With every new generation of hardware comes new hardware and software features. In the last generation of consoles, the Sony PlayStation 4 and Nintendo Switch both got dedicated “Share” buttons which are a great start for sharing your gameplay on these consoles, but they don’t come near to what’s possible on PC. Additionally, a lot of accidents happen when people accidentally don’t record properly on miss-click the button in the heat of battle.
There are many tutorials on YouTube right now how to capture gameplay on various platforms, which all involve a lot of extra hardware, work-around, and limitations. Besides with companies like Microsoft and Sony continuously changing the firmware to add and remove features, even workarounds that previously worked have been cut, leaving gamers with fewer options.
The Nintendo Switch as a handheld gaming system isn’t exactly what you’re thinking about when you talk about recording your gameplay.
Record the last 30 seconds of gameplay. Even then, you need to buy an additional SD card and you need a computer which can actually read that SD card. Of course, this means that you can forget live streaming and the recorded resolution is actually only 720p, so your cool actions will actually look worse when you try to review them.
The Nintendo Switch has a built-in screenshot/record function which allows you to take a screenshot or even if you can get over the technical hassle, do you really remember to push a button every time after you get a great kill, or perform an insane move? You’re probably too focused on staying alive and playing the game.
Another downside is that your screenshots and clips can only be shared on Twitter or on Facebook, which means that if you want to do anything else, you’ll find yourself using a PC anyway.
The Xbox One doesn’t have the built-in “share” button like the other console offerings, and with it being a Microsoft product, it is really trying to push other Microsoft products’ like its Mixer video streaming service. That’s why you’ll find a generally younger audience playing Overwatch and Fortnite, which might be a concern if you like to stream using games or language that is considered 18+.
Another issue with both the Xbox One and the PlayStation 4 is that streaming does require resources, many users have encountered lag and with this being a console, there is not much to do in the way of troubleshooting.
One weird thing that you will certainly notice when you try to set-up twitch on Xbox, is that you need to create an account on a PC first. Besides not having a lot of options to set for streaming quality for a long time streaming with an Xbox still required you to use an old (and obsolete) Kinect camera.
Sony PlayStation 4
Finally, the PlayStation 4 was the first console made for streaming, but after many years there are still some downsides. Streaming directly from the PS4 has quite a huge impact on your video quality, no matter if you pick 720p or 1080p, with the latter only being available on the Pro model. Another downside is that on YouTube it is limited to 360p, 480, 720 or 1080p, as other popular resolutions like 540p are not available.
Trying to use a webcam on your PlayStation 4 while streaming, you’ll also find you’re limited to using a PlayStation Eye camera only.
What about phones?
Most USB Type-C enabled devices also have an HDMI output integrated into the Type-C port. That means you can use most laptops and smartphones to connect to a TV or another HDMI device with the right cable.
While the YouTube gaming App allows you to stream in 720p or 480p, it doesn’t allow you to stream in 1080p resolution.
The Twitch route is even harder as it involves other apps that require annual subscriptions to even allow anything but the lowest-quality streaming from your phone to your PC.
On iPhone’s Apple’s ReplayKit the hurdles are even bigger, to live stream on YouTube, you need at least 100 subscribers and then only a few games actually support ReplayKit. For streaming to Twitch, you need actual application support which isn’t really automatic.
The easiest solution for streaming of any platform
The better solution that is free from all these limitations is an external streaming solution, like the Pengo 4K HDMI Grabber.
The biggest advantages of the Pengo 4K HDMI Grabber are:
To put it simply, getting an external HDMI capture card such as the Pengo 4K HDMI Grabber (available now for less than $150 at Amazon) opens up the possibilities of streaming from gaming consoles and even phones without any of the limitations that the software platforms have.
It connects to the HDMI port of your console or phone and through USB to any PC or Mac, it connects to any free streaming app like OBS, Gameshow, 1AV Streamer, and XSplit (paid) which allows you to stream to the streaming platform of your choice while you have control of your upload quality without being confined by the choices of big companies like Sony or Microsoft.