Gaming PC manufacturer Alienware has revealed that the company’s entry level Steam Machine, the Alienware Alpha, will ship by the end of the year starting at $549.
With Valve planning to release the Steam Controller in 2015, Alienware has chosen to bundle the Alpha with an Xbox 360 controller instead. The Alpha will also ship with Windows 8.1 rather than Valve’s Linux-based SteamOS.
The Alpha comes with its own customized version of the Steam Big Picture mode, as well as performance tweaks for the Windows OS.
Frank Azor, executive manager of Dell Inc.’s Alienware division, told GamesBeat, “We’re delivering a solution that makes Windows a great experience on the TV. This is an experience designed for the living room.”
The console will come with a Intel Core i3 Haswell processor, a custom Nvidia graphics card with 2GB of dedicated GDDR5 RAM, a 500GB SATA 3 hard drive, and 4GB of RAM. It also includes dual-band wireless and Bluetooth connectivity.
Customers will be able to upgrade the Alpha with 1TB and 2TB hard drives, Intel i5 and i7 processors, and 8GB of memory.
When Azor was asked about the delay in the release of Valve’s Steam Machine, he replied, “I wouldn’t say that. The SteamOS Linux build has been out for a while. Big Picture is out. I appreciate their fortitude in delaying the product until it is perfect. How many times do we see companies come out with something that is half-baked and get it right by version two or three. We view this as excellent news, not bad news.”