Gaming Illustrated’s Holiday Gift Guide for Streamers
Ben Sheene / Dec 18th, 2015 No Comments
Livestreaming and gameplay capture have become a way of life for today’s players. What used to be a convoluted process requiring multiple pieces of hardware and a powerful PC has become fairly streamlined. The ability to livestream directly to Twitch or upload a video to YouTube from a PlayStation 4 and Xbox One could turn any player into a potential online celebrity. But even with their ease of use, the PS4 and Xbox One have their limitations. If the streamer on your holiday gift list wants to produce videos with more of a professional edge, here are some of the best products you can find.
Game Capture Device
The Elgato Game Capture HD60 is one of the best capture devices available on the market. It’s big selling point is the ability to stream and record gameplay in 1080p at 60 frames per second.
Built with the newest generation of consoles in mind, the Elgato is sleek, compact (the unit is smaller than the average wallet), and easy to use. Set up only requires two HDMI cables run through a computer and TV. The software included with the Elgato may not be the most advanced but it is surprisingly feature-packed. Players will be able to retroactively record gameplay with the flashback feature and control their streams. Linking up with Twitch and other services is a breeze and players have the ability to add commentary and webcam feeds or adjust the layout of their stream.
Putting it simply, the Elgato Game Capture HD60 is a step up from the basic streaming capabilities of consoles. Being able to record 1080p footage onto your computer also opens up the potential to professionally edit clips.
Currently available on Amazon for $157, the Elgato Game Capture HD60 is competitively priced with other popular brands like Hauppauge and AVerMedia. Gamers who are tired of the filling their shelves with black devices can also check out the Glacier White version of the Elgato. Consider it a wise investment in the growth of one’s video capabilities.
Voice commentary is perhaps the most crucial vehicle in delivering a person’s personality. And what better way to amplify this crucial tool than with an excellent microphone?
Blue Microphone’s Yeti is one of the best reviewed pieces of hardware on Gaming Illustrated. The Blackout model received a 97 percent rating with us saying it “is a near perfect investment that can add a professional touch to any kind of entertainer, gaming or otherwise.” The Yeti is capable of picking up a person’s voice with incredible clarity and gives the speaker just the right amount of control. Another important feature of the Yeti is its simplicity. Players can plug the Yeti directly into a USB port or a streaming device. From there, users can plug in headphones to the included audio jack and pick up game audio or monitor their own voice.
Blue also released a Whiteout Yeti which, as the name suggests, is a white variation of the model. It makes a perfect companion to the white Destiny PS4 or the Glacier White Elgato and a brighter contrast to the overly dark look of most modern electronics.
The Yeti retails for $150 but we’ve often seen it hover around $100, making it an incredibly good value for the quality of the device. Check out the Blackout model or the Whiteout model on Amazon.
For those wanting similar quality as the Yeti but at a cheaper price, check out Blue’s Black iCE Snowball. The Snowball iCE is a variation of one of Blue’s most popular microphones and the Black iCE gives it the same black finish as the Yeti. The microphone’s unique spherical look sets it apart from the pack. It may not be as packed with features but the Black iCE Snowball does come at under half the price of the Yeti. Users can see it on Amazon for just under $60.
For added versatility, ease of access, and less voice interference, also consider the Radius Shockmount for the Yeti and the Ringer Shockmount for the Snowball.
There’s nothing more annoying for a streamer than slow internet, especially considering most new games are only accessible with an online connection. Between a gaming device and a PC running the live feed, streamers will be sucking up a lot of bandwidth. This holiday, give the streamer on your list the gift of high-speed internet.
While you probably won’t want to pay someone’s internet bill every month as a Christmas present, there are some ways you can help your loved one gain faster online speeds. The most efficient way is via a wireless router. For those of you who aren’t so good with tech, a router delivers internet throughout your home. Internet companies will lease you a router, but they are typically low quality.
We highly recommend the D-Link AC3200 tri-band router because of its power and exceptional range. Multiple antennae allow users to point wireless internet to all directions of their home, while three-band technology and quality of service settings mean multiple devices can soak up fast speeds without clogging up the bandwidth.
The D-Link AC3200 typically runs around $300 on Amazon. If you’re looking for something a little less expensive and less spaceship-looking, go with the Netgear Nighthawk R7000. It still performs exceptionally well and can be purchased for around $200.
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tags: Blue Microphones , Elgato Game Capture HD60 , Gift Guide , hardware , logitech