Checks calendar. No, it’s not April 1st. Onwards. You may recall MSI showcasing a rather experimental looking VR backpack at Computex back in June. It’ll never actually happen was my internal monologue. Oh yes it is, MSI has said right back. Yep, MSI has officially revealed the VR One, a gaming PC in a backpack so you can carry it around while playing in VR.
Designed to remove the pesky tethers which trail along the floor from both the HTC Vive and Oculus Rift headsets, the VR One is a full blown gaming PC house on your back which plugs straight into the headset of your choice. Humanity, we are one step closer to actually being Robocop.
Inside the MSI VR One you’ll find a GeForce GTX 1070 graphics card, Intel Core i7 CPU, and some other, undisclosed, components. Presumably they’re going to for energy efficiency here rather than pure performance, as despite coming in at roughly 8 pounds (3.6 kg), the VR One is totally battery powered.
Just as you’d expect it’s got all the ports, connections and doodads you’ll need for a variety of VR experiences, including HDMI, DisplayPort, Thunderbolt 3, USB Type-C and four USB 3.0 ports.
As for the image below, well, I have no idea. If you have the VR One you have 50% more of something than other backpacks. Presumably that means disposable income.
It’s powered by dual hot-swappable batteries which last roughly an hour of gaming. That’s not a great deal but you can charge one while using the other, so you’re looking at two hours plus of gaming time per session.
You too can look like this
There’s no pricing for the MSI VR One but it is, scarily, going into mass production next month. Quite who this is for I’m not sure, but there’s only a small segment of the market willing to spending $1000+ more after buying a VR headset and already having a VR capable PC, all to avoid cabling.
While demoing VR the cable stretching from the headset to the PC has always been a sore point for me however, and a definite thorn in the side of roomscale VR. Without someone there to help me with the cable and make sure I didn’t trip over, I’d have probably met my maker within a matter of minutes. Meanwhile issues with transmitting large amounts of data quickly and reliably means wireless isn’t an option. I have to believe the end goal is getting all of the necessary hardware housed in the VR headset itself, although we’re probably some way away from this being a viable solution for high-end game experiences.
Anyone here interested in the MSI VR One? Is this product far too niche, or can you see a market for cable free VR? Let us know!