The PlayStation 4 Pro and Xbox One X are a headache waiting to happen for people who capture a lot of gameplay footage off of consoles. That’s because those systems support Ultra HD 4K resolution, and that can cause errors for most of the recording equipment on the market right now. But AverMedia has stepped up with a product that solves this problem whether you’re recording at home or at an event.
The AverMedia Live Gamer Portable 2 Plus is the latest revision of the company’s compact gameplay capture card that works with or without a PC. The external device is available now for $209, and it is an update of the previous Live Gamer Portable 2. The “Plus” designator indicates that it can now support 4K passthrough, which is crucial for players who want to record gameplay on a console while enjoying the full visuals on their television.
What you’ll like
It’s ready for 4K consoles
The 4K passthrough works well. I plugged in a PlayStation 4 Pro and was able to get the full UHD signal on my television. Meanwhile, I was also recording that same gameplay on my PC at 1080p and 60 frames per second. The LGP2 Plus does not record at 4K, but neither does anything else at this price.
This means I don’t have to play my games at 1080p just when I need to record, and it’s really nice to have a capture card that enables me to get the most from the latest console revisions from Sony and (soon) Microsoft.
Great for working at home or in the field
That 4K passthrough, however, is actually kinda crucial for people who take their own equipment with them to record footage at events or meetings. The LGP2 Plus can record without a PC. You just plug it in between the console and the TV, plug it into a USB power source, and insert a large enough micro SD card, and you can grab footage while on the go. Plenty of devices do this, but those could quickly go obsolete as more companies begin using the PS4 Pro and Xbox One X at their events.
If a developer has their game running at 4K, the LGP2 Plus can pass that signal along to the TV where other cards might give you an error or require you to turn a game down to 1080p. At preview events, developers may not even support that option.
The LGP2 Plus is also tiny. It’s about the size of three regular candy bars stacked into a triangle formation. It won’t take up a lot of room on your desk, and it will also fit easily into a camera or laptop bag.
It also has an input for your auxiliary audio, which you can use to plug in headset jack from a controller. You can then plug your headset into the card itself. This setup enables you to capture online multiplayer party chat alongside the gameplay video. The LGP2 Plus has controls to mix that audio live when you’re recording it.
Here’s some gameplay I recorded with the LGP2 Plus:
What you won’t like
USB 2.0 introduces a tiny delay
My only issue with the Live Game Portable 2 Plus is that it only supports USB 2.0. I wish you had the option to go with USB 3.0 just because it is so much faster. AverMedia’s Live Gamer Extreme (or its rebranded Razer version), for example, uses USB 3.0, and it has almost no perceptible delay between when action happens on the console and when it appears in your capture software. With devices like that, I’ve used my computer monitor to play the games because it didn’t cause any real problems.
The LGP2 Plus does have a delay — although it is less than a second. Still, this will cause some minor desyncing issues between the video and microphone audio. There are ways to fix that, but it’s a problem that USB 3.0 has already solved.
AverMedia faces competition in this space from companies like Elgato and others, but it is one of the first to bring 4K passthrough to its devices. But the Live Gamer Portable 2 Plus also has nearly everything else you could need as a consumer or prosumer to record your own footage in almost any circumstance. With true 4K recording a long way off at this price level, that makes the LGP2 Plus a good device to get now to last you through the foreseeable future. I would even take this device over many USB3.0 devices because it is also portable.
So I easily recommend the Live Gamer Portable 2 Plus as the new go-to solution for most people.
AverMedia provided GamesBeat with a sample unit for the purposes of this review. It is available now for $209.