Why the long gap between announcement and release? Because HP has been making prototype hardware available to developers in order to gather feedback about things like size, weight, and temperature.
Starting in June HP will offer at least two models: one aimed at gamers and another designed for commercial use.
The consumer/gamer model is expected to weigh about 10 pounds and feature two hot swappable batteries that should give you about an hour of high-performance VR time. But since you can replace one battery at a time without shutting down the computer, you could theoretically keep your VR session going indefinitely (if you have enough batteries handy).
The system has the guts of a high-power gaming PC, and it’ll likely have a high price tag to match.
But the key benefit of strapping this sort of rig to your back is that it allows you to plug in an HTC Vive, Oculus Rift, or similar VR headset and move around without tripping on wires.
HP even developed some custom short cables so that you won’t get tangled up in wires dangling from the computer as you move.
HP is hardly the only company working on a VR-ready backpack PC. Zotac and MSI have already brought their own solutions to market, and other companies including Dell and Intel are eyeing the space as well.