Over the last few years Valve has been partnering with various developers like Alienware to bring Steam to the living room. The wait is nearing its end as Valve has released details on the first wave of Steam Machines, or computers designed for playing PC games on your big screen TV from the couch.
Recently a listing of Steam Machines was added to the Hardware page of the Steam Store; multiple models are scheduled to hit the market this November. Each Steam Machine will use SteamOS, a Linux-based operating system, and comes with the new Steam Controller, which has two track pads and an analog stick.
Valve lists specs for 15 models and their respective prices. The SBX by iBuyPower, pictured above, was shown off at E3 2014 and is the cheapest Steam Machine going for $460 USD. The SBX is small and sleek but also features durability through steel frame construction. The Alienware Steam Machine is similarly at the lower end of the budget for $480 USD, and boasts NVIDIA graphics and Intel Core processors.
Perched on the other end of the budget is the Falcon Northwest Tiki Steam Machine, priced anywhere upwards from $2,000 to $5,000 USD. It has been described by Forbes as “The Perfect PC” because it is an upgradable, compact platform that uses the fastest graphics cards and quad-core processors.
The broad range of selection is part of Valve’s initiative to give consumers choice. As most gamers know, consoles typically are limited in selection and models largely only differ in hard drive size. This is just one reason the “PC master race” groupies can get behind Valve’s PC-like approach to living room gaming, which will undoubtedly have an impact on console titans Sony, Microsoft, and Nintendo.