Alienware Ditching SteamOS for WIndows, At Least for Now

Alienware Ditching SteamOS for WIndows, At Least for Now

The company isn't going to wait for Valve's OS to be ready.

Earlier this year, the news was flooded with announcements of Steam Machines from various manufacturers. The premise is that these diminutive PCs would sit in the living room and run Valve's custom Linux-based operating system and work with the currently-prototyped Steam controller. Now that Steam OS has been consumed into Valve-Time and delayed until 2015, most of these Steam Machines are left in limbo. Instead of waiting, Alienware will still ship its machine in time for the holiday buying season by using Windows and an Xbox 360 controller instead.

Dubbed "Alpha", the PC still qualifies as a Steam Machine, and users can load Steam onto it (even the SteamOS beta, if they dare), but it will come equipped with Windows 8.1 instead. To make the machine usable in the living room, it's shipping with its own homebrewed graphical user interface, which Alienware hasn't revealed yet. Shipping later this year, the $549 price tag was a bit more than anticipated, and presumably the licensing costs of Windows play a part in that.

The Alpha will ship with an Intel Core i3 Haswell CPU, 4GB of DDR3 memory, a 500GB hard drive, and a custom-built NVIDIA GPU with 2GB of dedicated memory. It'll also support dual-band 802.11ac WiFi, Bluetooth 4.0, 4K support, and an HDMI pass-through. Of course, those are just the base specs, and users can custom-configure them much higher if they have the cash.

Even with the delay, it seems that Alienware isn't too upset. As executive director Frank Azor told Venture Beat, "I appreciate [Valve's] fortitude in delaying the product until it is perfect. How many times do we see companies come out with something that is half-baked and get it right by version two or three. We view this as excellent news, not bad news."

Source: Venture Beat

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If you are on a volume licensing deal, Windows 8 cost $20 a pop. The higher than anticipated cost comes from a custom gpu and UI. I have built a HTPC at lower price in a box of roughly the same size. The big differences between my machine and alienwares is 250GB SSD giving the space for a low profile gpu.

So they're selling a Steam Machine without SteamOS OR the Steam controller.

....Ooookayyyy.

There's a joke about Steam's "Early Access" program in here somewhere.

Aeshi:
There's a joke about Steam's "Early Access" program in here somewhere.

I found this particular comment hilarious:

How many times do we see companies come out with something that is half-baked and get it right by version two or three.

That and calling it the Alienware Alpha. Maybe we should wait until after Beta? :)

IanDavis:

The Alpha will ship with an Intel Core i3 Haswell CPU, 4GB of DDR3 memory, a 500GB hard drive, and a custom-built NVIDIA GPU with 2GB of dedicated memory.

For those that don't know what all this means: Those PS4s and Xbox Ones you've been considering are way better.

you really shouldn't rely in valve releasing things on time.
it's called valve time for a reason.

IanDavis:
the $549 price tag was a bit more than anticipated, and presumably the licensing costs of Windows play a part in that.

The Alpha will ship with an Intel Core i3 Haswell CPU, 4GB of DDR3 memory, a 500GB hard drive, and a custom-built NVIDIA GPU with 2GB of dedicated memory. It'll also support dual-band 802.11ac WiFi, Bluetooth 4.0, 4K support, and an HDMI pass-through. Of course, those are just the base specs, and users can custom-configure them much higher if they have the cash.

$549 for specs like that? I know Alienware like to rip people off but seriously I have enough faith in humanity that no one that stupid exists that would pay that for something that awful.

KaZuYa:

IanDavis:
the $549 price tag was a bit more than anticipated, and presumably the licensing costs of Windows play a part in that.

The Alpha will ship with an Intel Core i3 Haswell CPU, 4GB of DDR3 memory, a 500GB hard drive, and a custom-built NVIDIA GPU with 2GB of dedicated memory. It'll also support dual-band 802.11ac WiFi, Bluetooth 4.0, 4K support, and an HDMI pass-through. Of course, those are just the base specs, and users can custom-configure them much higher if they have the cash.

$549 for specs like that? I know Alienware like to rip people off but seriously I have enough faith in humanity that no one that stupid exists that would pay that for something that awful.

Sad thing is a lot of people, even gamers, will see the alienware logo and just buy it on faith. I still hope this device fails miserably, 550 for specs like that is practically theft.

Its sad how much Alienware trusts its ability to take old hardware, mark it up 100% and think people will buy it. its even sadder that people actually buy it. how they managed to costum buid a PC for 550 thats worse than a console is beyond me. you really had to try that didnt you?

walrusaurus:

550 for specs like that is practically theft.

well, Alienware is doing what it has always done.

I'm stumped on why Alienware is using Windows 8.... Prior to Valve actually announcing Steam OS Alienware was already declaring they had made a Steam Box that ran on Ubuntu. Would Steam OS conflict with Ubuntu if Alienware did that instead?

Bad show from Valve in letting down their associates in this whole shebang. Well aware its all just branding, but it does force the companies to make the hard decision of selling now like Alienware and looking like idiots...or look total idiots and wait on selling until whatever year Valve decides it can get its arse to do what it needs to do (will 2033 sound good?).

Lesson to learn is to not put any stock in Valves ability to hold their side of the deal, instead they should have let them bring out their controller and OS first, and than bring out a "Steam Machine".

Also well done on Valve for managing to effectively cripple whatever pathetic momentum they had if all those "Steam Machines" end up released without what they were promised to have.

Sooo, its a bog standard, bottom of the shelf office PC (like the ones see on the back of a monitor at a receptionist desk), with an anonymous GPU that will probabaly be a whatever the GTX750s graphics chip is called on a smaller PCB?

Thats actualy even less exciting than the consoles =/

Cant even buy one with freeDOS on it so if you want your steam box from Dell Alienware you have to buy a completely redundant windows licence. Fun.

Nothing much lost though. Assembling something yourself usualy yields a better machine and more braggin rights for the same money.

So, they're releasing a small form factor PC with Win 8 preloaded and bundling a controller. A small form factor PC with less than idea hardware for the $550 price tag, might I add. It's Alienware practice as usual. "4K support" Hehe. Yeah your desktop can be 4K, but good luck with games.

Too bad Valve got all these other companies hyped up on the "Steam Box" thing. Because the only products to hit the market with that name have been overpriced OEM SFF PCs.

 

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