It would seem that the category of ‘Backpack PC’ for VR is rapidly becoming a “thing”. With announcements from HP, MSI, and Zotac earlier this year, now followed by Alienware.

A back-mounted PC for VR of course means that everything can be self-contained on the player, eliminating the restrictions of cables.

Revealed by AMD CEO Lisa Su at the E3 PC Gaming Show, the unnamed Alienware Backpack PC was seen with a sleek looking shell packing the AMD Radeon RX 480 video card. It was introduced as a “reference design,” with no launch or pricing details.

According to TechRadar, the design was done in collaboration with Zero Latency, who specializes in arcade-like free roam VR, and the hardware is based on the Alienware Alpha. No other specs, release dates, or prices, were announced, and no opportunity for weight or battery comparisons yet, but it does prove to be one of the most attractive looking VR backpacks shown so far.

This trend in portable VR with interest by major PC manufacturers is a good sign for the future of VR, where the dream is to have total untethered freedom. Whether ‘backtops’, integrated in-headset systems, or wireless connections dominate are the ultimate future of untethered VR, the demand is great and companies are continuing to try and experiment.

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  • Jonas

    They can even take a step further and integrate some AI and robotic features into the backpack and make it a futuristic personal assistant.

    • Flamerate1

      I’m not a fan of personal assistants, but if people started preferring backtops over smart phones…

      I’m surprised this isn’t already a thing.

      If it became mainstream to use backtops, neural prosthetics would also have a huge boost.

      • Kai2591

        huh…thats a fascinating thought

  • Kuangwei Hwang

    AR and computer vision becomes truly practical with the fully power of backpack PC.

  • Charles

    No target price or target release date?

  • Viking Negro

    runnig a 4k 90fps game you will get a good burns on your back

    • Kai2591

      ‘VR burns’
      coining it now :)

  • Whatever happened to streaming? Better focusing on helping folks who already have the rigs for this.

    • meraxus .

      The delay will cause vr sickness

  • WyrdestGeek


    What about power consumption?

    How do you get any kind of reasonable amount of usage between recharging times out of it?

  • ReddChief78

    PC VR….facepalm, it’s like watching a train wreck in slow motion, VR gaming hasn’t even started yet & it’s making it look back, thank goodness for PSVR to get it started.

    • Kai2591

      ehhh but its already started – months ago! with the release of Vive and Rift. or even last year with Gear VR!

      Where have you been?! lol

      and what are you talking about this is good progress

    • dextrovix

      PSVR is playing to the lower common denominator, and is very much late to the party. But for those that like their walled gardens, they’re welcome to it (along with it’s lower FOV!).