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MSI refines backpack PC, calls it the VR One

By Shawn Knight
Sep 12, 2016
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  1. Today’s top VR platforms, namely the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive, require users be tethered to a powerful computer to drive the experience. In the absence of a wireless configuration, companies like MSI are seeking to solve the dilemma not by cutting the cord but by bringing the PC closer to gamers.

    MSI unveiled a backpack-style computer this past May designed specifically for virtual reality gaming. The company was short on details at the time but with the Tokyo Game Show 2016 just a few days away, we’re got some new details on the curious backpack PC which MSI is now calling the VR One.

    Tipping the scales at just under eight pounds (with batteries), the VR One is said to be powered by an Nvidia GeForce GTX 10-series graphics card and an overclocked CPU. MSI says it’s equipped with an HDMI port, a miniDisplayPort, a Thunderbolt 3 port (USB Type-C) and four standard USB 3.0 ports.

    A pair of 90mm fans and nine heatpipes keep the backpack system cool with a maximum noise output of 41db. The PC comes with dual hot-swappable batteries that are good for a little over an hour and a half of full-on gameplay.

    All things considered, the VR One is reportedly capable of delivering more than 90 FPS on any high-level device.

    I’ve reached out to MSI for more detailed information about the system’s hardware, pricing and release date and will update this story when I hear back. At this time, all we know is that it is already in mass production and should be available sometime next month.

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    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 13, 2016
  2. ikesmasher

    ikesmasher TS Evangelist Posts: 2,561   +862

    "Tipping the scales at just under right pounds (with batteries)"

    I guess ill take your word for it being the right weight
     
  3. Cycloid Torus

    Cycloid Torus TS Evangelist Posts: 1,667   +312

    Why not have a backpack which preprocesses and then pushes wireless I/O with a separate system??? Then it would be 2 pounds and a card.

    IP hereby released to world 9/12/2016.
     
  4. bmw95

    bmw95 TS Addict Posts: 106   +58

    Lol why even have it at all?
     
    Reehahs and MoeJoe like this.
  5. Ed005

    Ed005 TS Rookie

    I'm guessing the weight is under 8 pounds (considering key 'R' is just beside 'E').
     
  6. Cycloid Torus

    Cycloid Torus TS Evangelist Posts: 1,667   +312

    So you can freely range all over your 30x40 living room?
     
  7. Uncle Al

    Uncle Al TS Evangelist Posts: 1,684   +791

    You know that every lawyer out there is just waiting to pounce when the first kid is playing it and falls down a flight of stairs ... out a window, or runs out in the middle of traffic. You KNOW it's going to happen .... just look at Pokemon and all the close calls and accidents that have happened and that one doesn't have you wear a VR mask! I wonder if I can buy stock in a good law firm that specializes in this stuff ......
     
    Reehahs, psycros and MoeJoe like this.
  8. mccartercar

    mccartercar TS Booster Posts: 134   +25

    Both valid points. Who is the demographic for this product? At this moment as I've seen in recent news VR hardware sales are nothing because of non-existant software that's key to driving sales. So of the smallish install base of any VR setup who is willing to pony up for something that doesn't solve any immediate problems for the masses? Of the people who have a VR device attached to a PC how many need more mobility in their current play space? How many titles currently are configured to use more than living room space to move around before needing to turn 180 degrees to continue moving?
    From what Ive seen most are designed to use some gimmicky point to teleport or in a very few an obscure design that makes it seem like you move through an entire environment freely but really have you zigging and zagging back and forth in a tight pattern, I.e. switchback corridors.

    You know what, I appreciate VR for what it is, but I know what it's not. VR and real space don't mix well, VR is best used in seated positions until it's refined to be intuitive as touching your nose. I believe by then it won't be a hulking piece of plastic that wraps around your head, yet more like a ultra lucid dream state beamed straight into your brain via waves giving you full control without any physical peripheral. We are already capable of weaving exotic adventures within our minds without repercussion, when we focus on controlling that, we will have true VR or as it will be DR or Dream Reality. See Repo Men as a close example.
     
    bmw95 likes this.
  9. MoeJoe

    MoeJoe TS Maniac Posts: 401   +208

    Hey wait. Don't criticize this idea so fast.

    Think of the shut-ins that will finally exit their parents basement, wearing one of these ...
     
    Uncle Al and psycros like this.
  10. IAMTHESTIG

    IAMTHESTIG TS Evangelist Posts: 957   +273

    Seems an improvement over the last time we heard about this. All I can say is it needs to be comfortable for the wearer, maybe a cooling fan or two for them as well would be a nice touch. I like the dual hot swappable batteries. With some quality charging stations and spare batteries you could game for many hours.

    As for comments of this being unmarketable at the moment, yeah kind of is. I can really only see this practically being used in a warehouse environment with plenty of room to move about. As for your living room, if you had a Virtuix Omni "treadmill" or similar device it would be a lot more practical.

    We still have the problem of lack of good VR games and controllers though. And I still feel the current VR headsets are too low of a display resolution to really bring me into the game.

    There is still a lot of room for VR to mature.
     
  11. psycros

    psycros TS Evangelist Posts: 1,324   +711

    So not only does VR demand a high-end rig, it hasn't even advanced far enough to make the headset and other peripherals wireless? Then what's the point? Only a handful of bored rich *****s will buy this and that's not enough revenue to make it worth building. The industry needs to concentrate on pushing CPU performance as far possible with the currently available tech and increasing battery runtimes. THEN they can start pushing the newest pile of hype at consumers. Did they learn nothing past boondoggles like 3D TV?
     
  12. Reehahs

    Reehahs TS Addict Posts: 172   +70

    It should come with 3 dog leashes so you can triangulate yourself in the centre and don't stray too far.
     
    Uncle Al likes this.
  13. IAMTHESTIG

    IAMTHESTIG TS Evangelist Posts: 957   +273

    What are you talking about? First you complain about lack of wireless then go on about CPU performance and battery capacities... seems like you just contradicted yourself there.

    We know they were looking at wireless but the tech just isn't there yet. There are people working on it, but until then you have to be tethered to a computer. CPU's have already hit a wall but we don't really need more CPU power anyway. GPU and VRAM is really where we are seeing improvements for gaming. And batteries, this has been going on for years, and years, and years. We are always being promised huge "breakthroughs" in capacities and recharge times from these independent studies yet they never really come to light. They have been slowly getting better, but you are right that isn't enough for us. At least MSI has an alternative solution, dual hot swappable batteries. So you can in theory never exit the virtual would as long as someone swaps out a battery module for you every 30 minutes or so. But you would sure have to have a lot of them on chargers!
     
    Reehahs likes this.

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