Computing hardware brand Zotac has unveiled the VR GO 4.0, its 4th generation of portable VR gaming PCs built into a backpack at Computex 2022.
To clarify, the entire PC itself is the backpack, so you won’t have any additional space to pack snacks or stash your wallet, but Zotac does mention that it has some room to expand if you wanted to make some upgrades, though this appears to be restricted to memory and storage.
The wireless gaming backpack comes equipped with an Intel Core i7-11800H CPU, 16 GB of DDR4 RAM and a 512GB M.2 NVMe SSD. The rear of the backpack opens up to reveal that you’re also getting a 2.5″ SATA III drive bay for additional storage options and provides access for the aforementioned upgrades.
You’re also getting an Nvidia RTX A4500, a graphics card that likely won’t sound familiar to many gamers who are used to Nvidia’s GeForce gaming line, but this is a professional-grade GPU designed with creatives in mind. It’s rocking 5888 cores and 16 GB of GDDR6 memory, placing it at around the same performance in-game as an RTX 3060 graphics card.
The dedicated listing page on the Zotac website (opens in new tab) reads “Strap the Backpack PC in and experience VR and the Metaverse the way it’s meant to be experienced. Free. Enjoy unstoppable freedom in games, movies, training, education or even adventure from unimaginable places”
The full specification details can be found below:
- 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
There’s no official price available yet, though we imagine this will sit around $2,300 (roughly £1,800 / AU$3,250) – $2,800 (Roughly £2,200 / AU$4,000) given the specifications. We also don’t have a release date for the VR Go 4.0 so if you’re eyeing one up then you’ll have to wait until either an announcement is made or it simply appears on the shelves.
Analysis: This…probably isn’t for gamers
Before you roll your eyes about the practicality of a gaming PC built into a backpack, just know that this likely isn’t intended to target the everyday consumer. Sure, there are many VR enthusiasts out there that will find plenty of use for it, but even Zotac appears to suggest that this leans more towards creatives and developers than your typical gamer.
“The industry-leading VR Backpack PC is now equipped with more advanced technologies, enabling individual developers and 3D designers to visualize and realize all things creative in Virtual Reality (VR), Augmented Reality (AR), or Mixed Reality (MR) for VR content development, virtual entertainment, and more technical scenarios. For everyone else, the addition of more powerful hardware allows more immersive experience in VR games.”
The above statement is taken from the landing page for the VR GO 4.0, and amusingly VR gaming seems to have been tacked onto the end like an afterthought. That said, we do agree with Zotac – this is an amazing tool for VR game developers who need to test things remotely, or perhaps content creators using platforms like VR Chat.
The RGB lighting in this case appears to be a strange style choice, though perhaps Zotac is hoping the fluxing rainbow lights will attract gamers regardless. There’s nothing stopping you from buying one for home use, though you might get some weird looks if you try and use it to play in a public space.
Another use for these systems is VR experiences, and I imagine that’s where most of the demand will be. Many VR centers across the world have opened up in recent years, providing consumers with the opportunity to try virtual reality gaming or content in a large open space.
We at TechRadar actually gave this a go, playing a version of Far Cry created specifically for these kinds of VR experiences (opens in new tab), and the freedom of not being tethered to a computer or laptop really is eye-opening if you’ve only used VR headsets like the Oculus Quest at home.
Would I buy one to keep at home? Likely not, but then the VR space is evolving to meet the ever-looming demands of the Metaverse so who knows – maybe my work satchel will also double as my actual laptop complete with virtual office in the coming years.
- This year, Computex is once again virtual, but we’ll still be bringing you all the breaking computing news and launches as they happen, so make sure you check out all of TechRadar’s Computex 2022 coverage.