The software, which runs on Mac OS X or Windows, automatically buffers approximately two hours of 1080i gameplay, so it's possible to wait until something interesting happens and then start recording.
The program includes basic editing operations, and finished clips can be shared via YouTube, Facebook or Twitter. THey can also be exported for use on iOS devices, or to iMovie for more advanced editing.
Lars Felber, Elgato's public relations director, told iTWire that the company got the idea for the product when it discovered that certain licence keys for its EyeTV software were being shared by thousands of users. An investigation revealed that someone had produced a YouTube video tutorial showing how another manufacturer's hardware could be used in conjunction with EyeTV to record gameplay. The justification was that no piracy was involved because Elgato's software wasn't being used to receive TV broadcasts!
Elgato reasoned that this showed there was a demand for a product specifically designed for the purpose, and this led to Game Capture HD. Mr Felber mentioned the Machinima YouTube channel that featuring gameplay videos and related material, which has 109 million subscribers and an aggregate 28.3 billion views of over 850,000 videos. "That shows you how important gameplay video is," he told iTWire.
He also noted that it could be used to capture iPad operation via an HDMI adaptor. That could be useful for creating training videos.
The $279.95 Game Capture HD should be available in Australia this week.