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This backpack computer makes a PC-grade virtual reality experience portable

Updated Dec 19th, 2018 9:18PM EST
MSI Backpack PC Untethered VR

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One of the problems with virtual reality is that it’s not really portable. You’ve got your Google Cardboard and Gear VR products that can turn your mobile phone into a VR machine, but that’s not the powerful VR experience many users want. That’s what the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive are for. But such advanced VR headsets have to be tethered to a computer that can deliver enough horsepower to offer you a more immersive VR experience.

Luckily, some companies have figured out a clever way to offer users a mobile VR experience that is PC-grade. MSI is one of them, and the company has just come up with a Backpack PC that will let you take VR anywhere you want to go. Or at least, it will prevent you from tripping over wires.

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Yes, this sounds a bit crazy. Who wants to walk around wearing a VR rig? But MSI’s solution is still impressive, as it will let users enjoy VR games without being tethered to a desk. Think about it; you won’t take the Backpack PC outside of your home – OK, some of you will – but you could use it for untethered VR experiences, like the ones the guys over at The Void have imagined.

That’s what MSI has in mind, at least. “Free from the restraint of a fixed VR platform, users get to move around and enjoy VR with big movements and total immersion. No more worries about accidently [sic] unplugging the wires between the VR device and the platform. MSI Backpack PC renders greater mobility and freedom for VR gaming,” the company says in its teaser presentation.

We don’t have pricing details or a release date for MSI’s Backpack PC, but the company promises to announce more details next week at Computex. We do know the Backpack PC will be powered by a Core i7 processor and a GeForce GTX 980 graphics card, which should be enough to offer a very decent VR experience.

As The Verge points out, MSI isn’t the only company doing this. Zotac has a similar idea in the works, and we’re probably going to see others find ways of putting VR-capable computer on our backs in the future.

Chris Smith Senior Writer

Chris Smith has been covering consumer electronics ever since the iPhone revolutionized the industry in 2008. When he’s not writing about the most recent tech news for BGR, he brings his entertainment expertise to Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and other blockbuster franchises.

Outside of work, you’ll catch him streaming almost every new movie and TV show release as soon as it's available.