When Valve announced Steam Machines, it seemed like the company’s way of invading the living room space which is currently dominated by the likes of Microsoft, Sony, and Nintendo. Now Valve will not be making these machines themselves, but will instead allow hardware OEMs to create their own devices, kind of like how Google provides Android as software, while leaving OEMs to come up with their own hardware and design. One of the companies involved in releasing a Steam Machine is Alienware, a company known for their gaming computers, which is why we can’t say we’re too surprised that they are hopping on board the Steam Machine bandwagon.
I find it interesting how Valve both is and isn’t investing a lot of time and precious, precious GabeNcoins into its Steam Machine initiative. On one hand, this is the PC juggernaut’s plan to bull-rush through the living room’s console-lined walls and play jump rope with the entrails of enemies within, but on the other Valve is hedging its bets as cautiously as possible. It’s letting countless hardware manufacturers take the risk on building and distributing these things, and it’s hoping audiences will give them some clue as to what they should do after that. It’s not a terrible strategy by any means. It’s just a very Valve-centric one. Hardware manufacturers like Alienware, then, are worried, even as they place utmost faith in Valve’s time-proven ability to prime penniless pumps until money cascades out like a Biblical flood. The Wall Street Journal spoke with a number of said hardware manufacturers about their thoughts on Valve’s mad plan to take over the world one room of your house at a time, and many were skeptical. Alienware’s Frank Azor, especially, thinks his company will come out of this with a pretty sizable hole in its wallet.