news\ Dec 19, 2013 at 5:20 pm

Steam Machine teardown reveals $1,300 price tag for Valve's prototype

Steam Machine

Apparently, no gaming device is safe from iFixit's famous teardowns. The do-it-yourself fix it site was able to get its hands on one of Valve's rare Steam Machine prototypes and what did they do with it? They took it apart, studied its innards, and concluded that all of its parts if purchased off the shelf would cost around $1,300.

Granted, this is just a prototype; Valve's final Steam Machine could change drastically between now and release. Should the final product cost this much to build with off the shelf parts, it'll be interesting to see Valve's price point. One of the biggest knocks against the Xbox One was its price which was $100 more than the PS4. Yes, the Xbox One has been selling at a terrific pace, but it's clear that consumers are definitely concious of price. Anything more than $500 for a living room-based console could be pushing the envelope and would undoubtedly be a risky move for Valve.

The good news is that Valve has already confirmed it is working with a number of manufacturers to produce Steam Machines with varying form factors, specifications, and price points, so it's possible this prototype could be one of the high-end models. Consumers will also be able to build their own Steam Machine out of any computer running SteamOS, so it seems that there will be a number of possibilities open to consumers.

Aside from pricing each part, iFixit also posted in-depth teardown analysis, reasoning that the Steam Machine is "designed to be opened and worked on" with a hard drive and video card that's "easy to remove and upgrade." The site noted, however, that "precise cable routing is difficult without a repair manual" and that  that RAM removal is made difficult by "motherboard cowling."

In the end, they scored the Steam Machine protoype a 9/10 in terms of "repairability score," which means it's pretty darn easy to take apart and fix should you need to.

The Steam Machine is expected to hit the market in mid-2014. What are your opinions of it at this stage?


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