PC gaming manufacturer Alienware plans on selling their Steam Machine systems for the comparative price range of an Xbox One, effectively taking on the next-gen gaming market and offering a “bargain” in the process.
Alienware is one of the twelve manufacturers involved in Valve’s new Steam-based ecosystem, wherein each company fashions their own hardware–officially branded Steam Machines–as they see fit; form factor, price points, and specs.
Valve’s Steam OS software, which serves as the operating system and enables access to its digital game store, will tether each console-like PC to Valve’s new living room-based environment. Up until now, the living room has been the home turf of the console gaming market, but the Steam Machines are taking on consoles–the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One in particular–in a battle for dominance of couch-based gaming.
Alienware is eager to challenge both high-profile consoles, and plans to do so by taking them on at one of the major deciding factors for consumers: the price tag.
“The commitment we are making from a price perspective is that it will be competitive with Xbox One and PS4,” Alienware’s Global Marketing Director Bryan De Zayas confided to TrustedReviews.
“From a price point perspective, we actually think that costing as much as an Xbox One or PS4 is going to be a big benefit.
“It will help better align us with that mentality from a gaming perspective that this fits in the same living room model.”
De Zayas didn’t confirm any sort of concrete price range, and nothing is official at this point; he merely revealed that the company is interested in competing with the PS4 and Xbox One by offering a PC gaming system for a comparable price.
But why should consumers pick up an Alienware-branded Steam Box instead of building their own PC? Assembling your own rig and buying individual parts is often seen as an advantageous method, especially since some of the parts can be purchased at discounted rates from outlets like Newegg, Tiger Direct, and even auctioned from eBay.
Alienware’s General Manager, Frank Azor, asserts that you won’t be able to build a PC that performs as well for the price of their Steam Machine:
“Nobody will be able to build their own computer, that will perform this well, at the price we are going to be selling it for.”
Azor further underlined that the cost factor won’t break your bank like many of the expensive PC’s in their catalog. “In the past, there has been a premium when it comes to buying Alienware PCs, that is absolutely not going to be the case for this product.”
Whether or not this will be an actual bargain remains to be seen, as the specs might reflect the cost of the hardware. Azor finished up by confirming that Alienware’s Steam Machine will have “optimized performance” with higher-end Intel CPU’s and NVIDIA GPU’s–and although no specifics were given, Dell has previously announced that the hardware would come with Intel’s Haswell processor.
“We are going to get the latest and greatest Intel CPUs, we are going to get the latest and greatest NVIDIA GPUs in this box, you are going have great memory configuration, great hard drive configuration, optimised performance, an incredible form factor.”
It will be interesting to see if Alienware’s Steam Machine can duke it out with the current kings of the console market, and what exact price range they’ll end up tagging their system with. Digital Storm’s high-end Steam Machine will run at $1469, featuring a dual-operating system and expansive specs, and the beta consoles sent out by Steam have been tallied up to an estimated total of $1300 worth of hardware.
Alienware’s Steam Machine is expected to roll out in September 2014, and like other units bearing the Steam name, will come with a optimized Steam Controller.
Via Trusted Reviews