Valve is hoping to bring together the best of two worlds with Steam Machines by bringing a console-like experience to the PC world. However, if Alienware's recent statement regarding their Steam Machine is any indication, it may be time to raise an eyebrow. Alienware head Frank Azor says that their Steam Machine will not support upgrading, and that gamers that want detailed customization would be better off buying a standard PC.
"Lifecycle-wise, consoles update every five, six, seven years, we will be updating our Steam Machines every year," Azor told Trusted Reviews (via Eurogamer). "The platform will continue to evolve as the games become more resource intensive."
Though Azor says that Alienware's Steam Machine will feature configuration options upon purchase, there are no further customization options and the hardware cannot be updated.
"If you actually want to customize 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," he added. "This particular product [the Steam Machine] is restricted in its upgrade options."
While Alienware is only one of several Steam Machine partners, the idea that a Steam Machine must be purchased each year to stay current is somewhat disconcerting. Shacknews is reaching out to a number of Steam Machine manufacturers to find out if this is isolated to Alienware. We will have updates as they become available.
The first Steam Machines are set to arrive before the end of January.