A number of companies seem to have a firm grasp on the headset bit, and while the controller aspect is certainly in flux, we’ve seen a handful of compelling solutions on that front. But what about the PC part?
Sure, plenty of computer makers have created powerful, compliant systems ready for the upcoming VR boom, but for a technology designed to offer some semblance of digital freedom, the whole thing is quite literally tethered.
But great minds, as they say, think alike. And as such, MSI and HP have both issued similar conceptual solutions to the question of (relative) portability. Why not go full Ghostbusters and stick the thing on the user’s back?
Following the launch of a number of new Omen gaming rigs, HP showed off a VR gaming PC that quite literally straps the rig to the wearer’s back. The system (which is alternatively being called the HP Omen X VR PC Pack and the decidedly more passive Omen X by HP VR PC Pack) is still pretty early days for the company. Not really a lot to go on here, but it’s said to weigh less than 10 pounds (one would hope) while offering a pretty meh hour of battery.
The prototype’s reveal follows the announcement of the straightforwardly named MSI Backpack PC, which sports an Intel Core i7 processor and NVIDIA GTX980 graphics card. That system, which seems to be further along in the manufacturing process, will be making an appearance at Computex in Taipei this year.
There are plenty of questions that go well beyond specific specs. Cost will be a big factor, certainly. After all, the systems appear to be targeted toward consumers looking to pick a PC specifically for the purpose of VR, making it, really, something more akin to a console. And then there’s the question of precisely how portable such a system will truly make a user.
The backpacks aren’t exactly the most elegant solutions, but it’s nice to see PC companies thinking outside the proverbial box, even as the prospect of lower-back pain looms just over the horizon.