Alienware Steam Machines to release annually, “there will be no customization options”

Tuesday, 21st January 2014 15:13 GMT By Stephany Nunneley

Alienware will launch its first Steam Machines in September, and according to general manager Frank Azor, new machines will be released every year – and aren’t upgradable.

Speaking with TrustedReviews via PCR, Azor said the machines will be released in a similar vein to consoles with the hardware locked. So, if consumers want to play games on this particular system at the newest setting with the latest technology, they will have to buy an entirely new system.

“Lifecycle wise, consoles update every five, six, seven years, we will be updating our Steam Machines every year,” said Azor . “There will be no customization options – you can’t really update it. The platform will continue to evolve as the games become more resource intensive.

“If you actually want to customize your Alienware Steam Machine, maybe change your graphics card out or put in a new CPU, you would be better off with the standard Alienware X51. This particular product is restricted in its upgrade options.”

Other Steam Machine manufacturers were announced at CES 2014 early this month, so you will have plenty of options.

Thanks, MCV.



  1. Hcw87

    I thought the whole point of Steambox was a customizable (exchangable hardware) console-like experience.

    This is just a closed PC-in-a-box.

    #1 11 months ago
  2. GrimRita

    The dumbest idea I have seen so far this year. What is the point of having to replace a console every year? Unless of course it was around the £50 mark.

    #2 11 months ago
  3. wowtgp

    Who is going to buy this shit anyways? Is this some kind of joke? I don’t think any sane people would waste their cash buying a hardware every year. Wasn’t it supposed to be open-ended like PCs?

    #3 11 months ago
  4. KineticCalvaria

    And now Alienware have managed to turn PC’s into an iPhone, fucking fantastic!

    #4 11 months ago
  5. Junior

    I am a console only user. I am not here to make fun but to ask a valid question.

    Isn’t a non-customizable and non-upgradable system a step backwards for PC users?

    I am sure the top of the line steam machines will last You a long time but the cheapest ones are only on par with X1 and PS4 while costing $500. On top of that, you will probably have to get a new one a year or two after if You want to fully experience the more graphically intense games on pc.

    #5 11 months ago

    Nothing to say but………….

    #6 11 months ago
  7. OneLifeCycle

    It’s the nature of the PC world. They develop games that utilize the most that current gen hardware will allow them. It’s a double-edged sword, really. People continually want their games to appear more realistic.

    Personally, I think most would be happy not purchasing a Steam machine each year as it seems that jump in gaming graphics is not enough to warrant such a thing. You’d probably barely notice it, if at all. The next big jumps are going to come from better game engines that utilize resources more efficiently, IMO.

    Alienware is just looking to create a nitch, console-esque market with their Steam machines. Personally, I think it’s fine. But the IBuyPower Steam machine looks to be the best option by far when you consider what you’re getting and what you pay $499.

    #7 11 months ago
  8. Ekona

    There’s a market out there for folks who buy a £600 phone every year, so there might be one for Steambox owners who wish to do the same? I dunno, I’m guessing.

    Or maybe Alienware are just trying to sell on their name alone, which wouldn’t surprise me.

    #8 11 months ago
  9. povu

    One of the major advantages of the PC is that you can upgrade anything at any time without having to throw the rest away. Whether it’s a new graphics card every 2 years, or every 5 years. There’s no point upgrading any of the other parts as frequently, CPU requirements don’t go up anywhere near as fast.

    Having a closed off platform that you need to replace entirely to improve performance defeats the point. As usual, Alienware is aiming towards people with too much money and too little interest to research their PC purchases.

    #9 11 months ago
  10. Panthro

    Who is going to be buying this overpriced garbage anyway?

    Anyone who is stupid enough to pay what they ask deserves to be ripped off.

    @8 Said it perfectly, there is a lot of morons out there who eat any old bullshit they think is better because it is ‘more expensive’.

    @9 Don’t forget that that a lot of the console gamers think upgrading is a bad thing, this might actually appeal to them ;)
    Hopefully not though, I don’t want to bump into any of them online.

    #10 11 months ago
  11. sebastien rivas

    I would say and add one point to yours by saying PC as old as it seems to be.. it is still the ONLY DIY computer or even electronic where famers can play…

    #11 11 months ago
  12. TheBlackHole

    The Brix Pro I got given at Steam Dev Days is just a small-form factor PC. In fact, it’s exactly the same as the current retail Brix pro, but with 8gb of RAM and a 1TB hard drive included.

    We even got given the SteamOS on a USB, so if I just installed Windows instead it would be a regular PC.

    And yes, you can upgrade the RAM (max 16gb) and HDD/SSD in the Brix. Not sure about other bits though.

    #12 11 months ago
  13. Xbone

    Alienware… says all… overprices piece of garbage. And this? Joke of the year.

    #13 11 months ago
  14. Arcnail

    Even less of a reason to get one of these things. Is it April 1st or something. Why would anyone buy one of these over a PC?

    #14 11 months ago
  15. TheBlackHole

    @14 because they want the benefits of steam, modding, prices etc on a console-like plug and pay experience in their living room.

    Why is that so hard to grasp?

    #15 11 months ago
  16. Arcnail

    @15 Riiiight.. because you can’t do that now with a PC/Laptop and steam installed on it.

    #16 11 months ago
  17. ManuOtaku

    I will pick one as soon as steam allows its users to have their purchased games on the hard drive of the machine, till then, this is not for me. And for the reception of the first xbox one policies by console gamers, i think a lot of console gamers will pass on this as well.

    #17 11 months ago
  18. TheBlackHole


    Of course you can, but that’s hardly the point. If everyone’s logic was like that then nobody would buy consoles, but over 200 million did last gen, so your sarcasm is woefully misplaced. Also, if you can find me a laptop that runs next gen games for less than the price of a PS4, plus does so while closed (in a TV cabinet), then be my guest.

    You CAN build your own PC, install SteamOS and essentially build your own Steambox at the price YOU want, but that was ALWAYS the intention. These units are aimed at the market who don’t build their own PCs, and would rather pay a premium to have them ready made. Kinda like the majority of PC sales. There’s a reason that ready-made PC distributors are bigger than parts sellers. They are simply much more popular.

    Do you really think that 70 million people would have bought an Xbox360 if they had to build it themselves?

    I can’t believe so many people need this spelling out to them.

    #18 11 months ago
  19. TD_Monstrous69

    Am a bit late to the party on this sentiment, but isn’t this kind of self-defeating of the purpose of PC gaming?

    #19 11 months ago
  20. TheBlackHole


    Engineer 1: Let’s design an operating system for gaming. It will be awesome. We can revolutionise PC gaming by making it open…

    Engineer 2: …custom Linux

    Engineer 1: …fuck yeah, Linux! And it will be open, moddable, and we won’t even build the hardware.

    Engineer 2: Oh my god… O. E. M.

    Engineer 1: Precisely! We’ll let the hardware manufacturers foot the bill, and we’ll build the controller, so that there is still a sense of unity and consistency within the platform.

    Engineer 2: But won’t that just mean that they’ll be selling PCs with our OS instead of Windows?

    Engineer 1: Exactly. Your point being?

    Engineer 2: But won’t that confuse people who already game on PCs?

    Engineer 1: No, they are a smart bunch. Plus, this is really to grab a share of the console market, where people are more comfortable with plug-and-play devices that don’t require any technical knowledge.

    Engineer 2: Right, but they can still benefit from our Steam features, like Workshop, and our awesome sales and discounts?

    Engineer 1: Now you’re getting it. And we will allow the OEMs to decide whether their devices are customisable or not, because y’know, choice.

    Engineer 2: It sounds so… obvious.

    Engineer 1: It can’t go wrong. There is NO WAY anyone cannot see this as anything but genius.

    Engineer 2: But what if people who already game on PC think we’re trying to sell these ‘Steamboxes’ to them, when they already own a gaming PC?

    Engineer 1: Nobody is that stupid. However, just in case they are, we’ll make sure that every single piece of PR we put out will be talking about how we are trying to bring the world of high-end PC gaming into the more casual, couch and TV living-room experience.

    Engineer 2: Of course. It’s all so… perfect.

    #20 11 months ago
  21. Arcnail

    @18 Sorry, I didn’t need it ‘spelling out to me’ ;)

    Hey, I thought it was an ok idea when it came out. But after seeing the prices of some of these things, and now seeing this article, I just don’t get why people will bother with it.

    Sure there will be some I guess that pay a premium to have a Steam box in their livingroom. Otherwise though, I’ve yet to see a Steam box that provides any value to make sense for a regular consumer to buy one over a next gen, or PC.

    Link away if you got one.

    #21 11 months ago
  22. TheBlackHole


    “I’ve yet to see a Steam box that provides any value to make sense for a regular consumer to buy one over a next gen, or PC.”

    I’m not suggesting they do… yet.

    However, I know as a gamer that I will save hundreds if not thousands on games over the next decade by having Steam rather than paying retail for console games. That in itself could justify me spending a little more than planned on a Steambox.

    Or, if I didn’t see the value, I’d buy a console or PC, like you said.

    #22 11 months ago
  23. Cobra951

    Wow. How dumb is that? The worst of both worlds–high price, the need to upgrade yearly AND locked, disposable hardware. Just . . . wow.

    #23 11 months ago
  24. Panthro


    You wont NEED to upgrade yearly, they are just releasing a new one yearly.

    Just like hardware companied release a new GPU every 1-2 years, no one NEEDS to upgrade to them if you bought the last years but if you want you can.

    #24 11 months ago
  25. Knyte

    Let me translate:

    “We don’t care what you think, or what you want. We’re Dell, and we can do whatever we want., And, thanks to every giant corporation buying our overpriced servers and desktops, we will never go away.”

    #25 11 months ago

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