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Elgato Game Capture 4K60 S+ Capture Card Review

The Elgato 4K60 S+ is a game changer for content creation. Elgato has always been one of the leaders in game capture and streaming, bringing some fantastic products that work and are dead simple to use. From streaming, to audio, to lighting, Elgato has made a business of being the streaming gear that delivers where it needs to. With the Elgato Game Capture 4K60 S+ they have thrown the gauntlet, bringing a powerful capture solution that makes the process of creating premium content easier than ever.

With the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X|S systems now here, a capture device to record all the best moments in native 4K is a welcome addition to any streamers’ arsenal While there are many 4K internal solutions, the Elgato 4K60 S+ is a step above, making a system that is both easy to set up, and possible to run without a computer hooked up to make sure you never miss the best moments of your latest game.

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For me as a journalist, the ability to bring a device with me, and record footage, all without having a need for a bulky computer, capture combo seems like a dream come true. Even beyond behind closed door sessions, the possibilities for an external capture card that records right onto an SD card at 4K are endless.

Similar to any capture device from Elgato, everything you need to get started is included inside the box. You will find the Elgato Game Capture 4K60 S+ capture device, 2x USB-C cables, an HDMI 2.0 cable, a power supply with multiple connections for multiple regions, and an instruction manual. The only thing you will need to supply is either a PC or an SD card to record your footage onto.

The Elgato Game Capture 4K60 S+ itself is a well-designed, clean, and clean looking device that carries on the aesthetic of many Elgato products. It includes all the connectivity you’ll ever need without feeling overly complex and cumbersome. The record button is located next to the SD card slot and has a 3.5 mm headphone jack for adding an audio output to the front. The device has an HDMI input and output, two USB-C ports, and one port for connecting the Elgato Game Capture 4K60 S+. As with most of the Elgato capture range, the Elgato Game Capture 4K60 S+ also supports zero-latency delay, making implementing the device as part of your workflow easy and painless.

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The big selling point for the Elgato Game Capture 4K60 S+ is you can capture footage in 4K without the need of a PC along with always handy lag-free pass-through. Once you have the capture set up with all the needed cables plugged in, you simply need to insert an SD card into the front of the device, and the Elgato Game Capture 4K60 S+ is prepped for standalone recording.

Once the Elgato Game Capture 4K60 S+ has written the needed files to the SD card, it is simply a matter of hitting the record button when needed. When the middle of a button is solid red, the button is ready to record, and once you press the button, the 4K60 S+ indicates it is recorded by flashing the outer edge. Pressing the button once again will save the video to the SD card and makes it ready for any kind of content creation you could want.

Should you want to connect the 4K60 S+ to your PC, it will act like any other Elgato external capture cards. Simply ensure all the needed drivers are installed and open up your recording software of choice be it OBS, Stream OBS, XSplit, etc., and you are ready to record. With this being a 4K capture device, you will want to ensure you meet the minimum spec, or you will be in for a bad time, 4K video can bring even a moderately powerful PC to its knees.

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The ability to capture 4K60 gameplay footage makes the Elgato 4K60 S+ a great companion for anyone looking to make content with the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X in mind. With both 4K video and the possibility for HDR 10 makes it incredibly versatile, the fact it can work without the need of a PC makes it an even more exciting option. As with any high-end video solution with an onboard encoder, you will want to ensure you don’t skimp on the SD card. While most in-office cards we tested worked, I would suggest you go for one that can support the high bitrate footage and the large file sizes, or you could find yourself looking at stuttering or near unusable video and hours of wasted time.

While the Elgato does offer the 4K Capture Utility software, I would advise against it. While it has improved in recent years, and the company has worked to make it a much more usable piece of software, I still prefer using trusted recording and streaming software like OBS Studio, StreamLabs OBS, and XSplit, they will simply crash less, and give a much better user experience.

Even though the Elgato Game Capture 4K60 S+ supports zero-lag pass-through, it does lack Instant Gameview. A feature that almost all other Elgato capture devices support, Gameview is essentially a delay-less preview of your gameplay, great for people with limited displays. While this is much easier with PCIe capture cards, the fact the Elgato Game Capture 4K60 S+ lacks this feature is disappointing to say the least. In testing at the CGMagazine offices, the delay was upwards of 200ms, so you may want to put a delay on your microphone and webcam to match your gameplay if streaming.

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Even with these slight hiccups in mind, the Elgato Game Capture 4K60 S+ delivers some truly stunning video. The ability to record without the need of another computer can be a game changer for many, especially if you go to events, or want to bring exclusive gameplay capture to your viewers that simply can’t be done with a full recording kit for whatever reason.

For the average streamer looking to broadcast to the world, the Elgato Game Capture 4K60 S+ is not for you. The $399 price tag is a bit too high, especially when you consider there are many fantastic external and internal 1080P quality capture cards at a fraction of the cost. But for creators looking to deliver the best possible video, and have a beefy PC to edit the capture, few cards offer the versatility of the Elgato Game Capture 4K60 S+.

The Elgato Game Capture 4K60 S+ is a capture card ahead of its time, bringing features that few beyond the most dedicated creator’s need. For the people that need it, the Elgato Game Capture 4K60 S+ is a capture solution unlike any other, especially if you don’t have the PCIe slot to spar for an internal capture card. It allows for stunning video all without the need of a PC, and in the age of trade shows, events and tournaments, the ability to travel lite and bring only the device and a good SD card is very tempting indeed.

This content was originally published here.



CGM explores the culture of comics and gaming with features, interviews, articles and reviews.

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Brendan Frye

EIC at CGMagazine (@CGMagonline), Veteran of the field with more then 10 years experience. Also Publisher at Nuada Press.