Steam Powered Consoles

  • Valve unveiled their line of "Steam Machines" at CES
  • Can PCs conquer the console world?
  • How much will it cost and can it beat the Xbox One / PS4 ?


Valve unveiled their line of third party “Steam Machines” today at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. For those out of the loop: Valve, the developer of Steam which is the largest content delivery platform for video games, has recently entered the hardware market. Pitched as a killer for the popular consoles (PS4, Xbox One and the Wii U), these Steam Machines are essentially a gaming computer in a small package. Valve’s presentation today at CES showed off the many different steam machines that Valve have partnered with manufactures to produce. Valve’s plan is to offer a operating system (dubbed Steam OS) across all these machines with custom designed controller to boot. From what we’ve seen, Steam OS is all about conquering the living room. It’s essentially a big screen version of the Steam application running on a customized version of Unix. Not all games from Steam are available through Steam OS but Valve has shown clear intentions of not only porting all their games across but also serving as a catalyst for a market wide shift from Windows to Unix for gamers.

Just like PCs, these steam machines offering varied components at different price ranges. Most are starting around $400-$500 moving up to $2,500 for a ultimate power. The main thing that’s consistent with all these machines is their small form factor size. Valve has consoles in it’s targets and this line-up of machines is a strong show of force.




Here’s a list of the upcoming machines:


Alternate - $1,339


  • CPU - Intel Core i5 4570
  • Graphics - Gigabyte GTX 760
  • RAM - 16 GB
  • Storage - 1 TB SSHD



CyberPowerPC - $499 and up


  • CPU - AMD/Intel Core i5 CPU
  • Graphics - AMD Radeon R9 270/Nvidia GTX 760
  • RAM - 8 GB
  • Storage - 500 GB



Digital Storm Bolt II - $2,584


  • CPU - Intel Core i7 4770K
  • Graphics - GTX 780 Ti
  • RAM - 16 GB
  • Storage - 1 TB HDD + 120 GB SSD



Gigabyte Brix Pro - TBD


  • CPU - Intel Core i7-4770R
  • Graphics - Intel Iris Pro 5200
  • RAM - 2 x 4 GB
  • Storage - 1 TB SATA 6Gb/s



Falcon Northwest - $1,799 to $6000


  • CPU - customizable
  • Graphics - Nvidia GeForce GTX Titan
  • RAM - 8 to 16 GB
  • Storage - up to 6 TB



iBuyPower - $499 and up


  1. CPU - Quad core AMD or Intel
  2. Graphics - Radeon GCN Graphics
  3. RAM - 8 GB
  4. Storage - 500 GB+ - $1,098


  • CPU - Intel Core i5 4440
  • Graphics - MSI GeForce GTX 760 OC
  • RAM - 8 GBStorage - 8 GB + 1 TB SSHD



The standout device of the presentation would be Alienware’s own steam machine. It’s pitched to be around $400-$500 (in direct competition with consoles) and was designed in collaboration with Valve. It’s a small, sleek black box (pictured below) sporting a Steam logo. Not too unlike the Xbox One. The official specifications haven’t been announced yet but it’s proposed to be faster than the new generation of consoles with the ability to pump out games in full 1080p.

For more information checkout Polygon’s recap of the event here.