MSI's Backpack PC is an imperfect answer to VR wires
One of many issues with the present crop of non-smartphone VR headsets is that they must be related to PCs by way of thick, heavy cables. These may hamper your actions once you’re busy enjoying a recreation, or worse, you possibly can journey over an errant wire and fall face flat on the ground. Nicely, a couple of corporations have provide you with an fascinating answer: VR backpacks that carry a full-fledged PC, enabling you to maneuver round unencumbered. MSI’s model known as the Backpack PC, and because it was on show right here at Computex 2016, so I needed to attempt it out for myself.
Outfitted with an Intel Core i7 processor and a GeForce GTX980 graphics card, the complete rig weighs in at round 10 kilos. That sounds fairly hefty, however to my shock it truly did not really feel too heavy once I strapped it on. This specific backpack was hooked up to a HTC Vive, which the helpers on the MSI sales space then fitted to my head. I then performed a recreation demo that had me capturing at flying robots, which shot again tiny purple power balls that I used to be presupposed to keep away from. If I did not dodge these bullets, my “ship” can be destroyed.
Consequently, I discovered myself shifting round rather a lot, bobbing and weaving as a lot as I might. In comparison with the traditional Vive expertise, I’ve to confess the shortage of wires feels fairly liberating. As an alternative of worrying on whether or not I used to be about to wrap myself round in cables, I might simply benefit from the recreation. Nonetheless, having to put on a backpack does really feel fairly foolish, plus its battery life is just round an hour earlier than it’s a must to cost it once more.
MSI hasn’t introduced pricing or availability for its Backpack PC simply but, however the firm says it ought to be out later this yr. I do not think about this to be too in style for regular residence use, however I might see it being helpful for maybe in-retailer demonstrations or amusement parks the place wires mendacity round might be an actual hazard. Or, you understand, if you wish to really feel such as you’re one of many Ghostbusters.
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