This $50 gadget lets you play Nintendo Switch on iPad or your laptop

Genki ShadowCast 2 with a Nintendo Switch on a wooden desk
(Image credit: Future)

The Nintendo Switch is already a versatile console - but we always want more. What do you need when you want a bigger screen than your handheld can provide, but don't have access to the full TV experience? The ability to play Nintendo Switch on your iPad or laptop screen, of course. 

The Genki ShadowCast was already one of my favorite Nintendo Switch accessories, and the new iteration is just around the corner. Available to pre-order for $49.99 at Amazon (and launching on January 8), the new capture card can stream your Switch visuals directly to any screen with a USB-C input. It's designed to record your footage through the Genki Studio iPad OS app, or the Genki Arcade Windows app, but the main benefit comes from that casting ability. Simply connect the HDMI port to your Switch dock and attach the dongle to a USB-C port on your iPad or laptop and you've got your Switch gameplay up on your device. 


Genki ShadowCast 2 | $49.99 at Amazon
The Genki ShadowCast 2 is now available for pre-order at Amazon, ahead of the January 8 release date. The new model comes with boosted specs under the hood for a smoother, more reliable cast between your Nintendo Switch and iPad or laptop.

A spec boost for crisp visuals

Genki ShadowCast 2 on a wooden desk

(Image credit: Future)

The new Genki ShadowCast 2 improves on the original in almost every department. While I loved the first release, it did suffer from a degradation in picture quality, and some lag was noticeable in faster paced platformer games. After putting the new spec through it's paces I can gladly report that there's significantly less compression around the image when tested across Super Mario RPG and Steamworld Heist. Of course, you're still not getting any upscaling to 4K here, but the improvements in the odd latency and framerate judders I used to experience more than justify this $50 price tag. Plus, there's still a toggle in the main Arcade software that allows you to choose between a Performance and Resolution casting mode, to make sure you're allocating power where you want it most. 

This isn't a pro capture card, so the overall picture isn't 1:1 to what you'll see on a TV or on the Switch itself. For the odd connection on the road, or for students looking to leave the small screen for a little while, though this is a fantastic device. 

Genki ShadowCast and Genki ShadowCast 2

Genki ShadowCast (Left); Genki ShadowCast 2 (Right) (Image credit: Future)

ShadowCast vs ShadowCast 2

Genki ShadowCast

  • 1080p output at 30fps 
  • USB 2
  • Image is more compressed
  • Latency noticeable in fast games
  • Takes input from PS5, Xbox, and Switch
  • Allows output from laptop and PC

Genki ShadowCast 2

  • 1080p output at 60fps
  • USB 3.2
  • Image is less compressed
  • Lower latency
  • Takes input from PS5, Xbox, and Switch
  • Allows output from laptop, PC, and iPad

More of the best Nintendo Switch accessories

Of course, if you're building the perfect Nintendo Switch setup, you'll need much more than the Genki ShadowCast. We're rounding up all the latest prices across our favorite gadgets just below. 

We're also rounding up all the best capture cards across the market, or check out the best Nintendo Switch chargers and the best Nintendo Switch cases for more kit. 

Tabitha Baker
Managing Editor - Hardware

Managing Editor of Hardware at GamesRadar+, I originally landed in hardware at our sister site TechRadar before moving over to GamesRadar. In between, I've written for Tom’s Guide, Wireframe, The Indie Game Website and That Video Game Blog, covering everything from the PS5 launch to the Apple Pencil. Now, i'm focused on Nintendo Switch, gaming laptops (and the keyboards and mice that come with them), and tracking everything that suggests VR is about to take over our lives.