It feels as though we’ve been talking about Valve’s Steam Machine consoles for ages, there’s finally a light at the end of the tunnel. After announcing in May 2014 that official Steam Machines would be delayed until 2015, Valve today announced that customers can begin pre-ordering Steam Machines today, and that the first deliveries will occur on October 16. The official launch, however, will take place nearly one month later on November 10.
The first two hardware partners to offer Steam Machines — Alienware and Cyberpower — should come as no surprise to anyone that keeps even a half-open eye on the gaming scene. As we’ve previously discussed, all Steam Machines run SteamOS, which is Valve’s home-brewed operating based on Linux. Given its roots, games that have been built specifically with Linux support in mind can run natively on the consoles. According to Valve, over 1,000 games will available for “native play” at launch.
In addition, Steam Machines have the ability to play all purchased Steam games when they are streamed via a well-spec’d Windows or Mac computer. Valve is targeting buttery smooth 60fps at 1080p for streamed games. If that sounds familiar, it’s because the $50 Steam Link offers the same capability (minus Linux native play of course).
The Steam Machines from Alienware and Cyberpower will start at $449 (each will include one wireless Steam Controller in the box) and will ramp up quickly from there. The base Alienware Steam Machine includes a dual-core Intel Core i3 processor (4130T), NVIDIA GeForce GTX GPU with 2GB of GDDR5 memory, 4GB of DDR3 memory, and a 500GB 7200RPM HDD. The range-topping model will drain an additional $300 from your wallet, but brings with it a quad-core Intel Core i7 processor (4765T) 8GB of RAM, and a 1TB 7200RPM HDD.
"We have collaborated for years with Valve and GameStop to develop a platform with the best content, the best performance, and the best value compared to anything else on the market," said Frank Azor, general manager of Alienware and XPS, Dell. "It's been a blast playing on our Alienware Steam Machines with our friends and family over recent months; it's really exciting to finally share that experience with our community of gamers."
GameStop, EB Games, and Micromania are all taking pre-orders for Steam Hardware (Steam Controller, Steam Link, Steam Machine) today. However, for a limited time, Valve and GameStop are taking pre-orders for the Alienware Steam Machine for delivery by October 16.
Now if only we could get some info on Half-Life 3…