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(Update: Now Available For Pre-Order) A Protoype No More, MSI VR One Backpack Unveiled

Update, 11/10/2016, 11:14am PST: MSI's VR One backpack is now available for pre-order on Newegg. It comes in two variations. At $1,999, you get the device that uses an Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 with 6 GB of video memory and 256 GB of SSD storage. At the $2,299 level, you get an Nvidia GeForce GTX 1070 with 8 GB of VRAM and 512 GB of SSD storage. Both configurations utilize 16 GB of RAM and and Intel Core i7-6820HK (Skylake, 2.7 GHz, 3.6 GHz Turbo).

At Computex, virtual reality backpacks were all the rage. Companies such as MSI, HP, Alienware and Colorful all had their take on a mobile VR computer, but all were prototypes in various stages of completion. With a few days to go until the start of the Tokyo Game Show (TGS), MSI moved forward with its VR backpack plans and released a finished version, simply called the “VR One.”

We tried an earlier version of the VR One backpack at Computex and found the prototype to be large and felt heavy. According to MSI, the VR One won’t have that problem, as it weighs about 7.9 pounds, so you can dodge virtual bullets without the feeling of an elephant on your back. The backpack also includes two batteries that are hot-swappable and should each give you an hour and a half of power. Four light indicators will tell you the batteries' status so that you can swap it with a fully charged pack. You can take out both batteries and use a power adapter so that you don’t have to worry about it dying during a prolonged VR session, although obviously that negates the wireless nature of the backpack.

As for the other specs of the VR One, MSI stayed quiet. However, we do know that the CPU is an overclocked Intel Core i7, and the system has Nvidia’s GeForce GTX 1070 GPU. It also includes an HDMI port, one MiniDisplayPort, and a Thunderbolt 3 Type-C port. For attaching VR peripherals, there are four additional USB 3.0 ports.

Two 9cm “ultra blade” fans and nine heat pipes keep the system cool. MSI said that the cooling system stay under 41dBA so that you won’t hear it work while you’re in the virtual world. The VR One also uses MSI’s Dragon Center app, which allows you to monitor the hardware and increase performance and fan speed from your mobile device.

More details about the VR One will be available at TGS, but you won’t have to wait long. The annual show kicks off on Thursday, September 15 and ends on September 18.

  • jaber2
    I can see me falling and breaking it while playing
    Reply
  • Jeff Fx
    I like the concept, but the high price, and lack of high-end video card, mean I'm still better off tethered to a regular PC.
    Reply
  • derekullo
    I've always dreamed about writing a blackjack program using augmented reality to count cards.

    The hardest part was obviously having the hardware and efficient enough cpu power to support such a "project" and have it run in real time.

    With this I may just be a step closer.

    PS: I know it says vr and not augmented, just another step to tackle.
    Reply
  • hoofhearted
    After the whole Note fiasco, I'd wait before strapping batteries large enough to power that on my back.
    Reply
  • hdmark
    i asked the last time i saw this, but i forget the answer.

    Do they make docks or anything for this? the price seems high, but if this was used as a VR backback and then when you were done playing, you could dock it on/under your desk and use it with monitors... that doesnt seem so bad at all
    Reply
  • kyle382
    cool, but useless without a decent amount of good VR games.
    Reply
  • bit_user
    18854748 said:
    cool, but useless without a decent amount of good VR games.
    They're definitely ahead of the market, on this one.

    What it needs is some "big room" VR apps or games. Because, when the wireless HMDs hit the market, next year, these will suddenly be without a niche. But wireless can't really do big rooms or outdoors, so that's where these would shine.
    Reply
  • falchard
    I think this will work out great in the Winter as a holo-lens system. Back will be so warm, plus you can look so cool with a backpack and goggles.
    Reply
  • bit_user
    18856522 said:
    I think this will work out great in the Winter as a holo-lens system. Back will be so warm, plus you can look so cool with a backpack and goggles.
    If they did it right, there should be an open gap between the part that contacts the user and the PC compartment. That should mostly prevent heat conduction between it and the user.

    And, of course, Hololens is self-contained. It has a PC built right into the HMD.
    Reply