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Valve E3 2014 – Alienware Steam Box Revealed

We’ve been talking about Steam boxes for a while now, and while Valve has delayed the Steam Box Controller until 2015, there are a lot more exciting things coming from Steam and Valve in the meantime.

For example, this fantastic Alienware Alpha Steam Box, which was seen the other day at E3 2014. The first thing that catches your eye will most likely be the external features of the box itself, the slim design, the built in LEDs.

But what’s more interesting is the internals, which are very exclusive.

The Alienware Alpha includes a preinstalled copy of Windows 8.1 and comes with an Xbox 360 controller, a stopgap until the Steam Controller arrives, no doubt. Even the most basic incarnation of the Steam Box is impressive, boasting an Intel Core i3 processor, 4GB of RAM, a 500GB hard drive, built-in Wi-Fi, and a custom-built Nvidia GPU which Alienware are being very secretive about.

But why go for a console/pc hybrid which uses Steam and costs more money? The $550 price tag puts the Alpha $150 ahead of competing consoles, such as Xbox One and PS4. Well, Alienware’s marketing manager, Scott Radcliffe, made some pretty valid points on behalf of the Alpha.

I’d say because of the flexibility it provides. Because of our partnership with Steam, because of the great things that they’re doing at Valve,”

“We’ve got 3,000 titles that are going to be instantly available to you. The Steam library that you might already have, that’ll be instantly available to you.”

Other offerings which are available only for Steam users include a 500 game strong library of controller compatible games, and then countless more which only support keyboard and mouse. Security is high, with Valve Anti-Cheat being constantly reworked, and on top of that, multiplayer is free on most games, plus Valve’s own library of games are supported by fast dedicated servers.

Whilst the price may be off-putting, the Steam Box is poised to become the third contender in the console market. Valve and Steam have been working behind the scenes of the console wars for over 10 years for the PC demographic, and have both the resources and the fanbase to make this happen.

Who knows, maybe we’ll be seeing a Valve press conference a few E3’s down the line…

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