Alienware’s First Steam Machine Now Ships With Windows 8

PC hardware manufacturer Alienware has rebranded it’s first Steam Machine to the Alpha “games console”, dumping the Steam OS on the way and replacing it with Windows 8. Alienware and parent company Dell have given no explanation as to why the console is shipping without fledgling Valve OS.

The £429 model boosts an Xbox controller, 4GB RAM (less than the next gen consoles), a 500GB hard drive and a Dual-Core Intel i3 processor, which as far as I can tell, is a bit pants. The graphics chip, a “custom Nvidia Maxwell-based GPU” is welded on to the motherboard so cannot be upgraded.



“The Alienware Alpha is purpose-built for living room gaming, and represents a new direction for a truly open console platform,” said Frank Azor, Alienware General Manager. “With the Alpha, Alienware has made playing fun, new games with your friends in the living room not only simple, but affordable. With the exclusive Alpha-UI, gamers will be able to navigate all of Alpha’s core features with only a gamepad, without ever needing a keyboard and mouse.”

Source: Hexus



  1. I don’t understand why his exists. Basically,it is weaker than a next gen console.

  2. I’m naive here but this sounds like an expensive box compared to the HW spec I can get elsewhere. What’s so good about it?

    • They haven’t released the spec of the graphics chip but i would expect it to be quite good. However you have less memory and the massive drag factor of Windows, which will hamper it.

      And then there’s that sparking UI above. Makes the PS4 look like something out of Star Trek :P

  3. I have read various opinions about this elsewhere and I’m inclined to agree with some of those viewpoints that this appears to be a cynical excuse to sell something hyped up to be more than it is, just because it has the AlienWare name attached to it.
    I notice they are selling it as Steam OS and Steam gamepad “READY”, makes me wonder why they don’t want to wait for Steam OS, unless they think it’s not going to happen?

    • Maybe Valve wants too much in royalties.

      • Its a free OS so Valve aren’t getting any royalties. It is however in an early state so they’ve probably added win 8 as an easy selling point to customers.

        Personally, I think it’s over priced and under powered, but you can say that about most alienware kit.

  4. So it’s a lower-end laptop in a box. GPU may be decent, but if you want a decent PC you should go with an i5 or i7. 4GB of RAM is a poor show unless it’s very fast.

    You’d be way better off going for the more expensive but very upgradable, small form factor Alienware x51. Which beats this hands tied behind it’s back at base-spec.

  5. Seems like it has some of the worst aspects of pc and console. Quite a feat.

    • That made me chuckle, but worryingly, it’s right.

      A steam machine without its main selling point, steamOS. If the GPU is soldered on then It will probably be a mobile part, I can’t see nvidia making a custom gpu for an alienware steam machine, although to be fair, logic and nvidia aren’t usually the same.

  6. So this is just using the brand name to sell a pretty low spec laptop then?
    The laptop i am using is an i3 dual core 4gb ram, it struggles with a lot of games, I had problems with Fallout NV when things got hectic on screen, and this is about 4 or 5 years old now, costing around £650 at the time

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