Razer effectively has one foot in the world of streaming and broadcasting with its range of headsets and studio-grade microphones. So it's hardly a surprise to see the peripheral manufacturer try to corner every aspect of the production process with a product to match.
But while the thought of having a Razer capture card to match your microphone, mouse, mouse pad, keyboard and laptop might be appealing, there's one small problem — it's pretty damn expensive.
Targeted at those who want to stream or capture console footage on a consistent basis, the Razer Ripsaw is a USB 3.0 device that can capture and stream uncompressed footage up to 1080p/60fps. Setup and installation, according to this video at least, is a fairly painless process:
Let's go through the specifications. It's a small, rectangular unit that weighs 183g and occupies just 13cm/8.6cm/1.7cm of space on your desk. It's a USB 3.0-only device that has HDMI, component, analog, 3.5mm headphone/aux-in support.
That costs $329.95. Here's the full list of bits and bobs.
• Interface: USB 3.0 only • Video input: Digital – HDMI / Analog – Component • Audio input: Digital – HDMI / Analog – RCA L/R • Audio mix-in input: 3.5 mm mic-in / 3.5 mm aux-in • Video output: HDMI (pass-through from HDMI and Component input) • Max capture resolution: Uncompressed 1080p60 • Supported resolutions: 1080p, 1080i, 720p, 576p, 576i, 480p, 480i
It goes without saying, but the unit also supports the current crop of consoles, as well as the 360, PS3 and the Razer Forge TV. It's worth noting that there are two audio mix-in channels above, so you can easily layer in commentary or music over footage. (You can do that with software, though.)
As for the PC requirements, desktop PCs will need an i5-4440 CPU or above with a GTX 660 and a minimum of 4GB of RAM. Those wanting to use the Ripsaw with laptops will need a i7-4810MQ or better mobile CPU and at least a GTX 870M. The press release didn't list AMD equivalents for the specs, and neither does the official landing page.
I've reached out to Razer's local PR for clarification. It's also worth noting that the Ripsaw doesn't come with added Razer software, and the official site has guides on how to get the card working with Open Broadcaster Software and XSplit, which is nice. The last thing you really want to do after spending hundreds of dollars is have to chuck out your existing software suite for recording/streaming, so it's a nice touch.
But I wouldn't be surprised if people baulked at the price. The Elgato Game Capture HD60 offers 1080p/60fps capturing and streaming through a USB 2.0 interface for around $100 less, although the footage isn't uncompressed. The HD60 doesn't support older consoles either, since it only accepts HDMI video inputs.
That's largely the line between the Ripsaw and rival offerings at this stage: the quality you get from uncompressed footage, along with the simplicity of not having to mess around with additional software. We'll try and get our hands on a review unit so we discover more about the Ripsaw's real-world performance, but until then head over to the official site for the details.