Valve’s decision to delay the launch of its response to home entertainment consoles, the Steam Machine to 2015 has left companies like Alienware in a bit of bind. They have the hardware ready but don’t yet have a suitable operating system to ship with it.
Perhaps that is why Alienware has decided to ship out its Steam Machines after installing Windows 8.1 in them instead of SteamOS.
One such machine is Alienware Alpha, a $549 piece of hardware, which functions quite like a console but has the power of a gaming PC. Best of both worlds right?
The Alpha will also have an Xbox 360 controller bundled with it instead of the unfinished Steam Controller.
The machine will be available for purchase during holiday season 2014.
The default version of Alpha will feature a Core i3 Haswell processor, 4GB RAM and a 500GB Hard drive. Those interested can however upgrade their Alpha to Core i5 or i7, 8GB RAM and up to 2TB hard drive which of course will be quite expensive and difficult to do.
Alpha will also feature a custom built Nvidia GPU based on its Maxwell architecture with 2GB of dedicated GDDR5 memory.
The UI doesn’t feel at all like Windows, instead it is custom designed by Alienware and looks like the console UI with various features from Windows 8.1 as well as Steam Big Picture mode.
Alienware is also working with Ubisoft to try to integrate Uplay into the UI as well so that it works just as smooth as Steam.