Syber, a new division within the popular PC boutique CyberPowerPC, plans to reveal a Steam Machine lineup this week during the Game Developers Conference (GDC) 2015. These six "consoles" will be launched later this fall, three of which will be previewed during the show. These include the Steam Machine-Mini, the Steam Machine-Mercury prototype and a concept of the Steam Machine-Switch.
"Based on the feedback from gamers and stakeholders, we created a full range of Syber Steam Machine models to satisfy customers' needs for price and performance," said Tony Crisp, co-founder of Syber.
In addition to the three units to be shown this week, Syber's Steam Machine lineup also includes the $449 Steam Machine-E, which will feature a quad-core AMD processor and a Nvidia GeForce GTX GPU. There is also the $549 Steam Machine-P packed with Intel's Pentium G3258 processor clocked at 3.2 GHz and AMD's Radeon R9 270X GPU. Last but not least is the $999 Steam Machine-K, which includes an Intel Core i5-4690K and a Nvidia GeForce GTX 970 GPU.
But that's not all. Syber also plans to offer a limited edition Steam Machine-X, which will have a starting price of $1,399 and a unique "fire-orange" coloring.
"We created the Syber Steam Machines to give gamers more power and more customization than the standard video game consoles like Sony PlayStation, Nintendo Wii and Microsoft Xbox," said Eddie Vong, VP of Product at CyberPowerPC.
The actual hardware details are not available as of this writing. However, the Syber website currently shows the Vapor One, the Vapor Switch concept console and the Vapor Mini. For example, the Vapor Mini measures just 6 x 6 x 1.5 inches and includes Windows 8.1, two USB 3.0 ports and a microSD card on the front. On the back are two USB 3.0 ports, Ethernet, D-Sub, HDMI 1.4 and audio output ports. This machine is SteamOS ready.
The cheapest Vapor One console currently offered by Syber costs $549. This device includes an AMD Athlon X4 740 quad-core processor clocked at 3.2 GHz, a Nvidia GeForce GTX 750 GPU with 1 GB of GDDR5 VRAM, 500 GB of hard drive space, 4 GB of DDR3-1600 memory and a Logitech F710 wireless controller. The console also includes one USB 3.0 and two USB 2.0 ports on the front and two USB 3.0 and four USB 2.0 ports on the back.
So what's the difference between the upcoming Steam Machines and the current Vapor lineup?
"Vapor was more of an open platform PC gaming console line that runs Windows and Big Picture mode," a Syber rep told Tom's Hardware. "This new series are true Steam Machines."
The beauty of Steam Machines is that unlike the current gaming consoles on the market, customers aren't locked to a particular hardware set. All prices here are starting points, and customers can load up their Steam Machine with better or cheaper components. The end configuration depends on the customer's taste and overall budget.
For the uninitiated, Valve Software's Steam Machine initiative is targeting the console market, and aims to provide an open platform for developers and gamers alike. SteamOS, the company's operating system, is based on Linux and already has a library of over 1,000 gamers. Performance is expected to be high, given that SteamOS won't have all the background services eating up system resources as seen on Windows-based systems.
Later this fall, PC gamers will be able to purchase one of the six Steam Machines through the CyberPowerPC online store in the United States and in the United Kingdom.