Alienware has announced that it will be shipping a Steam Machine this holiday season; despite the fact that the SteamOS is not yet ready. This is not a problem for Alienware as the Alpha Steam Machine will not feature Valve’s own operating system, instead it will have Windows 8.1 installed (along with a customised user interface created by Dell for Alienware). A future update is planned to allow users to easily switch their OS over to SteamOS when it is finally released.
The Alpha Steam Machine is intended to compete with the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, and according to Alienware will begin with a price of US$549. This will get users an Intel Core i3 processor, 4GB of DDR3 RAM, and a custom built NVIDIA GPU with 2GB of GDDR5 RAM. It will also include an Xbox One controller, as the Steam Controller has been delayed until 2015.
Naturally, there are options for high powered versions of the Alpha Steam Machine; with Alienware offering Core i5 and i7 versions of the processor, as well as having the RAM doubled to 8GB. Expect this to cost considerably more than the base version. Which is impressive considering that Alienware has built their console to match the size of the Wii U.