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Review: AVerMedia Live Gamer EXTREME

Jun 29 // Jed Whitaker
Product: Live Gamer EXTREMEManufacturer: AVerMediaMSRP: $179.99 1080p, 60fps is the holy grail of console games these days and the Live Gamer EXTREME (LGX) handles those specs without issue. Footage looks exactly as intended by the game's developers. The LGX also has all the frills you'd expect a capture device to have such as HDMI input and output, its own recording software, but also includes some things I've never seen on other cards. Included in the box is an HDMI cable, a component cable, a 3.5mm cable, and a PS3 cable. The latter cable can be used to connect directly to a PS3 instead of connecting it with component cables, a feature only on the LGX, though I'm not sure how useful it is as it seems gamers and game publishers have mostly moved on from the previous generation. A component cable adapter is also included for capturing legacy consoles.  The included 3.5mm cable can be used to connect an external audio input source to be mixed into streams and captures alongside a 3.5mm microphone jack. Personally I opt to go with USB microphones, as they tend to offer a better sound quality overall, but for those on a tighter budget, a 3.5mm microphone might be a better fit as they are typically less expensive. The purpose of the 3.5mm jacks is to allow the LGX to be used in place of an external audio mixer, though most streaming software allows you to do this already. Also in the box is a manual, the Rec 2 -- AVerMedia's own capture and streaming software -- and a three-month subscription to the streaming software XSplit. I could go on for days about the various streaming software out there, but currently there is no one true winner. Rec 2 is pretty simple and great for beginners, allowing for picture in picture and layout designs with ease, while XSplit has more options and advanced features but runs a monthly fee. I personally use OBS, as it is free and covers most of my needs, though sometimes I still use Rec 2 or XSplit if they have a specific feature I need at the time.  The main feature that the LGX touts is ultra-low latency uncompressed video, meaning you see the game as intended with no real lag or delay between what you'd see on your TV. In my pseudo-scientific tests, I shot 240fps footage with my iPhone of my computer screen versus my TV screen with Mario Kart 8's timer on the screen, and found that AVerMedia's claim of under 0.05 seconds of latency is true. On average, it seemed be around 0.04 seconds, sometimes going up to .08 at worst and .02 at best. The latency is better than any previous capture device I've used and allows me to play off my computer screen instead of switching inputs, as I use a single-screen setup with my desktop in the living room connected to my TV. This allows me to react to my onscreen follower and subscriber alert without having an impact on my gameplay.  Also included is the ability to print your own cover image for branding and vanity purposes. It doesn't serve much purpose, in my opinion, but you can easily make what you'd like with the included cover creator software. I personally suggest a Red Bull can overlaid onto an image of Destiny for the coolest of covers. Overall, AVerMedia has made the Live Gamer EXTREME the capture device to beat. It is more feature rich than competitors at the same price point, and no other device has offered the minimal latency. [This review is based on retail hardware provided by the manufacturer.]
AVerMedia LGX review photo
Live streamer's delight
I've been making gaming videos and streaming for what seems like forever, and I've gone through my fair share of capture devices. My original card only did 720p and 30fps, required hard drives setup in a RAID, and only captur...

Review: The Controller Shop custom DualShock 4

Jun 26 // Kyle MacGregor
Okay, so maybe it wasn't a complete enigma. Still, cracking the case open and laying eyes on the controller for the first time, I was taken aback. It wasn't at all how I pictured it in my mind's eye. The thing literally glittered, metallic paint beaming in the sunlight, its splashy buttons distracting from the intricate detailed artwork in the periphery. It was shocking, really. Maybe a little gaudy. Certainly more than I bargained for, more vibrant and impressive than anything I might have conjured up. My attention was soon drawn to the portrait of Mr. Destructoid along the left handle. At a glance, our robot mascot looked flawless, so impeccable that I figured it was a decal. Upon closer inspection, though, you can see its tiny imperfections. This didn't roll off a conveyor belt in a factory somewhere. It was painstakingly rendered by hand, a labor of love. Subtle stripes and understated circuitry art accent the front panel, while the rear is underscored by a dozen or so little Space Invaders and an elaborate pattern of triangles clustered around the edge. While The Controller Shop offers rear paddles (similar to the ones featured in Microsoft's upcoming Xbox One Elite Controller) and foot pedal accessories, ours didn't come included with any significant hardware upgrades. But that isn't to say it feels identical to a standard DualShock 4. The surface is more glossy than matte, and the anterior lacks the grippy feel of other DualShock 4s. Having spent an extended period of time gaming with it, I can't say I prefer it over the basic edition, nor can I say it's any worse. Just different. Though there are a few specific instances where I might favor one over the other. In a side by side comparison, The Controller Shop's face buttons feel more satisfying. They're a tad clickier -- if that makes any sense. The shoulder buttons feel slightly heavier. The biggest difference was the D-pad, though. It takes more effort to move around, making it feel ill-suited for fighting games or other genres where a more rigid range of motion might be an impediment. On the other hand, the analogs feel firm and potentially more durable, which could be a plus, given how the set on the standard model are prone to falling apart. Whether or not a custom look and vaguely different feel is worth $100+ (or, in the case of this one, closer to $250 due to its hand-painted graphics and whatnot) is debatable and highly subjective. I can say that if you're in the market for such a luxury item, you could certainly do a lot worse. This may not have been the particular design I would have chosen for myself, but that was kind of the point. I wanted to see what The Controller Shop could do, and they produced a finely-made work of art that exceeded my expectations in many respects. If you can afford to channel that craftsmanship into your own style, it might very well be worth it. [This review is based on a retail unit of the controller provided by the manufacturer.]
REVIEW: Custom Controller photo
Handcrafted hardware
When a custom controller outfit offered to let us design our own tailor-made gamepad, it was a proposal we couldn't refuse. Except designing things is hard. So we rolled the dice and left that task in their hands, hoping thei...

Nintendo photo
Nintendo

'Competitors may take our NX ideas,' says Iwata


He's not paranoid; he just doesn't trust anyone
Jun 26
// Vikki Blake
Wondering why Nintendo glossed right over the NX during its E3 presentation? Blame Nintendo's competitors -- Nintendo boss Iwata certainly does.  "We can't talk about the NX," Iwata said in yesterday's investor call (acc...
New 3DS in America photo
New 3DS in America

Is the New 3DS coming to America or is Reggie trolling us?


You know, the one with the backplates
Jun 24
// Jed Whitaker
The Nintendo of America boss, Reggie Fils-Aimé, has seemingly teased the release of the standard-size New 3DS for America. "We've certainly taken note of all of the readers and consumers that expressed desire for the b...
PS1 throwback photo
PS1 throwback

Standalone PS1-style DualShock 4 out this September


20th anniversary headset, too
Jun 23
// Jordan Devore
For most of us, that limited-edition 20th anniversary PlayStation 4 was something to look at and nothing more. Sony didn't produce enough of them to meet demand. But at least with the controller, we're getting a second chance...
Batman: Arkham Knight photo
Batman: Arkham Knight

Batman: Arkham Knight's minimum specs tweaked overnight


Holy graphic cards, Batman!
Jun 23
// Vikki Blake
The minimum spec requirements to run Batman: Arkham Knight on PC have been updated overnight. As gamers attempting to play Batman: Arkham Knight on PC continue to experience problems, it has now been acknowledged that AMD gra...
Wii U woes photo
Wii U woes

Miyamoto on where the Wii U went wrong


I'm happy with mine
Jun 22
// Jordan Devore
NPR had a nice chat with long-time designer Shigeru Miyamoto about the origins of his characters and how he first got started with Nintendo a few decades ago. Lovely. He also opened up about the Wii U's lackluster sales. Aske...
PlayStation photo
PlayStation

Sony launches new 1TB PlayStation 4 in Europe


Become the Ultimate Playa
Jun 22
// Vikki Blake
A new 1TB PlayStation 4 - the Ultimate Player Edition - is headed for Europe from July 15. "Offering twice the storage of the existing PS4," writes SCEE Blog Manager Fred Dutton on the PS Blog today, "you’ll be abl...
Xbox One deal photo
Xbox One deal

Arkham Knight or Witcher 3 free with an Xbox One


Or, haha, Battlefield Hardline
Jun 19
// Jordan Devore
I keep forgetting that Batman: Arkham Knight is out real soon, on Tuesday, what with E3 keeping us busy and Warner Bros. not passing along a review copy to certain outlets (was it something we said?). It seems like one of tho...
Sony photo
Sony

Yoshida talks about PS4 backwards compatibility


TL;DR: it ain't happening yet
Jun 19
// Vikki Blake
Hoping backwards compatibility might be heading to the PlayStation 4 too?  Talking to Eurogamer, Sony Worldwide Studios boss Shuhei Yoshida said Xbox's backwards-compatibility announcement was "surprising" and intro...
Xbox One photo
Xbox One

Here's all Xbox One's 'backwards compatible' games


The list is, uh, interesting, right?
Jun 16
// Vikki Blake
I was very excited when, at yesterday's E3 Conference, Xbox's Phil Spencer announced that "BACKWARDS COMPATIBILITY!" was coming to Xbox One.  I thought that I'd be able to pander to nostalgia at a whim, grab any one of t...
Oculus Rift photo
Oculus Rift

These are the Oculus Rift's proper controllers


Played like a damn fiddle
Jun 11
// Jordan Devore
Virtual reality enthusiasts were not exactly enthused by the news that Oculus Rift would come with a wireless Xbox One controller as its default input method. The goal there is to give "developers something they can target," ...
Oculus Rift photo
Oculus Rift

The Oculus Rift comes with an Xbox One controller


Xbox One games will be streamable, too
Jun 11
// Jordan Devore
When the Oculus Rift virtual-reality headset releases in Q1 2016, it will include a gamepad -- a familiar one, at that. Oculus has partnered with Microsoft to bundle the wireless Xbox One controller and adapter (usable with W...
Xbox One photo
Xbox One

Xbox One price cut is permanent, gets new 1TB model


Yep, it comes with Halo
Jun 09
// Mike Cosimano
After an Amazon leak confirmed the existence of an Xbox One model with a 1TB hard drive, Microsoft has officially announced both the new SKU and a price drop for the 500GB model, along with the new Xbox One controller. The co...
Turtle Beach 800X photo
Turtle Beach 800X

Turtle Beach's wireless Elite 800X headphones are great if you can afford them


$300
Jun 05
// Chris Carter
$300 is a lot for a pair of headphones. It's a little easier to swallow when you add in wireless functionality, as most headsets tend to teeter around that number in the current market. Many savvy consumers will tell you to j...

Corsair's Bulldog PC: Liquid-cooled, 4K living room gaming

Jun 02 // Steven Hansen
The entry level Bulldog kit is $400. This will not get you 4K gaming, of course. You get the chassis, Mini-ITX motherboard, CPU cooler, and power supply. Where you go from there is up to you. You add CPU, RAM, hard drive, and graphics card. Maybe you want 32GB of DDR4 and a liquid-cooled Titan X. If you have a 4K TV I assume you can afford it, despite assurances that 4K TVs like the monster set we demoed on are now "affordable" at $1,800, or the same price as my weekend trip to the ER for a badly broken finger (yes, typing one handed is slow. Wiping lefty is also uncomfortable.) If you're going from scratch and buying everything fresh, you're looking at anywhere from $939 to $2249 (on the high, liquid-cooled Titan X end) to put together a nice little living room PC. If you're interested in dropping a liquid-cooled GPU solution into some other non-dog-shaped computer, perhaps your own, that's possible too. Corsair is selling the GPU liquid-cooler in a separate kit that will support all current and upcoming AMD and Nvidia graphics cards. Corsair also announced the Lapdog, which is not a laptop, but rather a big old tray you can set on your lap. It has a giant mouse pad area and Corsair's mechanical gaming keyboards can dock with its powered USB hub (go ahead and charge your phone from it, too). It's wired, which is a weird compromise between living room form factor and PC gaming precision. Also $90 (or $200 with a keyboard packed in). I like living room PC gaming. I have a nice, old tower hooked up to the aforementioned 30-inch living room television. I don't notice the noise, whether I'm playing a new game on high settings or just using it mainline Dinosaurs on Netflix. Usually I just use a controller, or the wireless mouse and keyboard sitting on the coffee table. That's me. Poor, simple me. Corsair's cool tech might be for you, though.
Bulldog and Lapdog photo
Also, Lapdog keyboard shell
The Witcher 3 looks nice in 4K. This is neither something unexpected nor something my six-year-old, 30-inch living room television would be able to teach me. But I visited with computer hardware and peripheral developer Corsa...

Company quashes rumor photo
Company quashes rumor

No, Nintendo's NX console will not be running Android


Company quashes rumor
Jun 02
// Steven Hansen
Nintendo's next console, codename NX, will not be an Ouya clone, contrary to yesterday's rumors. While you never know with Nintendo, which recently agreed to let its properties enter the mobile gaming space with a DeNA partne...
Eating salad photo
Eating salad

Microsoft adds white Xbox One Halo: The Master Chief Collection bundle


Eating salad
May 20
// Steven Hansen
Ahead of Halo 5: Guardians, Microsoft already attempted to both make and sway Chief fans with an Xbox One bundled with Halo: The Master Chief Collection and a box with pictures of Master Chief on it. Now, Microsoft is over de...
Oculus photo
Oculus

Oculus has something to show us in June


Step into the Rift
May 20
// Vikki Blake
Oculus is inviting selected press to a special event in San Francisco on June 11. The plain invites merely bear the words "Step into the Rift" and an image of an Oculus Rift headset. What exactly the event will cover remains ...
Nintendo TV photo
Nintendo TV

That time Sharp built an NES into a television


Cool controllers
May 15
// Jordan Devore
A television set with a built-in Nintendo Entertainment System sounds like the sort of extravagant purchase I'd make if, as a youngster, I was nearly run over by a bad man and he handed me a blank check that I could then pro...
Deals photo
Deals

PlayStation TV price cut in half at GameStop


$39.99 "Vita" time?
May 13
// Dealzon
Remember when the PlayStation TV was selling for $99.99 back around its October 2014 release date? Well now it's all the way down to $39.99 today in a seemingly random half price deal at GameStop. PlayStation TV is $39....
HoloLens demo photo
HoloLens demo

Microsoft HoloLens looks like the future


Make your games follow you!?
Apr 29
// Jed Whitaker
Holy shit! Call me a nerd, but this makes me excited for the future. Picture this: yours truly walking around the house naked while my videogame follows me -- a virtual pet here, a leaderboard of my friends scores there, a l...
OUYA for sale photo
OUYA for sale

OUYA now available for purchase (the company that is)


Get it while it's hot?
Apr 28
// Jed Whitaker
OUYA, the microconsole that was a $15 million hit on Kickstarter, is in financial trouble. According to a confidential email obtained by Fortune, OUYA is deep enough in debt that it's going to be put up for sale. This coming ...
Deals photo
Deals

Groupon Spring Sale: PS4 for $342, Xbox One for $315, New 3DS XL for $180


Eighth-gen console with your spa deal
Apr 27
// Dealzon
Pretty hot deal today on Groupon for various console bundles, from PS4 to Xbox Ones. In addition to a $20 instant discount on the PS4 from $399.99 to $379.99 there's a 10% off Groupon code you can enter in at checkout an...
PlayStation Vita photo
PlayStation Vita

Is this the next PlayStation Vita?


Sure looks that way
Apr 21
// Vikki Blake
A Twitter bot may have spilled the beans on as-yet-unannounced new PlayStation Vita design. The tweet, published on the weekend by @trademark_bot, shared details of a patent filed recently by Sony Computer Entertainment for "a portable LCD screen game machine controller." That's right -- LCD. Not OLED. 
New 3DS photo
New 3DS

What if the New 3DS is Nintendo's last 3D handheld?


3D or not 3D, that is the question
Apr 13
// Jonathan Holmes
I was there when Nintendo first announced the 3DS. It was back when the company did actual press conferences at E3. As its presentation wrapped up, Nintendo sent droves of models into the audience, each with a 3DS tethered to...
Deals photo
Deals

NewEgg discounts PS Vita and Wii U bundles up to $40 off


Can't sell consoles on your own site? Dump them for cheap on eBay
Apr 10
// Dealzon
Sure, NewEgg is mostly known as a computer parts retailer, but this weekend it is selling some cheap consoles on its eBay Store page. There is the Wii U Deluxe Bundle with Super Mario 3D World and Nintendo Land discounted by $40, along with the Borderlands 2 PlayStation Vita Bundle slashed by $30. Two decent discounts for two systems that don't get quite enough love.
More Xbox 360 storage photo
More Xbox 360 storage

More space! Xbox 360 to support 2TB external drives


My patience finally pays off
Apr 09
// Jordan Devore
I can barely recall a time when my Xbox 360 hard drive wasn't full of games and DLC. It would've been before Rock Band, certainly. And the situation has only gotten more chaotic since Microsoft starting pumping out regular Ga...
Extended value photo
Extended value

Microsoft discontinues Kinect for Windows


'We recently extended Kinectís value'
Apr 03
// Steven Hansen
Until today, you could buy a PC compatible, standalone Kinect v2 (the Xbox One one) for use with your PC or tablet. Microsoft just announced it will no longer be producing the Kinect for Windows sensor. If you still want to u...

Contest: Win a Titan One and a controller of your choice!

Mar 24 // Mr Andy Dixon
*Controller choices limited to Xbox 360, Xbox One, DualShock 3, and DualShock 4
Titan One contest photo
Use any controller with any console with this cross-compatibility device
[Update: Contest over! Winners are Fabio Teixeira, Topken, and TroyFullbuster!] Destructoid has once again joined forces with our friends at ConsoleTuner to offer another awesome contest for the Dtoid community! This time aro...


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