Nvidia’s Geforce Shadowplay is set to launch tomorrow (29 October) just in time for the launch of Battlefield 4. Shadowplay will be bundled in the drivers along with a new version of Geforce Experience.
Shadowplay uses the hardware video decoder embedded into modern Kepler graphics cards to capture your gameplay without invoking any framerate dips or system lags. Nvidia promises that the technology will allow gamers to seamlessly record and share their gameplay without damaging their experience, be it in online or offline gameplay.
Shadowplay has a few restrictions to work properly. It requires a GTX650 or higher Kepler graphics card with the built-in hardware decoder. It also requires that players use Windows 8 or 8.1.
Windows 7 is supported, but with a filesize restriction to 4GB thanks to the way MPEG-4 encoding works on the older OS.
This means that for anyone wishing to record gameplay of any length at their own discretion, Microsoft’s latest OS is a non-negotiable requirement. Many people may take this as an invitation to stick to alternate recording programs like FRAPS.
In addition, there is a resolution cap of 1920 x 1080 pixels. Games that are run at a higher resolution will be downsampled to 1080p. This is likely a limitation of the hardware encoder and not the software. Frame rates are limited to 60 frames per second, with a minimum of 30fps for the capture software to work.
Users that have already grabbed the beta files are also reporting that the capturing software does occasionally not record audio if one uses a discrete sound card. Other issues stem from game support, with Dark Souls being one of the notable games not yet playing ball. Games run in a window or emulators are not supported at this time.
Shadowplay will eventually form the basis of a new streaming partnership with Twitch.tv, which will see a custom software client embedded into Geforce experience that uses the encoder to both record and stream gameplay at the same time. The Twitch streaming is still in development and will be available in the near future.