My X51 sits in an implied office space about four or five metres away from the centre of my living room. I’d never dare bring it any closer - but it turns out I’ve been an unknowing part of a years-long creep towards the couch hatched by Alienware and Valve. The X51 will be a Steam Machine by the end of this year - and it’ll have a form factor alternative in the PC Alienware have custom-built for the same purpose.
Alienware’s relationship with Gabe and co. began four years ago, when the manufacturers started pre-installing Steam on their systems. They’ve worked closely on “multiple fronts” since. Don’t believe it? Tell ‘em, Gabe.
“We have been working with Alienware since we began defining our vision of the Steam Machine,” said Newell. “Alienware’s historic commitment to gaming, their design and engineering capabilities and their global reach made them an ideal partner for us on our Steam Machine project.
“The result of our collaboration is a console that encapsulates the full potential of what a Steam Machine should be.”
Cor. That’s endorsement in its least ambiguous, neon LED shade. Alienware have designed their Steam Machine with Valve to combine “the ease of a console with the freedom of a PC”, building on their experience with the X51.
“With the introduction of the X51 system nearly two years ago, Alienware kicked off an evolution of small form factor PC gaming systems designed for every living area,” said company general manager Frank Azor. “When Valve and Alienware began collaborating on our vision for a PC gaming console several years ago we could clearly see we were on to revolutionising PC gaming forever.”
With that, Azor has accidentally summoned the fell demon Hyperbolos, so we’d better clear out of here before the gibs start flying. Regroup in the comments with the answer to this question: if you were to buy a Steam Machine, would it be Alienware’s? While its specs remain a mystery, it'll be priced competitively with the new consoles - so expect hardware to match a $499 tag. It's also the Steam Machine Valve believe will “make the most Steam users happy”.