The problem: virtual reality currently requires both a really powerful PC and a lot of space. The solution, obviously: VR backpacks. That’s Alienware’s thinking, at least. At E3 2016 the gaming arm of Dell revealed a lightweight, self-powered solution to VR-ready PCs, and it comes with shoulder straps. Similar to other concept designs from HP, MSI et al, Alienware’s take on the VR backpack features a Core i5 CPU and either a GTX 960 or RX 470 graphics card (both desktop models) from Nvidia or AMD, respectively.
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Alienware’s backpack actually looks pretty comfortable, as far as lugging around a PC on your back goes. It’s incredibly slim for what it contains, and although we’re not sure yet where all the heat would go, we’re hoping there’s something in its design to avoid getting an incredibly sweaty back. Among the traditional PC componentry is a high capacity battery pack capable of taking the show on the road. Or just round and round the same room. Your call.
The machine itself is essentially a remodelled version of their Alpha R2 mini desktop machines. You hook up a VR headset, and suddenly that living room-sized space many games recommend becomes a lot more achievable. Wander free, nomad spirit.
We’ve had mixed experiences with VR so far here at PCGamesN. The underlying tech and hefty entry requirements are certainly part of that, and it’s evident that large communities are currently beavering away to take any pain out of experiencing VR. The basics required to enter the platform will probably look very different to what you need right now at day zero for Oculus, Vive et al, and self-contained machines in backpack form are one of many possible directions.
PCGamesN’s Alienware posts are created in partnership with Alienware.