The rise of the YouTube star has also given rise to scores of budding players wishing to share their gaming achievements online. MCV takes a look at the capture devices that are helping them do it
At this moment in time, it may be more apt to refer to live streaming as live flooding.
Over 12 billion minutes of video were watched each month on Twitch alone in 2013 by over 45 million viewers – both numbers over double the statistics for 2012.
More than six million videos are broadcast live every month, with a quarter of all users also broadcasting gameplay. The growth of streaming is even beginning to challenge the long reign of television – 68 percent of Twitch users said that they had decreased their TV viewing to focus on game entertainment and the Twitch-broadcasted League of Legends final last October was watched by 32 million people – three times the peak viewership of The X Factor.
From these figures alone, it's clear that live streaming is quickly becoming one of the biggest segments in the game industry, fuelled by the booming popularity of eSports and YouTube ‘Let's Play' videos – extended gameplay clips overlaid with players' commentary.
Part of the catalyst for rising numbers of streamers is the increasing ease of broadcasting gameplay from a console or PC to the internet, through game capture devices such as those highlighted below. The chance for passionate gamers to attain online fame is more prominent now than ever before, with names like TotalBiscuit, PewDiePie and GameGrumps quickly becoming as recognisable among gamers as industry figures and firms.
Retailers should take note of the opportunity presented by gamers aspiring to become the latest viral sensation or eSports signing. Though the PS4 and Xbox One include integrated streaming functionality, many gamers are looking for a higher level of functionality and choice when it comes to sharing gameplay – and retailers can provide the next step on their way to stardom.
Elgato Game Capture HD
With the Game Capture HD, players can capture PS4, PS3, Xbox One and Xbox 360 gameplay over HDMI in 1080p Full HD, with H.264 hardware encoding included for reduced file sizes.
Distributor: Tech Data
Contact: 01256 788 000
Hauppauge HD PVR 2 Gaming Edition
The PVR 2 supports recording from the Xbox One, Xbox 360, PS3 and PC in 1080p Full HD, including 5.1 surround sound. It also supports live streaming to Twitch, YouTube and Ustream.
Contact:01622 845 160
Roxio Game Capture HD Pro
The HD Pro allows gamers to play and capture in 1080 30p/60i or live stream directly to Twitch, before editing their video with the included software. Xbox One, Xbox 360, PS4, PS3 and PC are all supported.
Distributor: Exertis Gem
Contact: 01279 822 822
Dodocool Real-time GameCap
The GameCap can capture real-time game video from Xbox 360, PS3, PSP to PC over RCA or Component input. With a 3.5mm microphone input, players can also record their commentary live before sharing on YouTube, Facebook or WeGame.
Contact: 02392 695 968
EZCAP.TV 116 EzGAMER
The 116 EzGamer can record from a number of devices including games consoles, security cameras and other RCA composite inputs. Both 480p standard definition recording and on-the-fly 720p HD rendering are supported.
AVerMedia ExtremeCap U3
ExtremeCap U3 is a USB 3.0 capture box that allows gamers to capture, record, and stream 1080p 60 frames-per-second videos via HDMI. The U3 works with all DirectShow-compliant video editing software.