Capture cards are a huge deal for anybody out to make their big break on the streaming scene. Companies like Elgato, Razer, and Avermedia have already come out with devices that allow anyone with the will to stream with minimal fuss. However, prices for this tech can be very high at times. Well, now we have an affordable alternative from Genki and it comes in the form of Shadowcast. A streamlined device for a simpler kind of streaming. How well it actually works is what we will discuss in our review below.
Genki: Shadowcast Specifications
- Price: $49.99 USD on Genkithings.com
- Dimensions: 52mm (L) x 25mm (W) x 9mm (H)
- Weight: 10 grams
- Cable: USB-C 2.0 Cable – 1.8m long
- Features: HDMI 2.0 (for 4K video from all current consoles), USB-C output for PC connection up to 1920×1080 @60fps, Genki Arcade Connection App
Human Things, the team behind the Genki brand, is a company that began its journey around 2017 and they have created several devices for the Switch, including the compact Covert Dock, that people now use across a range of platforms. Most of their work has been crowdfunded and the love of these devices is real. Shadowcast is the latest addition to the Genki range as they aim to take streaming to the masses for a significantly lower price than the traditional companies. How exactly does it stack up?
Streaming For The Future
Shadowcast made its mark with me the first time I was able to stream a game from my Switch to my PC. I had not had the money to purchase any kind of capture card previous to this one which limited my streaming to PC and Xbox with the Xbox app on my PC. Now I have successfully streamed to my PC from my PS4, PS5, Switch, and Xbox One X with little issues. Being able to stream all of my titles at a normal FPS rate of around 60 has been a game-changer without any lag issues.
It has been very easy to stream to Twitch using the Shadowcast as well. All you have to do is launch the Genki App and bring it up in full expanded mode on your main screen. After that load up your preferred stream capturing software, in my case Streamlabs OBS, and then go live. As long as you have your main source as the main screen you will be streaming right away. The only problem I have seen with the app is that there is no full-screen mode and the main window bar is always present at the top of the screen. Because of this, I have had to adjust my scene to make sure that the top bar isn’t visible while streaming. This is a feature that should be added to the app to allow for better stream immersion.
Functionality Is Key
Along with the previous issue I mentioned there are other functions of the app that are clear the first time you turn it on. There is an options menu that allows you to select from different stream modes like performance versus quality. It gives you a link to exactly where your pictures and recorded videos will head as well. There is a quick button to mute your microphone along with a place to choose where the audio input is taken from. There are two final buttons, screenshot, and record. As you guessed it the screenshot button simply takes a full picture of the app at the time you pushed the button and the record button starts recording whatever it is you are streaming at that time. The overall usability of the app is very easy and it is a very small download onto your PC.
Multiple Console Love
It has never been easier, and more affordable, to stream from your consoles. Having streamed from several different consoles I can say that it is simple and everything that was promised on Genki’s Kickstarter was true. The games I have streamed from console to the PC have run consistently quick and I have not seen much if any, loss of quality from playing on my television versus on the PC through a capture device. It is good to have an HDMI-compatible device that plugs directly into your HDMI port and then connects to your PC or laptop with a simple USB-C plug.
I had always wanted to stream games that I love from consoles and now I have that opportunity. Playing on the PS4 or the PS5 now, and from the Switch has been a great experience. Being able to share my love of certain games on stream with this capture device has been a big change. You don’t always want to buy the same game three or four different times just to use different devices and to stream. You should be able to have fun without breaking the bank and Shadowcast does that nicely.
Overall, Genki has hit it out of the park with their newest piece of tech in the form of Shadowcast. The ability to stream from anywhere as long as you have a PC or laptop to plug your device into is a feat that makes my life easier. It works as intended with all the devices I own and offers an affordable entry into streaming games. Its flexibility allows more than steaming too. This plug and play device is a great way to play games on a different screen type when you don’t have a television to play on. For fifty US dollars, you can broadcast to the world like the bigger streamers out there without needing to worry about a hefty bill to have fun. Find out more about the Shadowcast and all the Genki range at the official website.