Alienware has attempted to clarify an earlier statement which said that its upcoming Steam Machines will not be upgradable by users. Instead the PC manufacturer will be pumping out annual iterations and users interested in pimping their rig will have the option of purchasing the latest one if they deem so.
According to Alienware’s boss Frank Azor, owners will not be totally locked out of modding their Steam Machine. Alterations to the hardware are possible but will not be “easy.”
“Enabling customers the opportunity to upgrade components has been a core tenet for Alienware since the company was founded, and that remains true today,” Azor explained to Eurogamer in a statement today.
“The Alienware Steam Machine, announced at CES, is designed to deliver a great gaming experience in the living room and we will enable customers to upgrade components. Considering we’ve purposefully designed the Alienware Steam Machine to be smaller than the latest generation consoles, upgrading the internal components will not be as easy as compared to other platforms, such as the Alienware X51, but we will not prevent a customer from upgrading.”
As it is in these cases, modding your existing Alienware setup will cost a lot. Perhaps that is why Azor is suggesting that those interested in heavy modifications are better off buying more conventional models like the Alienware X51.
“If a customer is interested in modding and upgrading their rig on a regular basis, then we recommend the Alienware X51,” he said. “Enabling easy upgradeability was a critical design requirement for the X51. It includes features such as single screw access to all internal components, and easy-to-remove ODD, HDD, graphics, etc.
“We feel we have multiple options for customers based on their individual needs. If a gamer wants more freedom to upgrade, we have the X51. If they would prefer a smaller, more console-like system, we will offer the Alienware Steam Machine.”
The company is yet to put a price on Alienware Steam Machines but it’s expected to be around $500, the same price of a Xbox One console.