By this time you’ve had well over a week to dig into all of Halo Reach’s features. Campaign, matchmaking, Firefight, and Forge. You’ve probably also saved a few film clips that show of your amazing skills. If you don’t have a video capture solution, then you can’t share your prowess your non-Reach owning friends. That’s where Bungie Pro comes in.
I know this sounds like a commercial, but it’s not. This is meant to shed some light on the service and clarify some of the information that Bungie leaves out.
So, what is Bungie Pro? It is a service offered by Bungie that expands your file share to 24 slots and allows you to render your saved films into actual video files. It costs 750 MSP for a one year subscription. You’re given 5 render minutes a month for your videos.
Those are the basics, but what about the practicality? Five minutes a month doesn’t sound like much. Especially when you realize that they don’t rollover. The five minutes you get per month expire, so it’s a use them or lose them situation. Of course, you can buy more minutes if you need them. Those additional minutes don’t expire. You can get 50 render minutes for $5.
The render minutes cost chart is where I think Bungie Pro becomes more like a cell phone plan from the 90’s. As you can see, a clip that’s up to a minute long will cost you one render minute. So, if you have a 30 second clip, it’ll cost you 1 render minute. If you have a clip that runs 2 minutes and 3 seconds, that’ll cost 3 render minutes. And so on and so forth. While I understand Bungie’s need to keep it simple, it does feel a big archaic in design. For all of the stat tracking that is possible on Bungie.net, I would think they would have a more elegant solution in place. Rendering your film in HD is a very expensive proposition.
Once you’ve rendered your film, you can download a .wmv file and upload it to YouTube or whatever service you prefer. This is much better than using Silverlight on the site itself. Another positive is that you can use your render minutes on other people’s video clips. Just have them upload their film to their file share and you’re good to go.
So, while I’ve only rendered one video so far, the extra space for the file share has come in handy. I’m hoping that the tinge of buyer’s remorse I feel for spending 750 MSP on something other than a XBLA title will wear off once I start using it more.
What do you think? Does Bungie’s service need to offer more minutes for it to be worth it? Do you just like the convenience of being able to show off your killing spree to the world without all the hassle of a capture card?