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Genki Shadowcast Review

Illustration for article titled Genki Shadowcast Review
Photo: Human Things

There are plenty of ways to get gameplay from a console to your computer. I’ve always used an Elgato HD60 S, but that’s admittedly always been a pain point for me. The Genki Shadowcast Makes Capturing Switch Footage a Snap. I feel like I’m always fighting with Elgato’s game capture software or OBS to get the signal in (and how many of us have had to deal with the Sound Capture app suddenly taking over our computer’s audio?). Even when I’ve done it 100 times, there’s always tinkering to be done. I just want to plug a console into my computer and have the video appear on screen without the hassle. Is that so much to ask?

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The new Genki Shadowcast is one solution to that issue. Funded by a successful Kickstarter campaign, the Shadowcast is designed to be the “simplest” way to connect console and PC. Rather than going from a standard HDMI to HDMI port, it plugs into a laptop via USB-C. Quite literally all you have to do is plug an HDMI into your console and the other end into a laptop and… you’re done. It works with any console that has an HDMI output, which means it’ll work with any last and current-gen consoles.

To test it out, I plugged my Nintendo Switch into my Alienware laptop. I downloaded Genki’s own app, though Shadowcast plays nicely with things like OBS. As soon as I finished downloading the app, it fired up and my Switch screen was just there. No fiddling with inputs. No changing settings. No driver downloads. It just appeared. Even with the slightest bit of delay, it worked without a hitch. The Arcade app even includes options to prioritize either resolution or performance, so picky players can decide what’s most important to them.

As an added utility, this can hook up to a camera. If you’re looking for an easy way to plug a DSLR in for streaming, it’ll serve that purpose. It works natively as a capture card too, so you can get a lot of mileage out of this little thing.

Illustration for article titled Genki Shadowcast Review
Photo: Human Things

There’s a bit more compromise when it comes to new consoles. Since it uses USB 2.0, it can handle a 4K signal. However, the on-screen output displays at 1080p. My Series X looked a bit fuzzier on my laptop screen compared to my Switch, which was perfectly crisp. For those strictly looking to hook their next-gen machine up for capture purposes, you may still need to go the complicated route. But if you’re just looking to use your monitor as a screen, it’ll work fine. It’s just a bit more useful for Switch owners.

Despite that hitch, I’m impressed by how simple the Genki Shadowcast is. Plug in my Switch, see it on screen. That’s all! After years of struggling with settings and inputs, it’s a refreshing change of pace that makes capturing Switch footage extremely easy. Combine this with Genki’s Covert Dock for Switch and you’ve got a really streamlined way to give your Switch a bigger screen without a TV.


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