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Alienware's sleek, sexy Steam Machine will be impossible to upgrade or customize

Hayden Dingman | Jan. 22, 2014
I can't explain it, but over the course of the past two weeks, Alienware's Steam Machine started to look good, even to a devoted PC builder like myself. Moderate price for moderate specs, a sleek and sexy case design--I could almost understand why Valve managing director Gabe Newell was so excited about the thing.

Contrast this with consoles, which typically look better by the end of an eight-year cycle because developers learn to optimize for the hardware. And once you buy one console, you're guaranteed to run everything that releases for the entire generation.

Alienware has none of the "this-will-last-you" of a console, and none of the easy upgrade paths that keep your standard PC tower relevant. It's caught in the middle, and I fear it'll ultimately be a bad deal for everyone. How do you explain to your kid that his three-year-old Alienware Steam Machine just can't run Titanfall 2 at anything but dismal settings because the specs aren't good enough anymore?

It's a dismal future, and will only cause more market confusion in an already painfully over-saturated market. And all this from the "full potential" of the Steam Machine.


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