I hope you enjoy your toasty buns.
At Computex 2022, Zotac revealed the VR GO 4.0, the company’s 4th generation of portable VR gaming PCs fitted inside a backpack.
To be clear, the entire PC is the backpack, so there won’t be any extra space for food or your wallet, but Zotac does indicate that there is some capacity for expansion if you want to make some changes, but this looks to be limited to RAM and storage.
The Intel Core i7-11800H processor, 16 GB of DDR4 RAM, and 512GB M.2 NVMe SSD power the wireless gaming backpack. The backpack’s back lifts up to show a 2.5″ SATA III drive bay for more storage and access to the aforementioned upgrades.
You’ll also get an Nvidia RTX A4500 graphics card, which may not seem familiar to many gamers used to Nvidia’s GeForce gaming brand, but it’s a professional-grade GPU meant for creatives. It has 5888 cores and 16 GB of GDDR6 RAM, putting it on par with an RTX 3060 graphics card in terms of performance in games.
The special listing page on the Zotac website goes as follows: “Put the Backpack PC on your back and experience VR and the Metaverse the way it was intended. Free. Enjoy unrestricted freedom in games, movies, training, education, and even adventure to previously unknown locations.”
The following are the complete specifications:
- Intel Core i7 8-core/16-thread processor
- NVIDIA RTX A4500 16GB GDDR6
- 16GB DDR4 Memory, 512GB M.2 SSD, Windows 11 Pro pre-installed
- Upgradable storage and memory
- Top and sideloaded I/O ports
- Intelligent thermal design
- Padded support and strap, Sweatproof wearable materials
- SPECTRA 2.0 RGB Lighting
- Up to 50 minutes of playtime
Given the features, we expect the pricing to be between $2,300 (approximately £1,800 / AU$3,250) and $2,800 (about £2,200 / AU$4,000). We also don’t know when the VR Go 4.0 will be available, so if you’re interested, you’ll have to wait until either an announcement is made or it shows on store shelves.
This…is most likely not for gamers
Before you roll your eyes at the idea of a gaming PC fitted into a backpack, keep in mind that this is unlikely to be aimed at the average consumer. Sure, there will be many VR fans who will benefit from it, but even Zotac seems to hint that this is more geared toward creatives and developers than your average gamer.
“Individual developers and 3D designers may now conceive and realise all things creative in Virtual Reality (VR), Augmented Reality (AR), or Mixed Reality (MR) for VR content development, virtual entertainment, and more technical scenarios with the industry-leading VR Backpack PC. For everyone else, more powerful hardware provides for a more immersive VR gaming experience.”
The above comment was taken from the VR GO 4.0 landing page, and amusingly, VR gaming appears to have been thrown on as an afterthought. However, we agree with Zotac that this is a fantastic tool for VR game developers who need to test things remotely, or content providers who use services like VR Chat.
In this example, the RGB lighting appears to be an odd stylistic decision, but Zotac may be betting that the flashing rainbow colours will attract gamers nonetheless. There’s nothing stopping you from buying one for your own house, though if you try to use it in a public place, you might get some strange glances.
Another application for these systems is VR experiences, which I believe will account for the majority of demand. Many virtual reality centres have arisen throughout the world in recent years, allowing customers to explore virtual reality gaming or content in a wide open setting.
If you’ve just used VR headgear like the Oculus Quest at home, the flexibility of being untethered from a computer or laptop is truly eye-opening.
Would I purchase one for myself? Unlikely, but the VR space is developing to match the Metaverse’s ever-looming demands, so who knows – maybe in the coming years my work bag will also double as my actual laptop complete with virtual office.