Improving Xbox One: Part 1 – Game DVR

Xbox One

Anyone who owns an Xbox One will undoubtedly say that it’s pretty damn cool. Being able to switch instantly between TV and games is amazing, and being able to do two things at once is something you don’t realize you use until you don’t actually have it. But, while the Xbox One is great as a whole, there’s a few things that could be improved. In a matter of fact, I’d go so far to say it could all be improved. This new series will dive through a number of different Xbox One features and offer concepts and ideas on how they could improve, and we’re interested in seeing what you think too! Let’s get started.

The introduction to multitasking on Xbox One has opened the door to a number of different features, including the ability to capture games and save them to the hard drive. Game DVR is an app included with Xbox One which allows the gamer to record either the last or next 30 seconds quickly and easily and save it to the hard drive. It also supports up to 5 minutes of constant recording, which is rather limiting when you consider the average game of Call of Duty: Ghosts last a little over 7-8 minutes.

It’s unclear why Microsoft capped the Game DVR function to five minutes. It’s most probably due to the fact that the Hard Drive on Xbox One isn’t unlimited. I don’t see this being a problem though, as a 30 second clip recorded with Game DVR is rather small. A 28 second clip I recorded earlier measured a little under 15MB, albeit was after I rendered it through the built in upload studio.

So if Hard Drive space is an issue, Microsoft could just enable the use of external hard drives. Microsoft stated recently that external hard drive support for Xbox One is on it’s way, but they didn’t go over specifics such as what would be storable on the external drives. What if Game DVR could record to an external drive? That would eliminate the storage problem entirely, and I reckon gamers would prefer it too as the upload options on Xbox One aren’t the greatest or fastest. Record raw game clips to the external hard drive for editors to do what they wish with. Let’s Play-ers would be ever so grateful.

Another problem with Game DVR is the fact that it’s barely customizable. I play my games in 1080p, but Game DVR records at 720p. I can’t change this, which is annoying as I’d like my content to look as crisp as possible. Now I know the original intention of Game DVR was to allow gamers to capture those ‘unforgettable’ or ‘unique’ moments, but what about those who have an audience and would like to share full games with commentary? I know many Let’s Play-ers who love to output content in 1080p, but are currently stuck with using hardware like the Elgato Game Capture HD as the built in Game DVR is so limited.

At the very least, Microsoft could just increase the time limit of the Game DVR feature from 5 to 10 or even 15 minutes which would accommodate for most full matches in a game. But of course, this is the opinion of one lone soul in the gaming universe. We’d like to see what you think about Game DVR! How would you improve it, or do you think it doesn’t need improving? Leave us your thoughts below!

Next week we’ll be looking at another Xbox One feature. What would you like us to write about? Make sure you let us know!

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