One Steam Machine Can't Be Upgraded, Is Basically A Steam Console

One Steam Machine Can't Be Upgraded, Is Basically A Steam Console

The whole point of Valve's Steam Machine idea is that it bridges the gap between consoles and PCs. All the benefits of the PC in a simpler case. One company, however, is slanting a little too heavily towards the console side of the gap.

Alienware's flagship Steam Machine, one of the standouts from the early lineup of devices, won't be upgradable. Instantly negating one of the main reasons for buying a PC in the first place.

"Lifecycle wise, consoles update every five, six, seven years, we will be updating our Steam Machines every year," says Frank Azor, Alienware's General Manager in an interview with Trusted Reviews.

"There will be no customisation options, you can't really update it."

Well, that's a nothankyou.jpg on that one then. Those consoles updated every 5-7 years have an entire library of games coded specifically for them. The PC market won't wait for Alienware; it'll keep pushing the same boundaries it always does, which for purchasers of their Steam Machine means they'll start lagging behind just twelve months after purchase.

There's no word on price yet for the Alienware Steam Machine; the company only says that "The price will be competitive with next generation consoles."

Alienware: We will launch new Steam Machines every year [Trusted Reviews]


    So essentially Alienware may have used their laptop hardware in the Steammachine? No thanks with this machine that's for sure. If I'm buying a PC, I don't care if it's 500 or 5000, I want to be able to incrementally upgrade it to extend its life out, keeping it near top of the range for years and years to come.

      Yeah, I saw the words "won’t be upgradable" next to the name "Alienware" and thought "Oh, they've put a laptop in a box"

      Woah $5000 on a PC you high roller... surely there are better things in life to spend or save money for? like a holiday to somewhere with some sunlight?

    The irony of Alienware being the sponsor of this post has not escaped me.

    I'm sure they'll change their minds when their sales bottom out :)

    While this seems to be Alienware's stock-in-trade, I think this highlights the potential issue with Steam machines across the board. I just don't see why avid PC gamers would ever want the inflexibility of a home console at the price of an Alienware gaming rig.

      But avid PC gamers are not the market for a steambox. A nice looking box that plugs into your TV and plays games is what it is. And if they are saying it is price competitive with next gen consoles it's a console that has cheaper games.
      I wouldn't get one and wouldn't recommend them, but it will fit the bill for some people. Most steam boxes will be upgradable.

    I like the "Brought to you by Alienware - Game Victorious" advertisement at the top of this article. Lol.

    Well really a Steam machine will be able to play games down the years still but at ever decreasing quality levels as games get more complex. I don't see how that's different from a console or my PC which has been in need of an upgrade for a couple of years now, but it's not good to take away the ability to upgrade.

    I really can't see the Steam machines being a big hit with the mainstream audience. They're not going to buy one instead of a console if they're being faced with 10-20 different manufacturers making 3-4 different variants and now one of the major companies is saying they'll be bringing out a new Steam machine each year. The people wanting to buy a console want it for the simplicity of it. This kind of thing just makes the whole thing overly complex and will confuse people and reinforce people's beliefs that you need to spend hundred/thousands of dollars constantly upgrading a PC just to play the latest games, when in reality I can play the latest games at a reasonable level of quality and resolution on a midrange graphics card that was released 2 years ago (7750)

    I don't think the no upgrades will be a huge issue for them as it seems to be inline with their target market of people that just want a high end pc out of the box, no assembly required.
    As for priced competitively, I just cant see this happening. Nothing AW is priced competitively.

    *Purchasing anything made by Alienware*


    So it's basically marketed at the same people who are happy to play PC games on a laptop then? They shouldn't have trouble finding customers in that case.

    It's what I want if I got a steam machine. I want something I could use like a console and not worry about it. Although screw paying AW prices. Looks cool.

    hmmm im undecided on this issue.
    on the one hand, steam's greatest draw card is the vast library of games at its disposal - way more than any console. on the other hand, not being able to upgrade the hardware means future new games might have to run at less than optimal eye candy settings. while that might not be an issue depending on the game, the belief you could upgrade and stay on the best path for performance seriously undermines alienware as a hardware platform for the steam boxen. since they are a decent sized player in this arena, it might contribute to the overall non-acceptance of steam as a viable living room platform.

    lets see what the other hardware manufacturers bring to the table i suppose.

    A steam box that just works, I think there is a market for that (Console Gamers). That's the wonderful thing about Steam OS it will give the option of a dedicated console or a gaming PC.

    I don’t care what the steam box looks (whatever one I decide to build/buy) it will most likely be hidden away neatly somewhere. displaying all your static entertainment gear is very 90’s :P

    I'll wait til steam boxes can run windows games natively, Massive waste of time if I'm just streaming it.

      Steam machines will let you install Windows OS (not just Steam OS) as they are still open platform. The Alienware may not let you upgrade parts but it is still a PC.

        Yeah but then you're just buying an overpriced PC..... which anyone could have done in the past 10 years. I was hoping that the whole "steam box" thing would have some strict guidelines so that things could be optimised. Now that it's just open you're better off just buying a bitfenix prodigy and doing a microatx build.

          Yep hence why I built my media centre as a steam machine too.
          But that's the point. Gabe is trying to streamline pc gaming without turning it into a walled garden.

            Yeah, so basically there's no advantage to buying any 'steam machine".... just a build a pc yourself (or get a computer shop to do it for you) and install the OS. Like I said if "steam machines" come out at a price that's cheaper than setting up your own pc then I'm all for it, but I'm sure it'll have a premium built in and that's just nonsense.

    Damnit! Such a shame since I think they have the best looking steam box so far.

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