Alienware are one of the best gaming computer manufacturers, and despite recent announcements from Steam that the controller for their Steam Machine has been delayed, Alienware announced on June 10, that they will be going ahead with the launch of their own branded Steam Machine this holiday season. The company is looking forward to releasing what it considers to be a mainstream gaming PC. Alienwares Steam Machine Alpha is a personal computer that will finally bring PC gaming into the living room, and will go head to head with the likes of Microsoft's Xbox One, and Sony's PlayStation 4.
The Steam Machine will be running Valves custom Steam operating system. Once powered on, the computer will boot straight into what's known as Big Picture Mode. Big Picture Mode is a easy to use graphical interface that will display all of the games in the users library, and by booting straight into this mode, users will have immediate access to their games, and they will not have to deal with a typical PC interface. Manufacturers who are making Steam Machines are hoping that taking this easy to use approach will help them bridge the gap between gaming PC's and game consoles.
Quite how Alienware plan on addressing the controller issue is not yet understood. Valve have been designing their own controllers for all Steam Machines to use, this way they can ensure that there will be some uniformity to the platform, but design challenges have forced Valve to delay the controller until 2015.There are rumors circulating that Alienware will ship their version of the Steam Machine with Xbox Controllers when the computers are launched, and the Xbox controllers will then be mapped to work with the custom operating system.
The Alienware branded Steam Machine has been called the 'ideal Steam Machine' by Valve's Gabe Newell, who is the co-owner and managing director of Valve. The Alienware Steam Machine has a smaller footprint than the current Xbox One and PlayStation 4. The machine will feature HDMI pass-through, Gigabit Ethernet connectivity, fiber optic audio support, and the base model will ship with a Intel i3 processor which has apparently been optimized to run games at high settings, while pushing 1080p and 60 frames per second. Other specifications include 4GB DDR3 RAM, a 500GB hard drive, and a NVIDIA Maxwell based GPU with 2GB of dedicated memory,
It will certainly be interesting to see if Alienware's Steam Machine will be able to achieve those lofty goals when it is released later on this year. Alienware's version of the Steam Machine is also slated to make an appearance at this years E3 event. The i3 powered version of the Steam Machine will ship for $549 later on in 2014.