Alienware to release new Steam Machine models every year, but no upgrade options

Dell's PC gaming division Alienware will join with 13 other PC OEMs in offering a Steam Machine, which will run on the Linux-based SteamOS created by game developer Valve. Alienware has already revealed it will begin selling its Steam Machine in September, and now there's word that the PC maker will launch new versions each year.

In a chat with TrustedReviews, Alienware general manager Frank Azor states that while there will be annual hardware refreshes, once people purchase and receive their Steam Machine from them, "There will be no customisation options, you can’t really update it." He does state that there will be a way to swap out the CPU or add more memory when consumers purchase it, but that the Alienware Steam Machine is not designed to be opened up and upgraded afterwards. Azor says that for people who want that kind of freedom, " ... you would be better off with the standard Alienware X51. This particular product is restricted in its upgrade options."

Other third party OEMs who will sell Steam Machines have already indicated they will be able to be upgraded with new hardware after they are bought. Alienware's system would seem to be more like a traditional game console than a PC. So far, Alienware has not commented on pricing for its Steam Machine, nor has it offered up any specific hardware specs other than it will have Intel Haswell processors and NVIDIA graphics processors.

Source: TrustedReviews | Image via Alienware

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swanlee said,
What on earth are the point of these Steam machines? Expensive, only plays linux games, wildly different specs per oem, crippled OS. Really WTF is the point of these?

Does not only play Linux games. Streams games from your PC. Call in home streaming and its in beta right now.

Also specs vary in PC gaming so I don't understand why you bring that up. This isn't like a real console. It's to bring PC gaming to the living room and mist consumers are ok with"consumer" like boxes sitting in their living room and not a big "PC" box

It's up to the Alienware (or other Steam Machine) OEM's if they want to Dual Boot...
Which I believe it should be mandated. Not all Steam games work on the Linux side yet

swanlee said,
What on earth are the point of these Steam machines? Expensive, only plays linux games, wildly different specs per oem, crippled OS. Really WTF is the point of these?
To fragment PC gaming away from the Windows platform.

Bad Man Duke said,
To fragment PC gaming away from the Windows platform.

This is the real goal.

Valve is afraid of the way Windows is progressing in terms of their [Valve's] potential licenses and revenue stream down the line. The faster they break out and expend their realm, the better their value will be down the road.

Of course, the way they are doing it now hurts more than helps the industry, and it leads to really overpriced and shoddy junk potentially peddled to the public. Shrug. Time will tell.

But they are just further fragmenting it within steam machines itself. No set specs, prices cost more than if a person built their own pc, limited library.

Why would anyone buy a PC to stream their PC games from their PC? How the heck is that a valid feature? If you already have a PC capable of playing all your steam games just buy an HDMI cable and PC game controller and plug it into your TV. Why spend money on a steam machine?

I fail to see any reason for these, they lack any type of vision and seem to be all over the place. Also looking at the prices and specs a person would do better building their own PC.

swanlee said,
But they are just further fragmenting it within steam machines itself. No set specs, prices cost more than if a person built their own pc, limited library.

They are targeting unknowing folks that wouldn't spend time or know how on building their own box and running the OS.

Valve is also making a bunch of money on the overall licensing for all versions of the steamboxes, and allowing their stuff to be fragmented across a zillion platforms and specs is irreverent to them making money and freeing from all the windows/apple/etc etc etc platforms in the future.

swanlee said,
Why would anyone buy a PC to stream their PC games from their PC? How the heck is that a valid feature? If you already have a PC capable of playing all your steam games just buy an HDMI cable and PC game controller and plug it into your TV. Why spend money on a steam machine?

I fail to see any reason for these, they lack any type of vision and seem to be all over the place. Also looking at the prices and specs a person would do better building their own PC.

Exactly. Almost everyone who wants to run PC games on their TV is likely already doing so. The very kind of people they say they are targeting are the type who want fewer traditional PC devices in their home. Not more.

Unknowing casuals would just get a Sony or MS console. A large portion of PC gamers that actually use steam would just build their own PC. This thing has no target audience.

I wouldn't do a yearly version if I were them.

People will instantly go into "I'll wait for the next version, that doesn't have any bugs" mode.

Showan said,
I wouldn't do a yearly version if I were them.

People will instantly go into "I'll wait for the next version, that doesn't have any bugs" mode.

They probably won't make a second one when the first one doesn't sell.
Unless they are in the game to lose money.

Crimson Rain said,
or you know...people can buy one of those countless desktop (gaming) PC and be done with it.

But... two devices for the same task are twice as efficient, right?

No one with half a brain will touch any Alienware crap. You could build two top end rigs with better specs for what they charge for just one of their so called "high end" PCs. I would be willing to bet that they will be twice the price of any of the other manufactures..

JoseyWales said,
No one with half a brain will touch any Alienware crap. You could build two top end rigs with better specs for what they charge for just one of their so called "high end" PCs. I would be willing to bet that they will be twice the price of any of the other manufactures..

I actually go to them for their support level. They are tons better than any other company I've dealt with and have set the bar fairly high for others that I deal with.

Kalint said,
No upgrade? Are they insane?

Steam will now understand what Microsoft has been dealing with for years, the dream for your OS trampled on by OEM stupidity.

Even though they say it's not upgradable after purchase you can bet your butt it will happen anyway comments from Frank Azor lead to the conclusion that if it's able to be upgraded at time of purchase then it can be done at home too... just like installing a new battery in an iPhone if you have the right tools and some patience you can do it yourself

Why the holy hell would anyone buy an un-upgradable Steambox every bloody year when they could just build a cheap PC that runs everything the same and upgrade it? That makes absolutely no sense.

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