Last year has been a great year for Valve who unveiled Steam Machine console concept and prototype, SteamOS beta and the Steam Controller. This year, Valve is making real leaps and bounds towards providing a real consumer product and most likely a brand new market niche.
Valve Steam Machine’s big moment arrived atop the Palms Casino at CES 2014. Valve Co-Founder Gabe Newell at an intimate press event in CES unveiled 13 hardware manufacturers that are building their very own Steam Machines.
The initial lineup of partners includes Alienware, Alternate, Cyberpower PC, Digital Storm, Falcon Northwest, Gigabyte, iBuyPower, Maingear, Materiel.net, Next Spa, Origin PC, Scan, Webhallen and Zotac. Actually that list is likely that other manufacturers and third parties join to begin distributing their machines from the second half of 2014, although some hope that after this initial period of testing these releases even get ahead.
The output, at least according to Newell, is scheduled for late 2014. There’s something for everyone’s taste–it starts from the entry-level machines like Zotac, PC CyberPower and iBuyPower, which are for about $500 and promise an Intel Core i5 processor, mid-level graphics card and 8GB of RAM. At around $1500, there are versions of Alternate and Webhallen that mountain 16GB of RAM, 1TB of hard drives and i7 processors. For those who want a real war machine, Digital Storm and Falcon Northwest have models that reach up to $6,000.
“The first generation Steam Machines offers something for every gamer, which is a critical part of Steam Extending into the living room,” said Gabe Newell of Valve. “With over 3,000 games and more than 65 million gamers on Steam, it’s important to offer gamers a variety of Steam Machines did allow them to select what makes the most sense for them.”
The Steam Machines are an alternative to the game consoles and the Windows gaming PC, which Valve worries are becoming increasingly closed systems.
It is no surprise that Alienware’s offering is one of the most visually striking, not to mention one of the most compact gaming rigs available from the company. Alienware is to release two SteamOS-based boxes in 2014 – The Alienware Steam Machine adopts a console-like shape, while the Alienware X51 desktop PC will be available as a Steam Machine. Unfortunately, rates and characteristics of this Steam Machine are still unknown. According to IGN reports, the steam machine will rely on Intel CPUs and NVIDIA GPUs.
The Alternate Steam Machine will be powered by an Intel Core i5 4570, Gigabyte GTX 760 graphics card, 16 GB of RAM and a 1TB SSHD. The sale price will be $ 1,399.
This Steam Machine, whose prices start at $ 499, will be available in two configurations: AMD processor, AMD Radeon graphics card R9 270, 8 GB of RAM and 500 GB of HDD. The second configuration would be Intel Core i5, NVIDIA GTX 760 Graphics Card, 8 GB of RAM and 500 GB HDD.
Digital Storm – Bolt II
The Bolt II from Digital Storm comes with a price tag over $2,000. The higher asking price means the PC comes with both SteamOS and Windows to maximize offerings, and is clearly built with the future in mind – specifically, 4K gaming. Bolt II, which can be used with both SteamOS that with Windows, will be powered by an Intel Core i7 4470k, a GTX 780 Ti graphics card, 16 GB of RAM and a 1TB HDD which is accompanied by a 120 GB SSD .
Falcon Northwest – Tiki
Falcon Northwest has focused on a Steam Machine from the very high cost – the price will vary between $1,799 and $6,000. This incredible machine will rely on a NVIDIA GeForce GTX Titan graphics card, 8/16 GB of RAM and storage space to 6TB or higher. The choice of CPU will fall on the user.
Gigabyte – Brix Pro
The Brix Pro will have Intel Core i7-4770R, an Intel Pro 5200 Iris graphics card, 8 GB of RAM (2 banks of 4 GB) and 1TB HDD.
The characteristics of this Steam Machine are not completely known. At the moment it will mount a Quad Core AMD or Intel processor, 8 GB of RAM and a 500 GB HDD or higher. The price is expected to start from $499. The company has revealed that they had hoped to also reveal a second Steam Machine shipping with Oculus Rift integration.
The Material.net Steam Machine is equipped with an Intel Core i5 4440, a MSI GeForce GTX 760 OC graphics card, 8 GB of RAM and a 1TB SSHD.
Under the hood, this Steam Machine is powered by an Intel Core i5 processor, NVIDIA GT 760 graphics card, 8 GB of RAM and a 1 TB hard drive.
Origin PC – Chronos
If you are used to set the maximum video game graphics Steam Machine then this might be for you. Chronos mounts an Intel Core i7 4770k (3.9 – 4.6 GHz) and two NVIDIA GeForce GTX Titan each with 6 GB of dedicated memory.
Scan – NC10
This elegant Steam Machine is equipped with an Intel Core i3 4000M processor, a NVIDIA GeForce GTX 765m, 8GB of RAM and a 500GB HDD.
Webhallen is one of the costliest machine in the Valve family of partners. Its interior will have an Intel Core i7 47771, a NVIDIA GTX 780, 16 GB of RAM and a 1TB SSHD. The price of all this will start from $1499.
The characteristics of the latter Steam Machine are not yet known, they speak of an Intel processor and an NVIDIA GeForce graphics card.
The company doesn’t reveal the price tag for this Steam machine, but it will come with 3.1GHz AMD A8-5575M processor, Radeon R9 M275X graphic chips, up to 16GB of DDR3L RAM and support for 256 GB SSD.