When a gamer brags about beating an opponent, there’s nothing like hard evidence. The “confirmed kill” mentality among gamers is one reason why Rovi created its new Roxio Game Capture products for both the PC and video game consoles.
The products make it easy to make video recordings of your game sessions, personalize them with messages, and then share them on social media. They offer proof that a gamer isn’t just making up a story about being the best shot in Bulletstorm or Call of Duty Black Ops.
The Rovi product recognizes the fact that gaming is social and that sharing your achievements in a game with your friends can be as fun as actually playing it. And adding social layers to a product is like reinventing the product for consumers.
There are other ways to do this now, especially with PC games. You can use WeGame to capture video of a game session and then share it with friends. But Santa Clara, Calif.-based Rovi actually considers WeGame a partner and uses its platform, as you can publish Rovi videos to the WeGame web site.
The PC version uses an advanced video card that most gamers already have in their computers. But the console version comes with the adapter pictured above. You plug the adapter into the game console with one set of cables and into the TV with another. And the adapter allows you to intercept and capture video images of your game session and then transfer that video to a nearby laptop or desktop. The PC Game Capture is a customized version of the WeGame client. Users of Roxio PC Game Capture get full HD recording and 6 months of WeGame VIP access. It is also bundled and has one-click integration with Roxio’s VideoWave video editor to do all advanced editing and it includes WeGame’s distribution platform.
Video capture isn’t for the faint of heart, considering it’s easy to get all of the cables confused. But Rovi has included in-product tutorials in the web software to make sure everyone can get set up quickly and begin capturing and sharing without any hassles. As you can see on the right, there are just a couple of menu buttons to hit on the user interface.
Gamers can use the products to post high scores or narrate their own tips and tricks for a game. they can post game reviews, or create a full-length movie (called machinima) based on game play footage. As an indication of how popular this is, machinima videos get more than 2.5 million views a day on YouTube.
“While some gamers are already creating and posting game play videos, we believe there are many more waiting on the sidelines for solutions that deliver the right mix of ease-of-use and features at a good price point,” Corey Ferengul, executive vice president for products at Rovi.
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The console version sell for $99 each. It works with the Xbox 360 or the PlayStation 3, capturing game play videos in real time. Users can record the game play in standard definition 480p resolution and capture it in formats including AVI, WMV, DivX, and MP 4. Still image screen shots can be saved as JPG, PNG, TIFF, BMP or GIF file types.
The software-only PC version costs $49.99 and it allows game play video and still images to be captured in high-definition at full-screen resolution. It can capture DirectX 8 through DirectX 10 (but not the newest DirectX 11) games as well as OpenGL-based games. You can easily upload to sites such as Facebook, WeGame and YouTube. The PC version works with Windows 7, Windows Vista or Windows XP. It requires a PC with two gigabytes of main memory, a DirectX 10 graphics card, and dual-core processors. To capture, you hit the “capture” button on the software, start up the game, and then hit the key F6 to start recording and then hit F6 again to stop.
Roxio Game Capture for the consoles will be available on the company’s web site on March 24. The PC version will be available in the second quarter. Both products will be offered at North American online and retail outlets, including Amazon, BestBuy.com and GameStop.com. One rival PC capture products is Fraps, but the files captured are often much larger than the files captured by the Rovi product. You can also automatically capture your game sessions using the Brag Clips function in Onlive’s online gaming service.