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Alienware Alpha Available for Pre-Purchase, UI Detailed

By - Source: Tom's Hardware US | B 13 comments

Alienware’s take on the a home entertainment console, the Alienware Alpha, is slated to launch in November. For those looking to buy one as soon as it hits shelves, the company has announced that the Alpha will be available for pre-purchase at Alienware.com, Dell.com, Amazon, and Walmart starting today, August 12, at 9:00 AM CST.

The basic Alpha, which packs an i3 Haswell processor, 4 GB of RAM, a custom Maxwell GPU, and a 500 GB hard drive, will go for $549 (and includes a Xbox 360 controller), but users will have the option to up their Alpha to a Core i7 Haswell processor, 8 GB of RAM, and 1 TB of storage.

Alienware is pulling out all the stops to entice gamers. The company’s revealed a little more about the Alpha’s UI design. Though it can run in either desktop or console mode, it’s obvious from the Alpha’s large, flat, minimalist design that it was made with a controller in mind. The Alpha allows the user to easily customize its look to their liking.

The Alpha was Alienware’s take on the Steam Machine, which is quite obvious considering that it’s built around running games off of Steam’s Big Picture Mode. Even though Valve stated that the Steam Machine program will be delayed until 2015, the Alpha has gotten over those hurdles.

Alienware has also announced that the Alpha will be coming bundled with software. Currently, the company has named Payday 2, Magicka, Magicka: Dungeons and Daemons DLC, and Gauntlet Helm with more to come. Considering the Alpha’s specs and its bundled controller and software, $549 isn’t a steep price to pay to game, especially when you're comparing it to the PS4 and the Xbox One.

Our pals at Tom's Guide got up close and personal with an early version of the Alienware Alpha at CES this year. Hit it here for a hands-on walkthrough. 

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  • 0 Hide
    Wong Dong , August 12, 2014 7:17 AM
    I wonder how well this will hold up against the consoles?
  • 0 Hide
    Merry_Blind , August 12, 2014 7:47 AM
    Sounds good and all, and the UI looks quite nice just from that picture, however the problem is that I doubt it will offer the same performance as a PS4, which it will inevitably be compared to. The price is fair, but it's still more expensive than a PS4/X1, for worse performance in most titles.
    You don't have to convince me about PC gaming, I know you can do more with a PC vs. a console, etc., but still, I think my point will hurt those SteamBoxes quite hard.
  • 5 Hide
    xenol , August 12, 2014 8:52 AM
    You can use this as a console sure, but you can also use it as a regular computer. That alone adds a lot of value to the system I think.
  • Display all 13 comments.
  • 1 Hide
    MrGulio , August 12, 2014 9:22 AM
    Quote:
    I wonder how well this will hold up against the consoles?


    Sales-wise it will not even be close as this won't have a retail presence. Performance-wise I would think it could do well as the consoles are pretty much locked to 30fps, this hardware could easily keep pace.
  • 0 Hide
    wysiwygbill , August 12, 2014 2:24 PM
    So it'll have a custom Maxwell, right? How much power that has will obviously make a big difference.
  • 1 Hide
    jasonelmore , August 12, 2014 7:17 PM
    Dual HDMI. for Dual screens or will it do something similar to what xbox one does and integrate TV?
  • 0 Hide
    Shawn Primus , August 12, 2014 7:57 PM
    More here - http://www.dell.com/us/p/alienware-alpha-steam-machine/pd?c=us&l=en&s=dhs
  • 0 Hide
    Shawn Primus , August 12, 2014 7:58 PM
    Per Dell's website, 1 is HDMI-in and 1 is HDMI-out.
  • 0 Hide
    virtualban , August 13, 2014 4:33 AM
    Why the stretched picture? Or is it an oval shaped charge plug?
  • 1 Hide
    Ninjawithagun , August 13, 2014 4:59 AM
    Uh, where are the specs for the graphics card?? This will ultimately determine whether or not the price of entry is worth it versus building your own Steam Box...
  • 1 Hide
    urbanman2004 , August 15, 2014 5:11 PM
    More specs on the GPU would be nice. That will determine if this device is worthwhile. OAN: Kind of disappointed Valve delayed the Steam OS program.
  • 0 Hide
    thequn , September 10, 2014 12:04 AM
    interesting i dont think this wil g over well in the usa market but in foreign markets where the cost of building a computer is more for each picse. like the Philippines where each component in a computer cost 50-100 dollars more.
  • 0 Hide
    Zachary Yeager , September 20, 2014 6:13 AM
    Im personally floored by this concept, an upgradable set top console. I've allready preordered the $899 model. I realize its Alienware, I realize they havent had the best track record. But as far as specs go i dont see why the top tier cant run BF4, or even an alpha release like Kerbal Space Program in full 1080p or even higher.