E3 2014: Meet the Alienware Alpha console
The Steam Machine may be delayed until 2015, but that isn't stopping Alienware from forging ahead with its own living room console designed around Valve's Steam Big Picture mode. Shown off at the E3 show floor, the Alienware Alpha console will ship with Windows 8.1 which, through a custom software interface exclusive to Alienware, allows users to easily navigate the menus with a traditional console controller, like the Xbox 360 controller, with no mouse or keyboard required.
The Alienware Alpha console isn't necessarily designed to compete against the Steam Machine, but rather prepare users for the upcoming system. It's designed as sort of a stepping stone, getting gamers used to playing their Steam library games on the big screen using Steam Big Picture. And when SteamOS and Steam Controller do release next year, the Alienware Alpha console will already be designed to easily integrate with each.
Alienware Alpha console pricing will start at $549 and will begin shipping in time for the 2014 Holiday Season.