E3 2014: A Close Encounter with Alienware's Alpha PC Gaming Console [Video]

Paul Lilly

It looks like a Steam Machine but runs Windows

Valve didn't do its hardware partners any favors by delaying the availability of its in-house developed Steam Controller, which by extension means everyone else has to push back the launch of their respective Steam Machine systems until next year. Bummer, right? Well, yes, but Alienware isn't letting the delay mess up its mojo. Instead, Alienware took its Steam Machine design and ran with a configuration that runs Windows , plus a custom 10-foot UI during boot for accessing music and movies. We took a closer look at the Alienware Alpha Console at E3.

The custom UI will also allow gamers to get directly into Steam Big Picture mode, a special mode in Steam that's intended for big screen HDTVs. So even though the Alpha Console is running Windows 8.1, Alienware's goal is to get gamers into Steam Big Picture mode and gaming as quickly as possible.

As we previously reported , the Alienware Alpha Console will ship with an Xbox 360 controller. The system will start at $549 and come with an Intel Core i3 processor, 4GB of RAM, 500GB hard drive, and a custom built Nvidia "Maxwell" graphics solution. For gamers with a bigger budget, they can upgrade parts for a higher end configuration.

Check out the video below for more information, including whether or not Alienware might make the Xbox 360 controller an optional add-on rather than a standard accessory:

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