So, the Backpack PC we read about back in June is not what MSI has in mind about a wearable gaming computer. Lets just chuck that aside and meet MSI’s newest iteration of the soon-to-be-hot PC-on-your-back movement. Dubbed VR One (not to be confused with ZEISS VR One headset), MSI is quick to stake claim as “the world’s first-ever VR backpack.” With that statement, we take it as a full-functional, ready in-exchange for your hard-earned money product. However, pricing has yet to be disclosed, but it don’t take genius to figure out that a rig like such is going cost quite a fair amount. The backpack PC is currently on the show floor of Tokyo Game Show 2016, which opens its door to trade visitors today, on September 15.
Aesthetically, the VR One took on a more futuristic form as opposed to the hand-dryer-like design found on the Backpack PC. It is significantly thinner and most importantly, lighter at just 3.6 kilograms, which is just under 8 lbs. Under the hood, it packs an overclocked Intel Core i7 processor and NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 mobile GPU that promised to deliver “full throttle gaming performance under noise of 40 dBA.” It comes with two hot-swappable battery back, elegantly integrated to the sides of the backpack. Looking at where the battery packs are located on the VR One, we assume it was designed to allow for quick swapping even when the backpack is on the user’s back, but then again, we maybe overthinking.
Anyways, hot-swapping batteries are necessary to keep your VR experience going beyond 90 minutes. Also on the inside, are dual 9cm ultra blade fans and no less than 9 heat pipes to ensure your back will remain cool as cucumber during prolong use while keeping noise generation to virtually nothing, so it won’t interfere with your VR experience. I/Os are ample too, consisting of a HDMI port, 1 Mini DisplayPort, a Thunderbolt3 by Type-C port, and 4 USB 3.0 ports. MSI is touting the VR One. Finally, it is compatible with most full VR HMD, direct HMD I/O models, included. But do note that this rig is fully optimized for use with HTC VIVE and hence, it maybe in your best interest (and the hardware’s) to be using VIVE HMD.
While regular consumers like you and me can acquire this when it becomes available, we probably shouldn’t, since VIVE is not likely the HMD of choice for you and I, and also, it could pricey, granted that pricing has yet to be announced. Furthermore, with the technology developing at breakneck speeds, perhaps, a powerful, standalone VR headset will be a more practical solution to our VR addiction. In any case, MSI is keen in pitching the idea of VR use in areas outside of gaming too, like tour of properties, test driving of cars, and online shopping, et cetera.
Whether it is a standalone HMD or VR backpack, the future ahead of us is all about virtual reality and with that, we’d be witnessing the elimination of the need to step out of your comfort zone to accomplish real world tasks. It is hard to imagine, but that’s the future.
Images courtesy of MSI.