Valve announced earlier this week that Dell is pre-installing the Steam service on its Alienware rigs including the Area-51 and Aurora desktops, and the M17x and M15x laptops. In addition to Steam, the rigs will also come pre-installed with a free copy of Valve's Portal PC game.
"With its automatic game updates, easy friend finding and the ability to play your Steam purchased games on any PC, Valve has helped simplify PC Gaming to make it more enjoyable." says Frank Azor, Senior Manager of Product Planning for Dell's Gaming Group. "It's for these reasons; we selected Steam to compliment the Alienware experience."
It's not uncommon to see pre-install game services on name-brand laptops and notebooks. HP offers a pre-installed PC games console that provides demos of popular titles from Atari, Popcap, and WildTangent Studios. The HP Games PC Console is currently available on Pavilion, Compaq Presario, and Media Center desktop PCs.
Still, Valve's presence on Alienware products may spark more debate from other publishers. Recently Randy Pitchford slammed Valve, saying he didn't trust the company, and went so far as to saying that it would be dangerous to the rest of the industry "to allow Valve to win." Other digital services have banned games on their virtual store shelves for embedding Steam within the software.
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