Capture epic feats of gaming in all their high-def glory


Tiny box, hugely useful. Photo: Rob LeFebvre/Cult of Mac
The Elgato Game Capture 60HD is a tiny box, but it's hugely useful. Photo: Rob LeFebvre/Cult of Mac

When you’re gaming on a new-generation console like the PlayStation 4 or Xbox One, you’ll be astounded by the crystal-clear graphics and the silky-smooth 60 frames per second animations.

If you want to share this video at its native resolution, you’ll need something heavy duty to do the capture and editing. Something massively capable that can handle input via an HDMI interface. Something that doesn’t take up too much space — you need that for your gaming consoles. What you need is something like the Elgato Game Capture 60HD.

Because life’s too short for a crummy converter box with a huge footprint.

This is some serious high-end video capture, for sure, and it’s going to make video reviews and game streaming a whole lot better.

If your gaming console has an HDMI out port, you’re good to go. Simply plug the HDMI cable from your console (PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360, Xbox One) right into the tiny little external hard drive-size Elgato box.

Then you’ll plug the included HDMI cable into your television, so you can see the game you’re trying to play. Plug the included mini-USB cable from the Game Capture 60HD into the USB port on your Mac, start up the freely downloadable Game Capture software, and you’re ready to go. The Game Capture HD 60 powers from the USB cable, making yet another wall-wart power cable a thing of the past.

Oh, wait — if you have a PlayStation 4, you’ll need to turn off High-bandwidth Digital Content Protection (HDCP) on your fancy new gaming box. Once you do that, though, it’s smooth sailing. If you use a PlayStation 3, you may also have to reset the resolution output, but I didn’t encounter a problem when I tried it.

Recording is super-easy. The Game Capture software records in the background when the app is launched, even when you don’t click the Capture button, which is great for when you forget to start the cameras rollings before doing something epic that you really need to share with your gaming clan. The limit to how much high-def, full 1080p, 60 frames per second gaming footage you can capture and store is your hard drive. You might want to consider grabbing a high-capacity USB 3 drive to keep your gaming video on, as the file sizes of full-resolution HD video can be high.

You can also livestream your gameplay via the Elgato box, which is insanely awesome when you’re playing on a console that doesn’t already do this, like the PS3 or Xbox 360. Even with the PS4 and Xbox One, which support livestreaming to Twitch (a popular online portal for gamers), having this little bit of kit will give you that extra edge, letting you go above and beyond the built-in 720p and 30fps ability of both current-gen systems.

What’s truly impressive about this capture device is the output files — I recorded a bunch of footage of games from my PS4, my PS3 and Xbox 360, and everything came out looking crisp and clear, just like it did on my television while I was playing. This is some serious high-end video capture, for sure, and it’s going to make video reviews and game streaming a whole lot better.

All in all, you can’t go wrong with this little dynamo of a video-conversion and capture box. It’s super-tiny to fit into any sort of bag or carry-all, letting you capture high-resolution footage on the go or right at home. If you have more than one console, you can essentially capture or stream from them all, only having to learn one software editing system to do so.

If you’re serious about your gaming capture, the Elgato Game Capture 60HD is the one to beat. It’s easy to set up, intuitive to use and doesn’t clutter up your media space with much more than an iPhone-size device. How can you go wrong?

hd 60 2Game Capture 60HD by Elgato ($179.99)
The good: Easy to set up and use, this tiny little box has a lot of video-capture power.
The bad: None to speak of.
The verdict: If you need a serious video-capture or streaming device, the Game Capture HD 60 is the way to go.
Buy from Best Buy


Daily round-ups or a weekly refresher, straight from Cult of Mac to your inbox.

  • The Weekender

    The week's best Apple news, reviews and how-tos from Cult of Mac, every Saturday morning. Our readers say: "Thank you guys for always posting cool stuff" -- Vaughn Nevins. "Very informative" -- Kenly Xavier.