Review: The Genki ShadowCast Fulfills Its Purpose Well


Human Things recently released the Genki ShadowCast. This is a device designed to let you use your laptop screen for console gaming and to some extent use it as a capture card for streaming and recording. The device is $44.99 and available now from the official site and they were kind enough to send me a ShadowCast to try out for myself.

Using a ShadowCast is very simple. Plug the special HDMI adapter into your console’s HDMI output and then use the included USB-C (or your own if needed) cable (USB-C/A adapter is optional) to connect the console to your computer. Then, you download the version of Genki Arcade for your machine and you’re good to go. One thing that I greatly appreciate is that Genki Arcade is supported on Windows, MacOS, and even ChromeOS. This really opens up who can use this tool and is greatly appreciated by this Chromebook user.

Another great aspect of ShadowCast is that if you already use streaming or recording software like OBS Studio, you can use it with ShadowCast no problem. This makes it a very affordable capture card if you want to get into streaming or recording gameplay videos but don’t have the budget for something like an Elgato capture card.

Of course, the attractive price point does come with setbacks. With Genki Arcade, you can choose to either have 1080p/30fps or 720p/60fps. For some, this might not be a dealbreaker, but I know some people will scoff at it. This does pose the problem of games possibly looking like garbage on high resolution screens. I know that when I first loaded up Hades on my Switch with this, I could choose from either a choppier, but prettier look or smoother gameplay with grosser graphics on my 1440p monitor. When playing on my Chromebook’s 1080p screen, the graphics looked better and the experience was more enjoyable.

Here, you can check out the feed when I record Hades from my Nintendo Switch on OBS with the ShadowCast. It’s not that bad.

The Genki ShadowCast is a fine device that can serve a couple of functions. First, if you don’t have a TV, you can still play console games with your laptop’s monitor. This could come in handy for college students or people who travel with their consoles. Also, as I already mentioned, this is a very budget-friendly option if you want to start streaming. As long as you’re okay with not streaming above 1080p, this is a great tool. Yes, it feels a little niche to me, but it definitely has a purpose and fulfills it very well.