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Alienware remodels its Steam Machine with Windows
Alienware remodels its Steam Machine with Windows
June 11, 2014 | By Mike Rose

June 11, 2014 | By Mike Rose
Comments
    16 comments
More: Console/PC, Business/Marketing



Newsbrief: Earlier this year, some third-party Steam Machine manufacturers expressed concern about the future of the movement. Now, following the delay of the Steam Machine launch, one such manufacturer has refitted its machine with Windows instead.

Alienware's Frank Azor said last month that building hardware that sports SteamOS will lead to "the least profitable system we ever sell." At E3 this week, the company revealed that the Alienware Alpha, originally kitted out with SteamOS, will now launch as a Windows console.

This is in response to Valve saying that Steam Machines won't be ready to launch until 2015. Alienware's Azor told Venturebeat that the Alpha will launch during the holiday season as Windows-based hardware, and a SteamOS version will later be offered once Valve is finally ready.


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Comments


Andreas Ahlborn
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Not a good start for SteamOS at all.

The top dog seemed already pissed at Valve and has now officialy joined the dark side.

Andrew Syfret
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As much as I love Valve, their "when it's ready" scheduling just isn't going to work in a business relationship if they want to be someone's primary focus. I hope they can figure out a way to deal with this as SteamOS was looking to be one of the best thing to happen to PC gaming in a while.

Dane MacMahon
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Honest question: why is it such a great thing?

Windows is so core to what PC gaming is I can't imagine tossing it aside unless Microsoft go full nutty and close the OS down, which they will surely never do. Even if SteamOS is awesome you're talking about throwing away 30+ years of PC gaming in order to switch to it, or else you would need Windows anyway. Not a very solid solution.

In short I don't get it.

Stewart Trezise
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Agreed. I can't really see how one would gain anything by using SteamOS instead of just running Steam on the box through Windows. It seems the push is primarily rooted in ideology.

Will only games that support Linux run on SteamOS? I know it's probably a stupid question, but it's an important one to me.

Dane MacMahon
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Yes, only Linux games.

Terry Matthes
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Why would anyone buy an Alienware steambox? How is it any different than a PC at this point. I mean this literally. Does anyone know why it's different? Why Alienware would even waste their time doing this is beyond me. I've had a bias against Alienware since Dell acquired them back in 2006. Consequently that's also when both the price and quality went downhill.

I don't want to buy a PC (essentially) built from the ground up for Windows, only try try and put a completely different OS on it a year or two later.

Kevin Fishburne
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I'm wondering why anyone would buy an Alienware -anything-. The last time I checked out their stuff several years ago it was overpriced and appeared marketed toward people who like glowing case fans and used to "hack" using AOL.

In the end what it'll come down to is how many Steam games that people actually care about will run on on Linux. If it's most of them then SteamOS will have an advantage unless Microsoft deploys their usual tactic of subsidizing their OS costs to PC vendors. Without the difference in price due to using a free OS, there is no advantage (other than philosophical) in using SteamOS versus the Windows Steam client.

Perhaps Valve should be concentrating their efforts on Wine development so that Windows-only games need not be ported at all. Cut off the head of the snake; don't ask the studios behind every game ever made to port them to Linux.

Terry Matthes
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" Without the difference in price due to using a free OS, there is no advantage (other than philosophical) in using SteamOS versus the Windows Steam client."

This is how I feel as well.

Mike Kasprzak
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I'm glad they're still moving ahead despite Valve. When my NVidia powered workstation PC died earlier this year, I decided I'd just wait for this. I'm tired of large bulky PCs. If they can truly meet the goal of the $500'ish price point (i.e. competitive with consoles), I'd be happy to buy a new one every few years as needed. I never need top-of-the-line GPUs. Few people do. A very small subset of our consumers even have these high end GPUs.

After really liking the freebie Brix Pro Steam Machine from SDD, I bought myself a tiny Brix PC a month back to fill in for my workstation. It's been wonderful, with a good enough CPU, half the height of the Brix Pro, and amazingly is dead silent (unlike the Brix Pro). I never want to go back.

Most people seem to have mistaken the Steam Machine revolution as some sort gaming console. Way it should be thought of is an effort towards the miniaturization of desktop gaming PCs. There is no reason a gaming PC needs to be a monstrously large rig. (Origin PC, you got it all wrong)

Cordero W
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The irony.

Mike Griffin
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This isn't a big deal. It's funny how people look at a platform and call it an all-or-nothing single OS machine.

Let's inject this fact: SteamOS fully supports dual-booting and even has a Windows installer, plus handy partition assigning.

So if one of these Alienware Windows PC 'consoles' impresses you, and you shell out for one, you'll still be able to install SteamOS on it anyway.

Kind of like any Windows PC (that meets SteamOS min spec), it's ready to be a Steam Machine anyway.
Just make sure your drive situation makes sense, and dual-boot for the win.

You know you'll want a Windows install on your Steam Machine regardless, to have an extra Windows device handy. That's my preference anyway.

On the other hand, if it's your intention to dual boot one of the Alienware units but ultimately focus on SteamOS, waiting until 2015 when SteamOS gets out of beta might be wise -- to shop more sophisticated devices at the time, with better configurations.

Andreas Ahlborn
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Dual Boot is in imo the death to the whole SteamOS Concept. ValveGabe clearly stated that they think MS is evil personified and they are making SteamOS with the agenda to "convert" Windows Gamers.

Until this day I don`t understand the reasoning behind all this. Look where the fact that the WiiU has no comsiderable marketshare left its attractiveness for third Party developers.
PC itself is market that is considerably smaller than any of the the big consoles.

Good Luck convincing Ubisoft, EA and the graphics Hardware to cater to a Linuxmarket that will surely be under 5%.

Dane MacMahon
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"PC itself is market that is considerably smaller than any of the the big consoles."

Uhhh... no.

Andreas Ahlborn
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http://www.newzoo.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/07/Global_Games_Rep
ort_Infographic_v1_tn.png

Mike Griffin
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"Dual Boot is in imo the death to the whole SteamOS Concept. ValveGabe clearly stated that they think MS is evil personified and they are making SteamOS with the agenda to "convert" Windows Gamers."

I'd say that having SteamOS loaded on the same computer as Windows (and being able to install it from Windows) is one of the better ways to begin converting folks - without asking people to 'give up' something right away.

Meanwhile, Valve enjoys Steam use from the player in both OS environs, while still propagating their OS to a new player (growing its installed user base).

I'm not saying dual-booters represent any sort of crucial demographic Valve is depending on, but it was obviously a smart move on their part to add the option to the SteamOS beta, and to keep working on it.

Chris Moeller
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Bad PR to announce it so early before it's ready. Make consumers salivate for trying out steamOS, and forget about it.

SteamOS could be a solid competitor to Windows, for people who primarily use their PC for gaming (or want to learn how to install a game and are currently using a console, if they are in the same price range).

Wasn't the whole reason behind SteamOS that Windows was going to start using their own "app store" built into the OS, and require every game installed to be "verified by windows"? Sort of like "Internet explorer" + charging developers to release on the platform.

If it does end up fully coming out, it will be exciting to see how it fares among PC gamers and converted console gamers.


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