After VR, are backpack VR PCs the next big thing?
At the Computex 2016 in Taiwan, MSI introduced its ultra portable gaming PC that can be worn. This VR backpack PC is designed to fill the gap between gaming notebooks and the high-end desktops keeping in mind ultra portability and no compromise in performance. Aiming to give users a VR gaming experience without being tied by cable, MSI’s VR backpack PCs are as powerful as fully-fledged PCs but without displays. The user can hook up a VR headset, be it the Oculus Rift or an HTC Vive.
The VR backpack PC on demo was powered by an unlocked 6th Generation Intel Core i7 Processor, a full-size NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980 on an MSI ZI70 motherboard. MSI also claims that a single charge on it can last you for about 90 minutes of gaming. Along with the user replaceable batteries inside, the internal hardware too is upgradeable. MSI also hinted towards the release of upgraded versions of the VR backpack with the new NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080. On the exterior of the backpack, you get a single HDMI port, 2x USB 3.0 and 2 x USB 2.0 ports. Meeting the minimum requirements of an Oculus Rift, it is not very clear how the GPU can be upgraded due to the single HDMI port on the exterior of the PC which may not match with the I/O panel perfectly.
With such high-end specs, MSI claims that the backpack still weighs under 5 Kg, which is considerably heavier than the high-end gaming laptops out there. To keep the rig running on comfortable temperatures, the LED-lit backpack has large vents on both sides along with a mixture of cloth materials to keep the back of the backpack cool. MSI did not reveal any information regarding the price or availability of the same but reports suggest we can see it on shelves later this year.