Shortly: Most people have probably forgotten about PC makers’ attempts to pack high-end mobile VR in backpacks, but Zotac never gave up on the idea. The recent launch of the fourth-gen VR Go system suggests the product has at least found a viable niche.
Zotac’s VR Go 4.0 backpack PC, which the company debuted at last year’s Computex, is now available available in some markets. While pricing and availability details have not yet been released in the US, UK sellers have for now Offer (Link may be blocked for non-EU IP addresses) One of two SKUs for £3,699 which is about $4,688, headset not included.
The only difference between the new models is the GPU. The previous VR Go 3.0 used an Nvidia GeForce RTX 2070, but both VR Go 4.0 SKUs moved to professional Ampere cards – the A2000 and the A4500 – marking a shift from gamers to developers and other enterprise customers.
In addition, the CPU, memory and connectivity have been significantly improved compared to the last generation. Zotac’s new product comes with Windows 11 Pro, runs on an Intel Core i7-11800H, includes a 512 GB NVMe SSD (the company doesn’t specify which PCIe generation it is) and has additional USB 3.0 ports. Users can add additional SATA-based storage and expand DDR4 memory from the standard 16GB to 32GB.
The hardware is pretty premium by most standards, especially for a mobile system, so users shouldn’t expect extremely long battery life. Unsurprisingly, while the two included batteries only last about 50 minutes of gameplay, they’re hot-swappable and upgradeable. In addition, like other backpack PCs, the device can be removed from the straps and used on the desk like a conventional micro desktop tower.
Zotac, along with other companies like HP and MSI, began rolling out backpack PCs for mobile VR gaming in the mid-2010s, during the initial boom in interest in VR and AR. Their high prices on top of the core headsets kept them from mass adoption, but Zotac’s VR Go series may have found a sustained professional user base.
Additionally, the basic idea isn’t all that different from the experience Apple is trying to offer with its upcoming Vision Pro. However, the Cupertino Giant’s so-called “spatial computer” will be more compact hardware, with an emphasis on AR over VR. However, it will still cost thousands of dollars and require an external battery that attaches to the user, potentially presenting the same obstacles as previous backpack PCs, unless Apple’s brand name and software ecosystem make it happen Difference.