After numerous delays, and a lot of reworks, it looks like Steam Machines are actually going to be hitting the market this year. It’s been a couple years since Valve announced its initiative to bring Linux-powered gaming computers to the living room, and it’s been one year since the company’s OEM partners announced their own Steam Machines, which ended up being delayed for another year, but the time has finally come for them to hit the market, and naturally, Alienware wants to be the first one to release a Steam Machine.
PC gaming is in the midst of a cultural shift. No, not necessarily the “Steam Machine” revolution, which Valve is trying to heavily push, but a movement away from the tether of a dedicated platform into the living room. In a way, it’s a celebration of all of those wonderful LAN parties some of us had as kids (or still have, in spite of the heavy push for online play). It’s also an emerging market, as multiple platform publishers are attempting to hone in on the console crowd. Right now though, it’s very, very early. So let’s kick things off with Alienware’s brand of Steam Machine. It runs SteamOS, and only SteamOS, and although it is technically a PC with customizable parts and an open case (you need to use a screwdriver), it’s also a console of sorts. The Alienware box is plug and play, and after downloading a quick two-minute update, everything was good to go. Options are there but very limited, including the power to customize the lights on the box itself (both intensity and color schemes). The dimensions are roughly about the same size as a Wii. In other words, its form factor and the unit itself looks great.