PAX AUS 2016: MSI VR One backpack takes VR on the go

November 6, 2016

MSI have plenty going on at their PAX Australia 2016 booth, from plushie giveaways of their mascot ‘Lucky’ Dragon, to demos of their latest computer components and set-ups. However, their biggest innovation is the MSI VR One – a computer with the form factor of a backpack, designed for mobile VR gaming, as popularised by Zero Latency, and seemingly in competition with similar devices in the making from Alienware and HP.

Until we have a method of using VR headsets wirelessly, computer form-factors like the MSI VR One are the only way gamers will be able to move fully in a large virtual space, without having to worry about tripping over cables. The VR One weighs in at 3.6 kg, and that includes the two batteries that it needs to power itself (without them it’s only 2.2 kg). These batteries combined can power the VR One for up to 1.5 hours, although the computer can also be powered by an AC adapter as well. The batteries are hot swappable too, meaning that if you had enough of them, you could have some pretty extended play sessions with the unit.


As a computer focused on VR performance, high specs were a necessity, and the computer includes an Intel i7 6820 OC and an 8GB GTX 1070, and supports both Oculus Rift and HTC Vive. The computer can support 90fps on games, although this could head upwards of 120fps as headset technology grows to support it in the future.

Since the computer will be strapped to your back, it’s important to know the temperature the unit will be running at. The design of shell is meant to keep the computer components away from direct contact with your back, acting as a dampener. The CPU will run under 85 degrees Celsius, the GPU under 77 degrees and dedicated fans are in place on the top of the backpack, to vent the hot air away from your waist and upwards. It runs at 35 decibels, although this is considered not to be too much of an issue, when used in conjunction with the VR headset and headphones.

While the demo for press wasn’t functional at the presentation we attended, the unit is on display at PAX this weekend, so if you want to check out one of these for yourself, head over to the MSI booth. If you’re already sold, the unit is available for purchase now, at a starting price of AU $3599. You can check it out on the MSI website.