The Zotac VR GO Squeezes A Gaming PC In A Backpack & It's Loads Of Fun – Indiatimes.com
Imagine if you could take your gaming PC with you in a convenient backpack? That’s essentially what the Zotac VR GO offers. Connect it to an Oculus Rift or HTC Vive VR headset, and the Zotac VR GO backpack transforms from a passing novelty into something more unique in the world of gaming that delivers an unrivalled, untethered virtual reality gaming experience. A sign of things to come…
Sleek, slim design does the job for Zotac
The Zotac VR GO is every bit a traditional desktop PC that you’re used to seeing at office desks — except it comes with one major design difference. Instead of sitting inside a large box with a bunch of wires sticking out, the Zotac VR GO gaming PC is enclosed within a custom designed shell which is primarily meant to be worn over your shoulders like a backpack and carried around without being connected to any wall power outlet. What’s more, the device’s 4.95 kilo shell packs in quite a performance punch, offering gamers a virtual reality gaming experience unlike any other that.
If you compare the Zotac VR GO to a laptop in terms of mobility, yes the Zotac VR backpack is heavier than most normal laptops sold in the market. But its over-the-shoulder straps helps evenly distribute the Zotac VR GO’s weight evenly over your back and shoulders, as a result the contraption doesn’t feel heavy at all.
The Zotac VR GO backpack comes with a whole host of accessories in the box, but what you essentially need is the backpack shell (which houses the gaming PC), shoulder straps and batteries. The backpack VR gaming PC is powered by two 6600mAh batteries, and the shoulder straps insert into the inside panel of the backpack much like you’d want a TV or monitor onto a VESA stand with a locking mechanism to ensure the Zotac backpack PC doesn’t slip and fall down while it’s tethered to the shoulder straps, which I must say does a very good job of holding the whole thing up securely, allowing you to confidently move around in a small, confined space like your living room — no problems whatsoever. The design of the Zotac VR GO seems a little more refined in comparison to the MSI VR One, for instance.
Built for gaming
The Zotac VR GO comes with specifications that should be expected from a mid-to-high range gaming PC. It is powered by a 2.8GHz quad-core Intel Core i7-6700T processor, 16GB of DDR4 RAM, 240GB PCIe SSD, and NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 graphics with 8GB of GDDR5 VRAM. This ensures the Zotac VR GO Backpack not only conquers modern games from medium to high settings, but also annihilate VR games and demos without any drop in video frames at high-processing load.
Zotac uses a “proprietary low-profile air cooling system” on the VR GO backpack PC to ensure it stays relatively cool — the wide front grilled intakes outside air and a vent on the left ejects hot air from the Zotac VR GO. There are connectors on the top and left of the Zotac VR GO backpack, allowing you to plug in external monitors, USB sticks and hard drives, and other peripherals on the Windows 10 system.
Backpack gaming FTW!
We hooked up the Zotac VR GO backpack to an HTC Vive in our living room (tracked by two motion detectors, mounted diagonally opposite to each other in our designated play area). And in an exhibition demo event, we tried out the Zotac VR GO backpack connected to an Oculus Rift (tracked by 16 infrared motion capture cameras). Both these VR headsets aren’t sold with the Zotac VR GO backpack unit, and you’d have to buy them separately.
The games we played included trying to shoot at space aliens that’s swarming all around you, blocking their attacks with a virtual shield held in my left hand (that I could see there through the VR headset) and shooting bullets and cannons from my virtual gun in my right hand. With the HTC Vive headset’s in-ear headphones, you can really get totally immersed into the virtual reality world that you conjure up in the comfort of your living room. In another game demo, I found myself submerged under sea, floating above the deck of a shipwrecked vessel, observing the aquatic life thriving all around me. While I’m doing that, out of nowhere, this huge blue whale passes by within touching distance of my outstretched arms, his big round eyes glinting in the sunlight, and the subdued sound of waves and underwater splashing adding a sense of depth and believability to my experience, searing the memory into my brain — I hope — forever.
In the Oculus Rift motion-capture game demo, I was in a slightly larger arena about 20 feet by 20 feet, with the Zotac VR GO backpack on my back and 16 infrared sensors tracking my head, arms and legs movement. I explored the insides of a spaceship, floated through a futuristic city full of sparkling neon nights, and finally looked for lost treasure inside a cave not unlike Lara Craft from Tomb Raider. In the cave excursion, the VR experience really made my head spin, and even though I saw wide chasms erupting in front of my feet, full of lava and unimaginably long depths, my brain readily processed it as clear and present danger, locking my feet in place and took lots of constant mental fortitude for me to complete that part of the demo.
In both these scenarios, be it using the HTC Vive at my home or the Oculus Rift inside a small plane hangar, the Zotac VR GO backpack was forgotten at the back of my mind, while I was busy being immersed in the rich virtual reality gaming environments it served up for me to enjoy. I didn’t encounter any dropped frames (which would break the illusion of virtual reality) in any way, which means the system performed well under pressure, and neither did I feel any heat flowing out of the Zotac VR GO Backpack (because of its cleverly designed exhaust vents that direct hot air away from the body while you’re wearing it), and the batteries dropped by 25% of their capacity for about 30 minutes of nonstop gaming — which is what they advertise it to be.
I think the Zotac VR GO Backpack is a very good step towards unshackling VR gamers from wires and enhancing their mobility. The device is well-thought out and offers VR gamers an important alternative to traditional desktop-based PC gaming. While the Zotac VR GO Backpack’s a novelty item for now, selling at a premium price of Rs 1,74,999 (with 2 years system warranty and 1 year battery warranty), it will definitely be more prevalent in the next year or so with some price reduction and it’s a great toy to have if you can afford it for now.