Looks can be deceiving when it comes to gaming peripherals. The Genki ShadowCast is a capture card, and it may just be the smallest one ever made, as it’s not much larger than a standard flash drive. It slides into your Nintendo Switch’s HDMI port and connects to a Mac, Windows PC, or laptop to mirror the console through a handy app. Here’s my Genki ShadowCast review.
Genki ShadowCast Review: Is it worth it?
— Dimensions: 0.98 inches L x 2.1 inches W x 0.35 inches H
— Weight: 0.35 ounces
— HDMI Input: 4K/30fps or 1080p/60fps
— USB Output Resolution: Up to 1080p/60fps
— Color Depth: 9/10/12-bit deep color
— System Requirements: PC i5-3400 or above or NB i7-3537U 2.0 Ghz processor or above, PC NVIDIA GT630 or NVIDIA GT735M graphics card or above, 4 GB of RAM
Easy Setup: Tapping into the video capture possibilities in the Genki ShadowCast requires far less setup than standard, clunkier models. Simply slide ShadowCast into the Nintendo Switch HDMI port, and connect to any laptop (or Windows or Mac PC) via USB-C or USB-A. And because it powers up through your laptop, you don’t need to mess with cumbersome wires to use it. For options, check out the best laptops.
Small, But Powerful Performance: Using the Genki Arcade app (available on Mac, Windows, and Chrome), Genki Shadowcase lets you capture still screens and video in 1080p up to 60 fps. Experience them on the best 4K gaming monitors.
Plays Well With Others: While tapping into the Genki ShadowCast’s features is easily done through the Genki Arcade app, like any great capture card, ShadowCast is compatible with QuickTime, OBS, StreamLabs OBS, Wirecast, and X-Split. It also plays well with social media apps like Discord, Twitch, and YouTube.
Wide Device Compatibility: The Genki ShadowCast is great on Switch, but also works fairly well across other platforms including PS3, 4 and 5, Xbox Series S/X, SNES Classic Edition, and just about any device with an HDMI output. This of course includes plenty of DSLR cameras.
We further explain how we test gaming equipment here.
The Genki ShadowCast Review: Is it Worth It?
Setting up the Genki ShadowCast is as simple as advertised. Occasionally, USB-powered peripherals cheap out on the cord, but the one packed in with the device is thick and sturdy. While it’s a USB-C cord, the Genki ShadowCast also comes with a C-to-A converter, depending on your computer’s available inputs. Using the Genki Arcade app, my MacBook Pro screen immediately began broadcasting my Nintendo Switch, just as if it were plugged into a TV.
Like with many capture cards, I experienced lag. It wasn’t massive, playing through a random level on “Kirby and the Forgotten Land” was still very doable. If I had to measure it, it would likely be in the milliseconds. Not game breaking for most of the less-demanding Switch titles, but in games like “Fortnite” or “Mortal Kombat II,” even tiny delays can ruin a string of kills or a devastating fatality. So is the Genki ShadowCast even worth it? Absolutely. For one, this capture card is tiny. The Genki ShadowCast slides into the regular and OLED Switch docks easily, and can park near the console when it’s not in use. Can you fit any other capture card in your pocket? A card that tucks into any drawers is perfect in a clutch, or if you’re on the go.
It also provides plenty of freedom. Nintendo allows users to take screens and up to 30 seconds of video at a time natively on the Switch. But because it's Nintendo, this image capture capability comes with serious, annoying caveats. Transferring captured images and video to your smartphone requires scanning a QR code, and even when it reaches your phone, you still may need to then transfer these files to your PC to edit them.
Capturing video using the Genki ShadowCast is far more streamlined. Better yet, the video is actually worth a damn. When using it with a Switch, you’re not bound to the 30-second cutoff. If you need to capture video quickly and easily, keeping the Genki ShadowCast handy may be worth it, especially since it’s more affordable than any other capture card on the market right now. New content creators and budding streamers may want to test the waters with the ShadowCast, before dropping serious cash on a flashier, faster capture card.
This post was created by a non-news editorial team at Recurrent Media, Futurism’s owner. Futurism may receive a portion of sales on products linked within this post.