Alienware Plans to Release New Steam Machine Every Year

Isn't one of the points of having a Steam Machine the ability to upgrade the device when needed? That doesn't seem to be the case with Dell-owned Alienware who will instead release a new model each year. Switching out the CPU or graphics card seems to be out of the question.

"There will be some configuration options when you purchase it, maybe you can get a faster CPU, maybe some more memory something like that," said Frank Azor, Alienware's General Manager. "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."

Valve formally introduced Steam Machines earlier this month during CES 2014, revealing a list of 14 partners that will produce a wide range of Steam Machine form factors including palm-sized to full-blown gaming monsters with price tags up in the $2,000s. As seen over the last several weeks, Alienware's model will be similar in shape and price to Microsoft's new Xbox One.

"Lifecycle wise, consoles update every five, six, seven years, we will be updating our Steam Machines every year," Azor said in an interview.

Last week, Alienware announced that its first-generation Steam Machine will launch in September. We don't really know anything about the specs save for it's using an Intel "Haswell" processor and a Nvidia GPU. Pictures reveal two USB 2.0 ports on the front, two more on the back as well as HDMI output and an Ethernet port, and two exhaust vents.

"There will be no customization options, you can't really update it," he said. "The platform will continue to evolve as the games become more resource intensive."

Hardware refreshes each year may be out of the question for many gamers, but at least Alienware isn't waiting for half a decade to release a new unit. Then again, it could be cheaper to just purchase a new Steam Machine rather than forking out the same amount on a new processor and graphics card. We'll have a better picture once we get more information about what's inside the Alienware Steam Machine later on.

Read about all the latest Steam Machines here.

  • vinhn
    So what's the point of this unless? Even at 500$, it would be a waste where iBuypower offers the same price with upgrade ability.
  • itsnotmeitsyou
    uhh. wut?
  • antilycus
    Alienware learned nothing from OUYA's faults apparently.
  • internetlad
    They're giving me the chance to get bent over a table every single year?! GREAT!
  • slyu9213
    Well have fun wasting money on so many revisions. Steam Machines won't get great sales until they sell somewhat at a loss. Using resources to make new configurations and updates every year will be a waste of money compared to the people who buy it. Alienware needs to know there are other Steam Machine vendors that others may like more.
  • rad666
    Let's face it, there are still a lot of console peasants out there that believe the "you must upgrade your gaming PC every year" lie. In the face of that farce, this isn't surprising.

    "Proud member of the PC gaming Master Race since...ever."
  • ragenalien
    The specifically state the x51 will be a steam machine as well. And is perfectly up-gradable. With this pc using laptop parts it's no surprise that it can't be upgraded. The benefit is that they can make something much smaller than the x51.
  • edogawa
    That makes no sense. A processor, memory kit, motherboard, power supply will all last three to five years without any issues as long as hardware does not fail. How ridiculous if you cannot upgrade a graphics card or add or update hard drives.That is a waste of resources to now allow upgrades.
  • airplanegeek
    This is such a stupid decision. Who would want to buy an entire new machines every year?
  • Lee-m
    I dont think they intend for you to upgrade to a new steam box every year (tho im sure they would like it if you would).
    I think the point is to keep a continual rolling update each year on the machine. Its not going to be a like a console where the hardware is locked for 6 years.

    Its just so ppl buying a steam box in say, year 3 dont have the same hardware as folks from year 1, because that would suck. Its still gonna last you 4-5 years from the date you buy it.

    The real issue is, no one is going to buy one, until steam os can play most of steams back catalog of games. Which will be never. So its a fail lol