During CES 2014 it was mentioned that Alienware was one of Valve’s official vendors to produce their own version of the “Steam Machine”. There was no announced system spec’s or price, however new information that has come to light may explain why that is. Failrly recently Alienware GM, Frank Azor, confirmed in an interview with TrustedReviews that the Alienware produced Steam Machines will be locked down.
In other words they will be similar to the PlayStation and Xbox platforms and will ungradable. No upgrading the memory, CPU, GPU at all. Going further Alienware plans to release new editions of their Steam Machine on an annual basis, that consumers can step up to the next version or stay put with what they got.
“Lifecycle wise, consoles update every five, six, seven years, we will be updating our Steam Machines every year,” he explained.
“There will be no customisation options – you can’t really update it.”
“The platform will continue to evolve as the games become more resource intensive.”
He goes on to mention that gamers want to be able to customize their machine then they would be better off purchasing Alienware’s X51, their PC that was designed for the living room and has been very successful so far however is very pricey.
I can’t say if this is a good move especially since Alienware has yet to provide any specs or pricing for their Steam Machine. And due to this it would have to be as cheap as the PlayStation 4 and offer similar performance to be worth it. Taking away the ability to upgrade the offering is gimping it in my eyes and I’m sure other gamers who are interested in the Steam Machine initiative will think the same way.
So what do you think about this? Does this change your mind about Alienware’s Steam Machine offering or does it even matter to you?