Of course gaming PC giant Alienware is making their own Steam Machine, but did you know they’re making a new one every year? The first release for the new PC/console hybrid will be in September 2014. There will be a couple different models at different price points. We don’t know anything about specs, but so far we know that it will use an Intel Haswell processor and a NVIDIA graphics card. So why will Alienware be making a new Steam Machine every year?
The reason is because PC game demands evolve all the time. If you don’t spend big bucks up front on your gaming PC, you might be replacing parts on a yearly basis just to play games on the highest settings. Alienware plans on keeping their Steam Machine in the same price range as an Xbox One and Playstation 4. In order to compete with current gen consoles, they’ll have to keep the price of production down. So it looks like the first generation Steam Machine won’t hold up to game specifications after about a year, which will force consumers to buy brand new Machines on a yearly basis.
So why not replace parts in your Steam Machine? You really can’t. The Alienware Steam Machine will be built like a gaming console, not a PC, so you won’t be able to easily swap out parts. Not only that, but it’s only 8×3 inches, which is far smaller than current gen consoles. It’s just not made to be tinkered with. Alienware says they’re not discouraging people from modding their Steam Machines, but I wonder what it would take to void a warranty.
The Xbox One and Playstation 4 will survive five years, at the very least. Making an investment on a good gaming PC can last about as long. Alienware talks about their Steam Machine’s one year life expectancy like it’s a good thing.