Back in October I wrote about the new Shadowplay feature in Nivdia's GeForce Experience utility for PC gamers. Shadowplay offers an 'always on' recording experience; when something amazing happens in your game you hit a key combination and the last few minutes (how many is user configurable) of your game is recorded. Shadowplay also offers manual recording. The big draw here is that Shadowplay uses the hardware encoders on your Nvidia GTX 600 or 700 series graphics card to capture footage; Nvidia says recording only costs you "a few frames per second" because of this.
One feature missing in the first iteration of Shadowplay was microphone support. If you were talking to your team during an epic match and hit the Shadowplay record button, the resulting video would have sounds from the game itself and the voices of the rest of your team, but it wouldn't record anything you said. GeForce Experience 1.8 adds the option to enable microphone recording, which is a step in the right direction.
However as readers pointed out in the comments of my October post, Shadowplay was recording all system sounds, including things like Skype calls that were going on while the game was being played. That problem seems to still be hanging around in 1.8, though there is an option to completely disable recording sound.
Windows 7 users will be pleased to hear that the 10 minute limitation on Shadowplay recording has been lifted; they can now save up to 20 minutes via Shadowplay, the same limit that Windows 8 users have had. For manual recording Windows 7 users are no longer limited to a single 3.8 GB file; recordings will continue in sequential 3.8 GB files as long as you like (or until your drive fills up).
Still missing? Live streaming to Twitch.tv (or anywhere). Nvidia says that is still coming.
The GeForce Experience 1.8 has some game optimization improvements as well. You can now customize your optimization via a slider. You can go for best performance or best visuals, or anywhere in-between. You can also pick from full screen, windowed or borderless windowed modes, providing the game supports them. (By default Nvidia sets up your game so that you'll get at least 40 FPS when things get hot and heavy.)
If you gave up on Shadowplay and the GeForce Experience because it wouldn't record your commentary, now might be a good time to re-install and give it another shot. I know a lot of my friends are waiting for Twitch.tv support to arrive; originally Nvidia said that would be here by the end of the year but that's seeming less likely at this point. Hopefully we'll get it in January.
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