Imagine if you could plug an external graphics card into your MacBook, then use it for for virtual reality or other gaming. You’d never need a dedicated gaming computer again.
That’s the dream behind The Wolfe, an external graphics card for the Mac that hits Kickstarter tomorrow. Two versions of this Thunderbolt accessory, The Wolfe and The Wolfe Pro, offer an Nvidia GTX 950 and GTX 970 respectively.
The card fits into a case that’s a 7.8 inches deep by 5.4 inches wide and 2.6 inches tall, which weighs between two and 3.2 pounds. Stick this in your bag with your laptop, the theory goes, and you’ve got a portable gaming MacBook.
Macs, shall we say, do not have the best reputation among gamers. Apple builds its laptops with portability and battery life in mind, not graphical performance. And in general, laptops built specifically for gaming tend to be heavy with awful battery life.
The Wolfe could offer a third path, if it works well. It gives you graphics when you need it, but leaves the MacBook highly portable the rest of the time. Road To VR is reporting that the Wolfe is compatible with the following laptops:
- MacBook Air 11-inch, Mid 2011–2015
- MacBook Air 13-inch, Mid 2011–2015
- MacBook Pro Retina, 13-inch, Late 2012–2015
- MacBook Pro Retina, 15-inch, Mid 2012–2015
- MacBook Pro 13-inch, Early 2011–2015
- MacBook Pro 15-inch, Early 2011–2015
- Mac mini, Mid 2011–2015
- iMac, Mid 2011–2015
- Mac Pro, Late 2013-2015
Indeed, VR is part of the product pitch. The website for The Wolfe shows a user using Oculus Rift alongside a MacBook. Since Oculus doesn’t support Mac officially, we believe it is only possible if the laptop is boot into Windows using Bootcamp. No official word has been given as to how the Rift compatibility would be enabled.
It’s not clear what The Wolfe and Wolfe Pro will cost, but we can read the tea leaves. The Nvidia GTX 950 costs around $160, and the GTX 970 costs around $250. We’d expect The Wolfe to mark those costs up considerably. We’ll get more details tomorrow, when The Wolfe pops up on Kickstarter. Stay tuned.