Elgato Game Capture Review – The Elgato Game Capture is a recording device that allows gamers to record their gameplay so that they can share videos with their friends or create a youtube channel… Whatever they want!
However, I’m sure most of you already know that and what you really want to know is whether the Elgato Game Capture is worth getting. I went through exactly the same thought process at one point and hopefully, this review will clarify whether the Elgato Game Capture is for you!
Product: Elgato Game Capture
Price: $140 (roughly)
Cheapest Place to Buy From: Amazon
Compatible With: Xbox 360, Xbox One, PS3, PS4, Wii U, PC and Mac
My Rating: 9.4
Works With Almost Any Console – Including PC and Mac!
One of the many great things about the Elgato Game Capture is that it works with nearly any gaming console. It works with all of the consoles that I listed above, including the PC and even the Mac! Most capture cards don’t work with the Mac for recording gameplay or using it as well as the console you’re recording gameplay on, so if you’re a Mac gamer the Elgato is the best for you.
If you want to view further information on which consoles are compatible with the Elgato Game Capture, you can click here to see how Elgato put it themselves.
How it Works – Easy to Set Up
The Elgato Game Capture is small and very light, having roughly the same circumference as an iPhone, with twice the thickness. You could probably fit it in your pocket, making it very easy to carry around with you, which is useful if you want to go to your friend’s house or want to record gameplay at an event.
It is very easy and quick to set up, as only three or four cables are needed, depending on the device you are recording gameplay on.
The Elgato comes with instructions on how to set it up with various consoles, as they do differ very slightly. However, one thing that is always the same, is that you will need a PC or Mac, as well as your console.
If it is the PC or Mac that you want to record gameplay on, then you will only need one, and the instructions will tell you how to set it up!
As you can see on the image to the right, there is a USB IN slot. You will need to use the USB cable that comes with the Elgato and connect it to that slot, as well as to your PC or Mac. All the other steps will depend on which platform you are using, so you can simply read the instructions to learn how to do that.
After you have set it all up, you just need to download the software and then you can start recording.
Requirements on Your PC and Mac – Very Important
Due to how advanced the Elgato is, it requires for your PC or Mac to meet with certain requirements. Make sure you pay close attention to this part, because I didn’t, and I had to get a new laptop as a result of doing so.
The image below displays the requirements for both the PC and Mac, so be sure to have a read through of it:
Make sure to confirm that you meet all of those requirements before making a purchase because otherwise, it won’t work. If you want to look at the requirements for yourself, you can click here.
Amazing Video Quality – The Best of The Best
One of the biggest selling points of the Elgato Game Capture is its amazing capture quality. Videos can be recorded in as high as 1080p HD, which is very high for those of you that don’t know. This can all be done without any lag whatsoever if your PC or Mac matches all of the requirements that I listed above.
If your internet speed is really poor, or you don’t have the time to upload videos in 1080p, there is no need to worry. You can also record your gameplay in 720p HD or standard definition, as well being able to record with various different screen sizes so that you can record gameplay in the most appropriate way for you.
Trust me, the quality of video on your PC or Mac with the Elgato will probably look better than it does on your TV if you have in on 1080p. Even so, it still looks great in 720p!
All of this can be edited within the settings of the Elgato Game Capture editing software.
Features of The Elgato Game Capture Editing Software
As I mentioned earlier, you can download the Elgato Game Capture editing software for free after you have set up your Elgato with everything else.
It contains some great features, making your editing and recording life much easier.
A great feature of the Elgato Game Capture editing software is called flashback recording.
Instead of having to press the big red button to record and stop recording all of the time, or if you forget to do so, flashback recording has your back.
Whenever you have the editing software open, it is already secretly recording. All you have to do in order to get the footage that has been secretly recording, is to scroll backwards on the bar you can see on the picture to the point you want to start recording and then all you have to do it press the big red button and you will have the gameplay ready in the ‘edit’ section.
Commentary and Live Streaming
The software also allows you to do live commentaries with any mic that you have connected to your PC or Mac – as you would expect from Elgato, both the gameplay and commentary are perfectly synchronized, making the Elgato perfect for live commentaries!
Furthermore, another cool feature is ‘Stream Command’, which is for if you want to live stream to Youtube or Twitch.
Commentary and live streaming can be activated by simply pressing the buttons as shown.
The final feature of the editing software that I’ll show you, although there are many more which you can check out for yourself if you do decide to purchase the Elgato Game Capture, is editing section.
Similarly to all editing software, you can trim bits and pieces from the clip that you have recorded to make the file as small as possible for when you export it to your main editing software, such as Windows Movie Maker or iMovie. You can also take screenshots which I think is a pretty handy feature.
Below is a screenshot of an example of myself editing some footage on my screen:
How Does The Elgato Game Capture Compete With Other Capture Cards?
Before you make the decision on whether the Elgato Game Capture is really for you, I’m sure that you’ll want to know how the Elgato competes with other capture cards, and whether there are any other better ones.
Firstly I’d like to say I didn’t rate the Elgato 9.4 out of 10 for no reason. The reason I rated it so highly was that because it is by quite some distance the best capture card around and it destroys its competition.
Here is the Elgato’s main competition:
- Roxio Game Capture
- Hauppauge HD PVR 2
- AVerMedia Extremecap U3
Roxio Game Capture
First of all, the Roxio Game Capture HD can only record at a maximum of 720p and has a basic editing software. There are no flashback recording or live commentary options. It only comes with the power cable, meaning that you will have to supply your own HDMI cables, and any other cables you may need. The best thing about this capture card is that it is the cheapest out of the four by about $40, but I wouldn’t recommend it.
Hauppauge HD PVR 2
The Hauppauge HD PVR 2 is the second most expensive capture card out of the lot and can record at 1080p, but has a limited editing software. Also, you cannot use it with the Mac – you can use it with PC only! It’s not very easy to carry around with you, as it is over 3 times as large as the Elgato. The Elgato Game Capture is a better product and is also cheaper, so it is definitely the better option.
AVerMedia Extremecap U3
Finally, the AVerMedia Extremecap U3 is the most expensive out of the lot (in the US) and is relatively similar to the Elgato, although the editing software isn’t quite as advanced. Also, Live Streaming doesn’t work as well, so overall, the Elgato is still your best! However, that is not to say that the AVerMedia Extremecap U3 isn’t a good capture card, because it is, but it’s a little overpriced. (In the US)
Despite the Elgato Game Capture being the second cheapest out of the four, it has the best editing software, compatibility, supplement of cables and equally as good video quality. If this isn’t destroying your competition, what is?
Is the Elgato Game Capture Worth the Money?
If you want to start a Youtube gaming channel or want to live stream on Twitch, the Elgato is definitely your best option. If you don’t have the budget of $140, there is always the Roxio Game Capture for around $100,
but I would only recommend using that for sharing videos with friends. In fact, no, don’t waste your money!
I would highly advise to save up for the Elgato Game Capture if you are looking to get a capture card, as it is the best for it price and quality.
Considering that the Elgato includes a great editing software, as well as the device itself, I would personally say that it is well worth the money if you are looking to take Youtube seriously. In fact, I would call it more of a bargain!