Alienware has revealed that its much-anticipated Steam Machine will ship by the end of the year.
The hardcore gaming PC specialist has been showing off its Alienware Alpha Steam Machine at the E3 show currently taking place in Los Angeles.
Interestingly, it announced that the Alpha Steam Machine would be shipping during the 2014 holiday season, which means some time in the lead up to Christmas. That might surprise those of you who are familiar with Valve’s recent troubles with the Steam Machine platform.
Just a couple of weeks ago we reported on the news that Valve had delayed the launch of its Steam OS and attendant Steam Machine consoles until 2015. The problem: the revolutionary Steam controller, which is set to replicate the sensitivity of a keyboard and mouse in an unusual control pad form factor.
So how will Alienware get over the not inconsiderable twin hurdle of not having a controller or an OS for its own Steam Machine? By bundling it in with an Xbox 360 controller and Windows 8.1, of course.
This means that the machine will have access to the full Steam experience as it exists right now for normal PC users.
The base-level Alienware Alpha Steam Machine will feature an Intel Core i3 Haswell CPU, 4GB of RAM, a custom Nvidia GTX GPU with 2GB of dedicated GDDR5 VRAM, and a 500GB hard drive.
You can also boost the specs with i5 and i7 processor options, as well as up to 8GB of RAM and 2TB of hard drive storage. Meanwhile, you can use an assortment of control pad options in addition to the aforementioned Xbox 360 solution, even mixing and matching simultaneously for local multiplayer games.
While the PC-console hybrid will run on Windows 8.1 out of the box, Alienware is providing its own custom UI for easy navigation. The Windows OS itself has apparently been optimised for pure gaming, with non-essential background processes and software disabled, though you can opt to boot into Microsoft’s OS for other purposes.
Prices for the Alienware Alpha Steam Machine will start from $549, which works out to around £327.
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