MSI VR Backpack at Computex 2016

By Published June 03, 2016 at 1:45 am
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We're getting sick of hearing “VR” at every meeting. It's not that the technology is bad – it's just getting a little exhausting to hear as a tag-along to literally anything. Everything is VR premium, VR-ready, VR approved, VR, VR, VR.

Despite this, we're still posting some coverage of a few VR trends that make more sense than empty badges or paid-for certifications. MSI's VR backpack is one of the noteworthy creations, seemingly inspired from Intel's prototype VR backpack at CES 2016, and arrives at Computex alongside immediate competitors from ASUS and Zotac.

The idea of a VR backpack is an interesting one: It's trying to resolve VR's cabling issue, which proves a cumbersome logistical challenge with HMDs, but the backpacks do so by providing something which may seem overly complex. They're full systems contained within a backpack, then strapped to the user. Any games which require crouching or crawling or quick movement will now swap one form of encumberance for another. It's also not possible to “simply” wirelessly transmit the data. There's too much being transmitted second-to-second with HMDs, and wireless protocols won't realistically support the data transactions right now.

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So we're left with these backpacks. They seem a little odd, but they do provide an intermediate “solution” for absolute die-hards with a lot of money.

The MSI VR backpack is targeting $2000 launch, but will max-out at $5000 (probably – nothing is final). The unit uses a custom motherboard with i7 CPUs, will use an MXM GTX 980 (and soon a 1080/1070), and weighs about 5kg. The battery is 24 cells and derived from 2x GT 80 laptop batteries, providing 60-90 minutes of VR gameplay and ~5 hours of non-gaming use. Charging time for the battery is about 60 minutes.

Release target is 2H16. We won't promise further coverage of these VR backpacks, but if it interests you, stay tuned to MSI's official channels.

Editorial: Steve “Lelldorianx” Burke
Video: Keegan “HornetSting” Gallick

Steve Burke

Steve started GamersNexus back when it was just a cool name, and now it's grown into an expansive website with an overwhelming amount of features. He recalls his first difficult decision with GN's direction: "I didn't know whether or not I wanted 'Gamers' to have a possessive apostrophe -- I mean, grammatically it should, but I didn't like it in the name. It was ugly. I also had people who were typing apostrophes into the address bar - sigh. It made sense to just leave it as 'Gamers.'"

First world problems, Steve. First world problems.

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