MSI VR ONE - Wireless VR Backpack Review @ [H]

FrgMstr

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MSI VR ONE - Wireless VR Backpack Review - The MSI VR ONE is quite simply a full PC that comes in the form of a backpack that allows you to connect your HTC Vive for a "wireless" VR experience. This VR ONE unit packs a GTX 1070 laptop GPU to hopefully supply us with the needed 90 frames per second performance required for a perfect Virtual Reality experience.
 
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SeymourGore

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Nice to see this product working decently enough. When I first saw it, I had my doubts.

Also, could you update the article with some shots of Kyle himself wearing the backpack? Being a big dude, Kyle probably better represents what his audience would look like wearing the thing.
 

MavericK

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Cool device, though I think within a year or possibly less we will see wireless solutions that make more sense. Still, if you have to have it right now, you can get this.
 

Huacanacha

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My plan with this was to set SteamVR to start up automatically on boot so I could run everything from VR. Unfortunately that never worked - I could get SteamVR up but without a non-VR target display I could never get a VR game/app to render properly on the HMD (would launch but display all grey). As soon as I plugged in a monitor it worked fine. I didn't try too hard to resolve this so there may be a solution. The remote desktop option isn't worth the trouble IMO.
 

Pusher of Buttons

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Nice to see this product working decently enough. When I first saw it, I had my doubts.

Also, could you update the article with some shots of Kyle himself wearing the backpack? Being a big dude, Kyle probably better represents what his audience would look like wearing the thing.

After what happened to Palmer Luckey I STRONGLY advise never posting pictures of yourself in a VR rig

time_palmer_cover_08.jpg
 

Quartz-1

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Seriously, though, that was an excellent article. I don't have the room available for this sort of kit, but I know people who do. Still, it seems like next year's model, with the 1170 equivalent is going to be when this product hits its stride.
 
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Stoly

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The next thing you are going to want to do is assign the VR ONE a static IP on your network as you are going to use Windows Remote Desktop to control the VR ONE

You don't need a static IP for that. Its better to assign an easy name to the VR ONE, hmm let me think... VRONE
 

Trepidati0n

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I think MSI is on the "right track" with this. Image IQ and wireless are often not two words used in the same breath. If the whole system could come down to $2k with HMD, I think it would give something larger than a "niche crowd" to at least the enthusiast crowd which I think might be okay with this. you can play outside now...in your basement, the garage...at work.

Also, considering how expensive airsoft/paintball are, this could get cost reasonable IMO very quickly to the point of seeing many more dedicated facilities pop up for rental/groups.
 

Hagrid

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People say the systems now are overpriced, this is way more.
Very niche. I will live with a little cord for 2000 less.
Nice idea though. Might be great for somebody wanting a whole new computer and wanting VR.
 

Pusher of Buttons

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People say the systems now are overpriced, this is way more.
Very niche. I will live with a little cord for 2000 less.
Nice idea though. Might be great for somebody wanting a whole new computer and wanting VR.

I see it as a retail play. Set up 5-6 room scale set ups in a open shop at a mall. Rent by the half hour.
 

Huacanacha

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I see it as a retail play. Set up 5-6 room scale set ups in a open shop at a mall. Rent by the half hour.
They are indeed used by some VR arcades. Once configured and managed correctly it is liberating to roam untethered. For myself it wasn't worth the overhead of the initial setup needed to launch each time, but then again I do mostly shorter sessions when I'm not doing dev.
 

BuBBa

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How do you connect to the Rift's cameras around the room? There some wireless USB hub that comes with it, or is this Vive only at this point?
 

FrgMstr

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How do you connect to the Rift's cameras around the room? There some wireless USB hub that comes with it, or is this Vive only at this point?
You know what, I do not know. I only tested Vive.
 
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jnemesh

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This was a GREAT idea! Right up until TPCast and Intel announced their wireless products. Now it's really a solution in search of a problem...and the limited power it delivers will keep it from going anywhere. DOA.
 

jnemesh

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How do you connect to the Rift's cameras around the room? There some wireless USB hub that comes with it, or is this Vive only at this point?

Rift required HARDWIRED connections between the cameras and the PC. The Vive's "Lighthouses" are bluetooth connected, only power is required for the units. Also note that for roomscale, you need THREE Rift cameras (you get a 2nd one with the Touch controllers, you have to buy the 3rd one separately), Vive works with only 2 lighthouse units. (which are included) Also, the max area for the Rift is a QUARTER the size of the max for the Vive.
 

FrgMstr

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This was a GREAT idea! Right up until TPCast and Intel announced their wireless products. Now it's really a solution in search of a problem...and the limited power it delivers will keep it from going anywhere. DOA.
Hehe, they have been showing true wireless headsets for a long time and Vive even sold some in China, but once those sold out I have not seen those again. That said, this was always a halo/niche product as I exactly described.
 

MavericK

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How do you connect to the Rift's cameras around the room? There some wireless USB hub that comes with it, or is this Vive only at this point?

Good point...I don't think it would work with the Rift for room scale.
 

CaptNumbNutz

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I see a missed opportunity by the engineers and marketing.

Swap the placement of the batteries and motherboard so the fans exhaust out the bottom, add some shaped vents to look like jet exhausts...

boba-fett-flying-with-jetpack-flames.jpg
 

Quartz-1

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I've just reread the article and maybe I missed it but I think there's a critical element missing: robustness. How robust is the VR One? Can it cope with you backing into a wall? Can it cope with you falling over? For commercial multiplayer, can it cope with being repeatedly dumped on a counter?
 

Trepidati0n

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I've just reread the article and maybe I missed it but I think there's a critical element missing: robustness. How robust is the VR One? Can it cope with you backing into a wall? Can it cope with you falling over? For commercial multiplayer, can it cope with being repeatedly dumped on a counter?

All very interesting questions but if that is the first question in your mind I would recommend never opening a business. You are too risk adverse. A single backpack could easily generate $400-600 in revenue per day. If the backpack was estimated to be 10% of your operating cost it would only need to last 1.5 months at most. The first groups of people that would use this would easily pay a premium thus most likely mitigating the risk thus bringing that backpack down probably the sub 1 month category. Thus when fucking fat charlie the wonder blimp finally gets backpack with straps big enough and enough towels to absorb his sweat...my guess is a more robust solution would be available. No one is going to want to play laser tag anymore if this gets moving.
 

Hagrid

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All very interesting questions but if that is the first question in your mind I would recommend never opening a business. You are too risk adverse. A single backpack could easily generate $400-600 in revenue per day. If the backpack was estimated to be 10% of your operating cost it would only need to last 1.5 months at most. The first groups of people that would use this would easily pay a premium thus most likely mitigating the risk thus bringing that backpack down probably the sub 1 month category. Thus when fucking fat charlie the wonder blimp finally gets backpack with straps big enough and enough towels to absorb his sweat...my guess is a more robust solution would be available. No one is going to want to play laser tag anymore if this gets moving.
So you would just purchase something not knowing how long it's going to last?
If I was opening a business I would want to know the same thing.
 

RazorWind

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I see a missed opportunity by the engineers and marketing.

Swap the placement of the batteries and motherboard so the fans exhaust out the bottom, add some shaped vents to look like jet exhausts...

boba-fett-flying-with-jetpack-flames.jpg
Actually yeah, calling this a "Rocket pack" would be a pretty good marketing name for it.

All very interesting questions but if that is the first question in your mind I would recommend never opening a business. You are too risk adverse. A single backpack could easily generate $400-600 in revenue per day. If the backpack was estimated to be 10% of your operating cost it would only need to last 1.5 months at most. The first groups of people that would use this would easily pay a premium thus most likely mitigating the risk thus bringing that backpack down probably the sub 1 month category. Thus when fucking fat charlie the wonder blimp finally gets backpack with straps big enough and enough towels to absorb his sweat...my guess is a more robust solution would be available. No one is going to want to play laser tag anymore if this gets moving.

I dunno if I agree with you about the risk of it breaking being acceptable. The downtime associated with one of these failing completely would have a cost, as would the hassle of it partially failing (seems more likely) and getting kind of flaky, requiring employees to troubleshoot it, swap it out with a spare, and the customer getting upset. If you're going to rent these out, they need to at least not break frequently. It's not so much the cost of replacement that's the problem, but the cost of all the time required to deal with a failed one.

Better would be to make it cost $100 more, and make the housing out of glass fiber reinforced nylon, with big beefy rubber overmolds or bumpers.
 

Quartz-1

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All very interesting questions but if that is the first question in your mind I would recommend never opening a business.

It certainly wasn't the first question in my mind and only the last part was for a business. Think about the home user. People fall over. They may be using a virtual snooker cue and lean too far over the virtual snooker table or they may just trip over the cat. This is an expensive item so we do need to know how robust it is.
 

lopoetve

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Random question: What's with the dislike for Geforce Experience? I haven't had an issue with it so far really.
 

dgacioch

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I just dont see much value in this. I get people want to have a wireless vr setup but a solution involving game streaming seems to me to be the way to go rather than strap a whole pc on my back.
 

RazorWind

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I just dont see much value in this. I get people want to have a wireless vr setup but a solution involving game streaming seems to me to be the way to go rather than strap a whole pc on my back.
I gather work is being done on this, but the latency imposed by the current crop of wireless technologies is such that you can't just stream the video component of VR to the headset over a network. The round trip time for a single frame is 11ms, which is less than just the latency imposed by the available wireless transmission tech, to say nothing of the time required to process the game and render the frame. In a monitor game, a small amount of input lag is not ideal, but not really a deal breaker. In VR, it is absolutely not acceptable. VR games actually even predict the head position for the next frame and render it ahead in order to prevent this.

Random question: What's with the dislike for Geforce Experience? I haven't had an issue with it so far really.
I think the main reason is that it requires an account, and nvidia chose to use it as a means of collecting data about graphics card owners, whereas the previous version just installed and worked with no bullshit.

They changed it to do this right after the Pascal cards launched, and lots of folks were still pretty salty about the whole $100 extra for the Founder's Edition thing, and this was seen primarily through the lens of nVidia gouging customers.
 

lopoetve

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That's fair. I hadn't thought about that - I just fed it my almost-never-used facebook account and shrugged.
 

noko

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Very cool and kudos for MSI bringing this out. Since you can take this anywhere, just bring along the light houses and a power source could make this very useful beyond gaming. Great read and review.
 

Quartz-1

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Are there any wired backpack PCs? That is, you have a spring-loaded power cable dropping from the ceiling powering a PC on your back? Not having the weight of the batteries might make a big difference. Of course, such a device would not be much use for multiplayer.
 

evilwon

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Rift required HARDWIRED connections between the cameras and the PC. The Vive's "Lighthouses" are bluetooth connected, only power is required for the units. Also note that for roomscale, you need THREE Rift cameras (you get a 2nd one with the Touch controllers, you have to buy the 3rd one separately), Vive works with only 2 lighthouse units. (which are included) Also, the max area for the Rift is a QUARTER the size of the max for the Vive.

False info on the rift. You can do room scale with two cameras. I only have two and am running room scale in about a 6' x 8' area.

And so people don't think I'm making it up, it even states this in the guide on the Oculus website.

https://www.oculus.com/blog/oculus-roomscale-tips-for-setting-up-a-killer-vr-room/
 

jnemesh

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Hagrid

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To do roomscale PROPERLY, you need 3 cameras. Even with 3, the tracking isnt all that great. It's pretty horrid with only two.
Yes, 3 imo is best. I am however going to try the 3rd sensor in the middle instead of on the side.
 

evilwon

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To do roomscale PROPERLY, you need 3 cameras. Even with 3, the tracking isnt all that great. It's pretty horrid with only two.

I've only had one tracking issue with 2 excluding the times I've gone outside of the area. However that's going to be an issue with 2, 3, or more cameras.
 

zamardii12

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The one thing I took away from this (had the same opinion before I read the review) is that this thing is monumentally unusable and worthless in every sense of the word useless. The thing that I have in my head that would have made this more compelling is a backpack adapter system. An adapter backpack that is made to hold an existing laptop that you already own on your back. This thing is entirely useless since it has no screen, and yet they are charging the same price for a laptop with all the same specs but without a screen, and some laptops WITH a screen can go even cheaper.

Example: you go to a website where you select the type/size laptop you have... 17", 15", or 14" form-factor. Since there are so many different specific sizes for laptops, there would be additional modular brackets that you can snap and turn to keep the laptop in place when gaming in VR. And then, you get an option for add-ons such as a battery pack of different capacities to allow for longer play sessions. Possibly even some low-power/quiet fans that can be modularly added to the back-pack and hooked-up via usb either to the laptop or to the additional battery-pack.

This is a much more cost-effective and practical solution. Whenever you are done with gaming in VR, you can just slide your laptop out of the backpack laptop holder and continue using the computer you already own. What are you going to do with the VR One? Just plop the thing down next to your desk with those straps hanging off of it, plug in some external peripherals and use it? That's about all you can do; you can't take it on a plane with you and be productive and you can't take it to school to write notes because there is no screen.

All-in-all I think this is a completely worthless product especially considering that they are charging premium laptop prices for what is virtually a laptop with better cooling and no screen. I understand the justification for this product, but if someone were to bring this onto Shark Tank everyone would say "I'm Out."
 
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Dayaks

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That's really neat for the Vive. I've gone to 22' room scale between light houses. With this thing you could probably go even further.

Setup the lighthouses if your yard and do like 30'x30'? How cool would that be!
 
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