Nvidia reveal the GeForce GTX 780 and ShadowPlay: software that records your games automatically

Batman: Arkham Knight

Nvidia are launching a new graphics card this week, and something else: a segment of their GeForce Experience software that collects footage as you play. It’s a bit like that 30-second replay function in GTA – only Nvidia’s software recalls the last 20 minutes of whatever you’ve been doing, and isn’t crap.

“Right,” sez you. “But I could just keep FRAPS on all the time if I wanted to watch my PC’s blood boil.”

Good point. Only, ShadowPlay uses the H.264 video encoder built into all of Nvidia’s Kepler range of GPUs to reduce demands on your performance.

Case in point: The Verge watched a side-by-side demo of FRAPS and a prototype ShadowPlay, both used to record the same scene in Borderlands 2. While FRAPS cut Borderlands’ 59 frames-per-second down to around 30, the same system running with ShadowPlay managed to maintain a comparatively cool 44 fps.

Nvidia are reportedly keeping the file size of their videos down to a manageable level, too, by compressing and encoding on the fly. The results are saved automatically in .mp4 format, ready for YouTube.

You’ll be getting access to this in an upcoming free update if you already own a GeForce GTX 600 or 700 Series GPU, or have your sights set on the newly-announced GTX 780.

The 780 will retail at $649, has 50% more memory than its predecessor, the GeForce GTX 680, and is a reported 35% faster on average. Read more about that here.

As somebody who regularly bumps their head on the upper limit of their hard drive while FRAPSing, I’m all for this sort of thing. What about you?