We were recently lucky enough to attend the launch party for AVerMedia‘s brand new gameplay capturing hardware the Live Gamer Portable. The even was host to a bunch of media personnel, staff and elite members of Australia’s fighting game community. Not being particularly skilled at the fighting game genre I decided it best to watch from the sidelines as some of the most skilled gaming warriors I had ever seen played off in Street Fighter 4, Marvel VS Capcom 3, Tekken and all the other latest and greatest games the genre has to offer.
The reason we were there of course is to celebrate the Australian launch of the Live Gamer Portable. Upon arrival I was welcomed by the friendly staff of AVerMedia and was then given a total rundown of the product by one of the big bosses flown all the way in from Taiwan. I have never experimented with capturing gameplay footage outside of using my phones video camera to record an amazing jump I pulled off in Midnight Club:LA, and now I wish I would of had this device at the time.
The Live Gamer Portable is capable of capturing footage from all major game consoles and PC as well as pretty much anything else that has HDMI or component outputs. You can then use the HDMI output to stream to a laptop or HDTV, all in HD quality with no delay. The Live Gamer Portable can capture footage onto the SD card in up to 720p at 60 frames per second and from a 1080p display straight to a laptop in 1080p at 30 frames per second or 720p at 60 frames per second. When you consider the size and simplicity of the device that is quite an amazing feat especially when you start comparing cost and functionality to other similar devices out there on the market.
The size, style and simplicity of the product is probably what impressed me the most. The device looks great. It’s sleek, you can fit it in your pocket, and the colour scheme is simple but still manages to look good. As I said earlier, I have never experimented with capturing game footage, but the process was as simple as plugging in the neccessary cables (all included in the box), inserting an SD card and plugging in a USB power source. Hit the button on the top and you’ll be recording your gaming feats in no time. After hitting the button, the light ring around it pulses off and on like a heartbeat to let you know it’s recording which is both functionally handy and looked great. Simply pressing the button again would end a recording session.
Players who like to upload and share their videos will appreciate the ability to include commentary over their recordings as they happen. The device also ships with its own software suite called RECentral. Like the device itself, the software is very new user friendly and features newbie, amateur and pro mode. To make sharing easier, RECentral has the capability of broadcasting live gameplay with commentary to TwitchTV, own3D and Ustream directly with your own account. For all those recording professionals who understand encoding and bit rates, the Live Gamer Portable has an on-board H.264 hardware encoder to guarantee lower CPU usage and stable frame rates and the bit rate can go up to 60 Mbps to ensure excellent image quality.
From the time I spent with the Live Gamer Portable it seem like a must for recording enthusiast and also serves as a great entry way to newcomers to the recording scene with its simplicity and functionality. Those who attended the event were able to secure a LiveGamer Portable at a special discount price before it became available for sale. The general public will be able to purchase the device for $189 from late May.