Alienware has revealed that it will be launching new Steam Machines annually because the platform has almost no upgrade options. "Lifecycle wise, consoles update every five, six, seven years, we will be updating our Steam Machines every year," Alienware General Manager Frank Azor said in an interview with TrustedReviews.
Azor explains that the platform would need to evolve as more resource intensive games were released, but with no customisation options, Alienware would have to release a new machine every 12 months to keep up with the increasing demands of games.
Alienware's Steam Machine exists in a strange grey area between a console and home entertainment system and a traditional PC. Their Steam Machine is expected to cost around the same as the new generation of consoles, but will be out of date long before its Xbox One and PS4 cousins.
Azor advises those who want greater customisation options just to buy a PC. "If you actually want to customise your Alienware Steam Machine, maybe change your graphics card out or put in a new CPU, you would be better off with the standard Alienware X51. This particular product is restricted in its upgrade options."
There will be some limited configuration options, however, and Azor suggests that consumers might be able to get a faster CPU or more memory, but anything more, like a new CPU or graphics card, and you're looking at either purchasing an entirely new Steam Machine or just packing it all in and getting a PC.