When Dell released the Alienware X51 slim form-factor gaming desktop two years ago it was obviously aimed at gamers who wanted a PC for their living room or man cave. This made Alienware a prime suspect when Valve announced it was seeking partners for its upcoming hardware project, and now that suspicion has transformed into a reality.
Alienware’s new Steam Machine is an intriguing, but also ambiguous, piece of kit. The company has a well-earned reputation for eye-catching hardware design, and the new box’s glossy black finish with LED accents certainly delivers what we’ve come to expect from the brand.
Hardware specifications haven’t been announced, however, and even the size of the system is not entirely clear. Alienware’s press release only states the desktop offers an “incredibly small footprint” and provides “the best balance between size and performance.”
Firm details may be few because Dell hasn’t decided. The system isn’t scheduled for release until late 2014, and nearly a year between announcement and release is a long time. The exact hardware planned for the company’s Steam Machine probably won’t be finalized until a few months before it hits store shelves.
The X51 will also receive the Steam Machine treatment, though it will likely consist of little more than an option to have Steam OS installed from the factory. This would not be unusual for the company; Dell has provided the option to install Linux from the factory in the past, and has a long history of pre-installing Steam software on it’s gaming systems.
While some form of new information is nice, the Alienware Steam Machine merely piques our interest in new details rather than satisfying it. We’ll eagerly await more concrete information, but it may be a long wait.