The HTC Vive is our current pick for the best virtual reality experience around - albeit not by much over the Oculus Rift - due to the incredibly immersive nature of room-scale VR. But there's one slight problem: that pesky cable.
It's needed to connect the headset to the computer without worrying about reception or latency issues, but it does ding the immersion just a bit to have to think about its proximity while playing. Luckily, hardware maker Zotac has a potential solution to that: a PC strapped into a wearable backpack.
You might consider Google Cardboard or the Samsung Gear VR to be mobile VR, but to Zotac, it's the company's ZBOX portable computer secured to your back, complete with a battery pack. With this solution, you don't have to worry about a cable dangling along the ground, and there doesn't seem to be any impact on playability.
Honestly, while it all sounds a bit absurd - and surely both heavy and expensive - the experience looks great in the video: it's the Vive experience, albeit untethered. Well, less tethered, at least. Whatever the case, it seems like a lot of fun.
But there are still a lot of questions, since Zotac didn't share many hard details in its blog post or press release. The company says they'll have NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970, 980, and 980 Ti GPUs available for the configurations, but there's no word yet on price or availability.
Furthermore, how long is that battery realistically going to last powering both a PC and the connected headset? And is that backpack ventilated enough to keep the PC from frying within, but also insulated enough to save your back from heat rash? We hope to hear about all of this soon, because frankly, we can't wait to give it a spin.