Valve and Partners Reveal First-Generation Steam Machines [UPDATED]

Different Specs of Steam Machines May Result into Massive Segmentation

by Anton Shilov
01/07/2014 | 10:49 PM

UPDATED: Adding specifications of Steam Machines.

 

Valve Software, a well-known video game developer and the owner of Steam game distribution service, this week introduced the first generation of Steam Machines, personal computers powered by Steam OS operating system that come with a special controller and targeted at living rooms. Over a dozen of PC makers have so far developed their Steam Machines targeting various market segments.

At the Consumer Electronics Show this week fourteen PC makers introduced various models of their Steam Machines targeted for release in 2014. The lineup of Steam Machines announced today offers a wide variety of price and performance options made possible by the Steam Machine's open design, with systems starting as low as $499 and top end systems rivaling today's bleeding edge gaming PCs. The new systems come in different form-factors, some are designed specifically for living rooms, other are just custom-built gaming personal computers with Steam OS.

"The first generation Steam Machines offers something for every gamer, which is a critical part of extending Steam into the living room. With over 3000 games and more than 65 million gamers on Steam, it is important to offer gamers a variety of Steam Machines that allow them to select what makes the most sense for them," said Gabe Newell, the head of Valve.

Steam Machines will be available from such makers as Alienware, Alternate, CyberPowerPC, Digital Storm, Falcon Northwest, Gigabyte Technology, iBuyPower, Maingear, Material.net, Next Spa, Origin PC, Scan, Webhallen and Zotac. Other manufacturers will likely reveal their Steam Machines later.

While generally it can be considered as a success that Valve managed to attract over a dozen of PC manufacturers to join the Steam Machines initiative, it should be noted that the systems are way to dissimilar and offer considerably different levels of performance and user experience, which inevitably will create segmentation. Some Steam Machines will come with high-end Nvidia GeForce GTX graphics cards, whereas other will feature integrated graphics, which will result into dramatic performance differences between PCs that carry similar name.