In a time when streaming and “Let’s Play” video have grown in popularity, more PC device makers are working on new devices made specifically for the console gamer. Instead of using products designed for recording TV shows, these devices are designed to record directly from the consoles onto the PC while using as little resources as possible. Roxio is the first to make this their focus with the Roxio Game Capture.
A Minimalist Philosophy - External capture devices have usually fell into two categories: simple composite devices that consisted of a USB cable connected to composite cables or a larger “PVR in a box.” In the case of the Roxio Game Capture, it’s right in the middle. The box itself doesn’t take much space and doesn’t even need a power adapter, just a USB connection, but it also makes use of component cables to capture the video. Speaking as someone who had to travel with equipment to stream tournaments, the more portable Roxio Game Capture is nice to have.
The Price is Nice - At around $60-70 at Amazon, the Roxio Game Capture provides a significant upgrade over the cheaper capture devices, making it worth the extra bucks. As you would expect, it doesn’t have the bells and whistles of higher priced devices, but it is able to both capture gameplay footage and stream gameplay with an additional piece of software like Wirecast or Xsplit. Speaking from my experience, some of the more expensive capture devices don’t do streaming at all, or make it fairly difficult to stream with unless you run multiple software programs as a backdoor. I do have to make note that the original price from Roxio for the device was $99 which is a bit too much of a price for what you get, however, the price has stayed pretty steady at $60-70 on Amazon since the release of the device.
BACK TO THE DRAWING BOARD
No HD - For a device that uses component cables, one would think that you would be capturing proper HD footage, considered to be 720p, 1080i or 1080p. Well, you won’t find that with the Roxio Game Capture as it’ll only record in 480p. While its not bad, and still much improved over the lower priced capture devices that use composite cables, it’s still a shame that there’s no HD.
Kind of Finicky - Throughout my time with the Game Capture, I had multiple moments where the device would not show a picture properly. Instead of gameplay, I was shown a garbled mess. There is something going on with the connections from the console to the Game Capture to the PC that can result in the picture being distorted. In most cases, it was a matter of disconnecting the Game Capture from my PC, turning off the console, then connecting the Game Capture to my PC, and THEN powering up my console. When that didn’t work, I literally would have to disconnect everything then reconnect it all to work. As one might expect, this can become quite frustrating especially when you’re trying to stream events. Once I figured out that it was all due to how I turned on my devices, the problem hasn’t come up since.
Time to Convert - The Roxio software that comes with the Game Capture is a no frills software. The capture portion of it is a matter of clicking on record, selecting what format you’d like (DIVX, AVI, WMV) and that’s it, while the editing portion is fairly basic. For my videos, I preferred to use my own video editing software, Cyberlink PowerDirector, to edit the footage I captured. When using PowerDirector, I noticed that the DIVX and WMV formats were almost unusable. The footage I capture was running at around 20% faster than normal. With a convertor program, this can take care of that problem. Prior to me realizing that, I would use the AVI format which would work fine yet take up a massive amount of space on my hard drive, about 5GB per hour of game footage.
The question comes down to who is the Roxio Game Capture for. For the price of $60-70, it’s for anyone that wants an above average looking stream and videos that is as simple as possible. Although it may be far from being the best device on the market today, for the price, the Roxio Game Capture is fairly versatile and could fare much better with some tweaking.