I want to record gameplay without any crazy technical setup

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The other day while playing Assassin’s Creed: Revelations, I decided to jump off one of the tallest towers around, pull my parachute and float through the sky into a Templar controlled-area to scout around before setting myself up for a stealth kill on the Templar Captain; pretty standard stuff. This was my original plan, but instead I did the most amazing kill ever in any Assassin’s Creed game. As I floated through the sky, hundreds of feet in the air, the tiny red indicator for the Templar captain appeared below me in the street between two buildings. I held my breath and gently guided my parachute a few feet over, prayed and pressed the assassinate button. Ezio let go of the parachute and plummeted to the ground with his hidden dagger leading the way the entire time. What I was treated to was seeing a Templar Captain surrounded by guards, crushed into the paving stones. Requiescat in Pace!

Long ago we used something called a videocassette recorder

As epic as this sounds, it would be even better if I could somehow save the gameplay and watch it or show it to someone else. The least developers could do is let me have some kind of replay. That can’t be hard to do. I remember a few years ago being able to replay the last minute or so in Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas.

What am I looking at?

I know it’s a silly thing, but do you know how much money people spend on being able to record their own gameplay, edit and post it? Between the hardware and software requirements it’s going to cost a couple hundred dollars. I’m not even asking for something really complicated. I just want to be able to hit the start button on most games, rewatch the last few minutes of gameplay and record them to my harddrive. How about being able to rewatch some of the epic beat-downs I handed out while playing Batman: Arkham City. There was that time in Grand Theft Auto IV I jumped out of a helicopter at the highest point in the sky, free fell for thousands of feet to dive into a swimming pool. I could witness the time a friend of mine killed a dragon in Skyrim with a fish.

A video capture card is becoming quite common.

The annoying thing is that this is completely possible and the Xbox 360 and PS3 could be just as capable of these masturbatory videos as PCs. Imagine if you could save them to your harddrive and your friends could download them to watch without needing a PC that captures your game footage with video editing software and some method of transferring or posting videos online.

I know that this has been happening in multiplayer for quite some time, but why not single-player? Why do our epic moments that we want to relive only happen during multiplayer? They don’t. They happen all the time and after a few hours more of gameplay, we begin to forget about them and instead only vaguely remember that sweet jump or that tense moment with the zombies that we managed to escape.

I understand that this isn’t a deeply thoughtful topic or anything that needs much debate, but why has this never happened? Think back on all the fond memories of feats of digital accomplishment you have lost due to your inability to afford all the crazy requirements of recording console play. Microsoft gave me harddrive for a reason.

One Comment

  1. Simple reason is the file size for even 720p video is very large. You can compress the video but that takes processing resources or needs dedicated hardware. I put away about more than a gig a minute recording CoD. What makes games able to record things is usually replaying the actions of the players in the game. Which requires the game the watch. Halo3 did this for single player as well as multiplayer. Mostly the reason for not doing it now is that the single player isn’t more than an afterthought. The two most recent CoD titles have had this but it’s of very low quality mostly because of the processing requirements I’m sure.

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