After several years of development, Valve is putting the final touches on its release of Steam Machines, an ambitious new project that looks to bridge the gap between console and PC gaming. CES 2014's spectacle drew the attention of Valve, and they decided that it'd be a great to attend for the purpose of showing what Steam Machines not only look like, but what powers them.
Valve has won the support of 13 major PC brands for its hardware launch lineup. Names like Alienware and Gigabyte are mainstays in the PC gaming world, manufacturing some of the most powerful hardware packages available to consumers. They've pledged their investment of time and money to manufacture what they think a focused, consumer oriented gaming device should look like.
These 13 different Steam Machines not only look radically different from one another, but house different components. While Digital Storm aims to deliver a package that can run any game on ultra settings, albeit for a high dollar, iBuyPower has something that competes directly with the Xbox One at the same price point.
Below we have images, specs, and prices for the 13 Steam Machines that are scheduled to be available on launch day. Check them out:
Alternate & CyberPowerPC Steam Machines
While the Alternate Steam Machine looks a bit like a subwoofer, it houses a serious hardware package. Function over form is the style for this option. If only it were $2 less. 1337, kthx.
CyberPowerPC knows that most gamers shop on a budget. $499 for an AMD R9 270, Intel i5, and 8GB of RAM will ensure you not only meet but exceed the power of Sony and Microsoft's next-gen hardware. It also looks like it belongs in the Portal universe with its constrast of futuristic white and black molded plastics.
Digital Storm & Gigabyte Steam Machines
Digital Storm only knows how to go big, and that philosophy rings true with the Bolt II. This thing is insane. Don't leave it on overnight or you might find your home airborne when you wake up.
Gigabyte's variant is a stark contrast. It's very portable and uses an integrated GPU. Its price should be around the $400 - $500 mark once Gigabyte feels comfortable announcing it.
Falcon Northwest & iBuyPower Steam Machines
Falcon's Northwest is like a manly Nintendo Wii. Look at its vertical, confident stature. Inside is some of the best hardware money can buy. If you can't run a game on the Northwest, then the game wasn't made to be playable.
iBuyPower has probably the best-looking machine (next to the dazzling Alienware) which glows a variety of colors and has console-competitive pricing. We suspect that this may be the best-seller of the bunch.
Materiel & Origin Steam Machines
With hardware that's right around where the average PC gamer is comfortable investing, the Material Steam Machine is a solid solution. Its hardware is well-balanced and even includes a hybrid SSD.
If you like to own the best the world has to offer, then Origin is your ride to greatness. This bad boy could probably power your entire neighborhood. 4K monitor owners will likely love this soluition.
Next & Scan Steam Machines
Next edges out the PS4 and Xbox One by a fair margin, and will probably cost somewhere in the upper three digits. Like several others in this elite 13, it opts for the box-shape that only the GameCube understands.
The NC10 is on a healthy diet with moderate specs and the slimmest profile of the bunch. Its 500GB might not be enough if you love digital games, though.
Webhallen & Zotac Steam Machines
Webhallen's device sits right in the middle of the pack, with extreme specs that aren't at an outrageous price. It looks great, too.
The Zotac option might look like a router, but don't let that fool you. It is indeed a Steam Machine in disguise. Don't blow its cover.
Alienware Steam Machine
Alienware is so cool that it didn't want to share its specs or price. All you're left with is an image of its beautiful looks. This thing is the Aston Martin of Steam Machines. If you own one, you know you're riding in style.