Roxio GameCap device, which is pretty compact in size and should fit rather inconspicuously in any game setup. The device comes with very simple instructions that should be a breeze for anyone to follow. You pretty much plug the cables into the right ports and install the software on your computer. The good thing about this is that once you set it up, you don’t have to disconnect it. Your TV will play just fine. As an added benefit, the Roxio GameCap will actually record anything that is on the screen, it can’t tell the difference between gameplay and TV, so you could use it as a makeshift DVR setup if you wanted to.
As soon as we turned it on we were very impressed with the performance of the Roxio Game Capture. It works exactly as advertised and ran smoothly on a Toshiba laptop. From there, it captured the gameplay as good as anyone could expect. Once you capture your video, you can use the provided software to do a plethora of things to your video including: editing, narrating it, and even uploading it to sites like YouTube and Facebook. This is one of the best entry-level game capture solutions we have seen to date, and well worth the $99 that it will cost you. With that said, Roxio Game Capture is not without its weaknesses and flaws.
The biggest weakness of Roxio Game Capture is that its maximum output resolution is 480p. As I said, you can play your games at a much higher resolution, but the maximum resolution your video can be outputted to is 480p. This is a bit of a downer if you are playing on an HDTV. Roxio’s response to this is that Roxio Game Capture is targeted at the masses, and the average consumer doesn’t want to deal with the large file sizes that outputting to higher resolutions could present. For the most part we agree with them. However, we would have at least like to have the option. Speaking of resolutions, there is an issue with resolutions that had us totally stumped until we spoke with one of the Roxio engineers. In addition to only being able to output your video at up to 480p, Roxio Game Capture also doesn’t support 1080p. The maximum resolution that it supports is 1080i. If you have your PS3 set to support a maximum of 1080p in the display settings, you should go in and drop the 1080p checkbox. If you don’t, the screen will appear blurry and you might think the unit is defective. Honestly, the average gamer won’t notice the difference between 1080p and 1080i. Another thing to remember with most game capture solutions that require a USB connect, is that you need to have a computer to capture the video onto. Not a big deal, but something you want to be aware of. Depending on your setup, you could hook this up and then use an extra long USB cable to connect back to a desktop computer across the room if you don’t want to offload it to a laptop.
Our final call on Roxio Game Capture is that for $99 it’s a hell of a tool to add to your arsenal. Using Roxio Game Capture you can generate gameplay video and video walkthroughs that are more than on par with the quality of the average YouTube video. It also gets a bump for allowing you to capture in AVI, WMV, and DIVX. You can even export that video to H.264. It even supports 16:9 widescreen capture, which is a plus. As an introductory game capture solution, I can’t find any reason not to recommend this product. It’s exactly what most casual gamers are looking for. Once you start to capture and share videos and decide that you want to output videos at a much higher quality resolution, look into something like the Hauppauge HD PVR that we mentioned earlier. Check the videos below which show off a little more about Roxio Game Capture and shows you the kind of output you can expect.
You can read more about Roxio Game Capture at www.roxio.com/gamecapture. It is also available for purchase at several major North American online and retail outlets including Amazon, BestBuy.com, and GameStop.com.