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I Raced In MSI’s Prototype VR Car

All was going well as I zoomed around a track in a racecar until I crashed into a wall. The seat shook and I lurched forward, but luckily for me, there was no windshield to crash through in MSI’s prototype VR car.

Credit: Craig Ferguson / Tom's Guide

(Image credit: Craig Ferguson / Tom's Guide)

The car, which MSI showed off at its booth at the Computex tradeshow in Taipei, looks like a big red go-kart, seems like the future of VR arcades. Drivers slip on a VR headset (an HTC Vive, in my case) and use a real steering wheel and pedals to race. Think of it like some racing game arcade cabinets from back in the ‘90s.

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The seat has some awesome rumbling technology, humming smoothly down a straight away and shaking me side to side around sharp turns. The custom software, though, needs some work. It’s a very simple 2-player race filled with billboards with MSI’s logo. Additionally, there were a few gray flickers here and there that took me out of the experience. Hopefully future iterations look a little nicer.

Still, MSI seems to be pretty serious about moving the project forward (especially based on the survey they asked participants to take afterwards; It was one page, front and back. Addressing everything from graphics to how excited you got to if you got dizzy. There's no price or release date. In fact, the survey asked how much you would pay to use it for a single ride, so it may be aimed more towards amusement parks and arcades than home. If MSI moves this forward, I’ll make sure not to crash into any more walls.

  • Sakkura
    The software side sounds more like a proof of concept or tech demo. Presumably MSI is hoping to sell this hardware to VR arcades, with game developers making the actual content. I doubt MSI has any real clue how to make games.

    Just racing in a VR headset alone is pretty epic, with this it could be unbelievably realistic.