Alienware, the American computer hardware outfit owned by Dell Inc., has announced that it will be releasing its first machine powered by Steam in November. The device, which will be known as the Alienware Alpha looks likely to be the first commercially available Steam Machine when it launches. However rather than being built on top of Valve’s SteamOS, the Alpha hardware will be reliant on Microsoft’s Windows 8.1 operating system.
The Alienware Alpha Console will run a version of Windows 8.1 which will be pre-programmed to boot directly into Steam's Big Picture Mode. The console will also ship with a Wireless Xbox 360 controller instead of the Steam Machine controllers. The entire user-interface of the Alpha box is accessible through the Xbox 360 controller, with users also having the option to plug in a mouse to access the "Desktop Mode" of the machine, essentially turning Alienware’s box into a standard computer.
The entry-level Alpha option will ship with an Intel Core i3 processor, complete with 4GB of RAM and a 500GB internal HDD. As with most PCs on the market, the Alpha will also have a set of configurable options that include an i5 and i7 CPU choice, internal storage up to 2TB and the option of doubling up on the included RAM to take the total to an extremely capable 8GB.
While the Alienware Alpha wont be comparable to regular Steam devices which will run SteamOS natively, it is still a powerful and configurable way for users to access their favorite Steam games on a computer connected to a TV. Additionally the company has promised that all existing Windows compatible peripherals will work seamlessly with the Alpha, so that’s at least some good news.
Pre-orders of the Alpha are available now, with prices starting at $550.00 and shipping beginning this coming November. Would you consider picking up an Alienware Alpha instead of a SteamOS powered machine?
source - Dell (Alienware)