Zotac’s VR Go Backpack is ready to strap up

Product development takes time. Some products are first offered up in final form when they are days away from shipping. Others, like Zotac's VR Go Backpack first shown in April, tease the public for a while. After almost eight months of honing, the VR Go system is now out in the wild. The VR Go Backpack will be available in several configurations, but for now, Zotac is offering up a fairly high-powered system with an Intel Core i7-6700T CPU, a Nvidia GeForce GTX 1070 graphics card, 16GB of DDR4 memory, and a 240-GB SSD.

The biggest feature added to the VR Backpack over the nearly eight months since it was first shown is the battery setup. The VR Go packs a pair of hot-swappable battery packs that the manufacturer says provide up to two hours of cordless play time. Gamers can keep playing for an indefinite period of time by swapping out depleted batteries for fresh packs one at a time. Each battery has its own charge state indicator, and a dedicated charger allows buyers to top one up while the other is in the Backpack.

Amazon offers the Zotac VR Go Backpack model ZBOX-VR7N70-U-W2B for the princely sum of $2000, though it's currently out of stock. In addition to that amount, buyers will need to pony up $800 for an HTC Vive or $600 for an Oculus Rift headset. For the sake of comparison, Zotac's Zbox EN1070 compact gaming PC with the same Nvidia GeForce GTX 1070 graphics card goes for $1500 on Amazon, but lacks the VR Go's batteries, Core i7 CPU, and backpack straps.

Comments closed
    • CuttinHobo
    • 3 years ago

    To paraphrase Herbert: Did he say strap-up or strap-on?

    • CScottG
    • 3 years ago

    I’m a bit surprised that I like the design regardless of it being designed for backpack duty.

    Kind’of consol-ish with a chunky plastic (but quality plastic) look about it.

    I’d like to see a lower price, but that’s true of almost anything..

    • zqw
    • 3 years ago

    Lower price than I expected for this niche. MSI 1070 is $2300, XMG ~$3500, HP yet to ship or share pricing.

    For context, a 1070 laptop with components and cooling that can do VR in practice is 6-8lbs and $1600-1800, best sale price ever $1400. BUT, you can’t run the GPU at full speed on battery, it can’t provide the needed ~230W. And the battery doesn’t last more than 30 min even in crippled mode.

      • Chrispy_
      • 3 years ago

      Yet another example of Zotac showing that they really do know what they’re doing with compact form factors.

      As CScottG mentioned, the aesthetic is really quite appealing too. Zotac seem to understand how to make something look classy. (Hint: It’s not angular, rainbow-LED, samurai-robot-testicle, military-camo, adorned with giant logos and possibly characters designed for a pre-teen’s bedroom toy cupboard!)

        • Shinare
        • 3 years ago

        [quote<]...and possibly characters designed for a pre-teen's bedroom toy cupboard![/quote<] Now wait a minute....

    • DoomGuy64
    • 3 years ago

    Meanwhile wireless is right around the corner. I suppose that doesn’t stop Zotac from cashing in on the suckers though.

      • zqw
      • 3 years ago

      TBD: Wireless might work and be affordable for a single room with line of sight to a single headset sometime next year. Nobody is buying these except VR businesses, and they have groups, multiple rooms, etc.

        • DoomGuy64
        • 3 years ago

        [url<]https://techreport.com/news/30950/htc-vive-goes-wireless-with-tpcast-add-on#0[/url<] Nobody is buying backpacks except idiots.

          • chuckula
          • 3 years ago

          So where’s yours then?

            • DoomGuy64
            • 3 years ago

            At your house.

          • zqw
          • 3 years ago

          Well aware of the sketchy and changing latency claims from TPCast, the lack of latency data from Intel, Nitero missing their shipping window, and the actual functional research that requires direct line of sight from transmitter to headset.

          People buying these backpacks today can be using them in larger than roomscale VR 2 days later and start paying their bills. That was my point.

            • DoomGuy64
            • 3 years ago

            I suppose there may be some use for it, developer wise. But that’s gotta be super niche even for developers, and the battery life is terrible. Better off just running the wires.

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