Go Back to Vice City Before GTA VI with the VGB400 Passthrough Capture Card!
| Reuben Howe
We're all eager to return to Vice City, taking in the beach from the lighthouse, cruising down Ocean Drive or better yet, crossing the bridges after the storm passes and uncovering a whole new playground!
With GTA VI announced officially a little while back, I wanted to capture some of the original feel of Vice City to prepare. I didn't just capture that feeling of nostalgia though, I also captured some footage and all in real-time through HDMI cable!
Learn how to play GTA Vice City on your PC monitor, modern HDMI TV or even a lil' portable one thanks to the VGB400 passthrough capture card.
What is a Passthrough Capture Card?
A passthrough capture card is a recording device designed to record in the sources native resolution while simultaneously outputting the video to a screen, such as a PC monitor via HDMI. Essentially the card is both outputting and recording the gameplay, allowing both you and your viewers / recorded video to access the content.
What this means for us is that we can return to Vice City before GTA VI is released far more easily than needing an original SCART TV set up!
Passthrough is sometimes HDMI to HDMI, such as with capture cards for streaming PS5 and Xbox Series, but other cards are designed to convert video from an older format to HDMI. These types of cards are extremely valuable in allowing us to play older games, that still warrant playing, on our newer tech!
Why Use a Retro Capture Card?
From the original (and best) Ratchet and Clank games all the way to PES 2014 (Yes, they were still releasing PS2 games as late as 2014!) a retro capture card with HDMI Passthrough is a great way to revive your consoles and record the footage along the way.
Because the communication is in native format on the way out of the console, and all carried by physical cable connection with no software in the way, passthrough cards are almost lagless. There is very little latency when playing directly through the Capture Card, so much so that I recorded gameplay of Vice City to compare to the new GTA VI trailer and had no trouble driving to and getting up the lighthouse in Vice City while playing through the capture card.
How to Record and Play GTA Vice City in 2023
Now you understand the tech, I'll show you my set-up. The VGB400 minimises the effort and investment as you can use your original console, cables and monitor / TV! All you need to add in is the Capture Card itself.
You can see all the ins-and-outs I had below:
As you can see, the VGB400 has the audio-video RCA input from the PS2, an HDMI output to my monitor, and a power cable (Which is hilariously plugged into the old PS2 rather than my monitor, because I thought it'd be fun to power a 2023 capture card with a 2000 USB 1 port!).
In addition there's a USB stick for storing the recordings, but you could also use a Micro SD Card.
Once these connections are all made you're essentially done! The PS2 will output video to the VGB400 and that video will be recorded to the USB or SD Card when you press the singular "Record" button on the box. The video will also passthrough the box, being displayed in real-time on your monitor or TV.
Troubleshooting Capture Card Making PS2 Look Bad
If you have all your cables plugged in well and your GTA Vice City reunion is much more blurry and distorted than you hoped there's a few things to try!
Use a lower resolution and aspect by setting your monitor up manually rather than have it automatically detect the HDMI input. This will box your footage to the original aspect ratio but can improve the visuals as you see them in real-time.
Double-Check the colour setting of your monitor since PS2 output very specific colour formats. You'll want your monitor in an RGB setting to match the cable input of the VGB400. If you don't make these settings match on the PS2, cables, and monitor then you could end up with a bright green PS2 screen! Avoid this by double-checking your cable and software formats are matching.
As a side note, if you are using "Component" output with a different device (The VGB400 I used only accepts RCA input) then make sure once again that the PS2 has been changed to YPbPr, as this is the format for Component video.
Recording PS2, Original Xbox and More!
I enjoyed revisiting Vice City with the VGB400 retro capture card, and especially being able to do so without changing my whole set-up! The instant conversion is very handy, and the recording function is an added benefit.
If you want to preserve your old games then make sure you have a suitable storage device, though. I tried both USB and SD Card, and I had to reformat them to work. Luckily we stock USB sticks here which we can format before we send, so you have less to worry about!
It might be a while before we can jump into a new and improved Vice City, so the original (With all that sweet, sweet original licenced music) is the best way to experience all the islands have to offer.
There's nothing as definitive as the original.