Alienware Steam Machine and Steam Controller at CES 2014

Alienware Steam Machine

Alienware spent four years working with Valve to develop the Alienware Steam Machine gaming console that allows gamers an open and simple way to play games in any room. Legit Reviews got a chance to take a look at the upcoming Alienware Steam Machine when visiting both Dell and Alienware during CES 2014.

The Alienware Steam Machine comes in a small enclosure that looks sharp and takes up less space than the Microsoft Xbox One and Sony Playstation 4. What powers it?  The exact hardware specifications have not been set, so that means there is also no pricing information available at this time. We were told that it would be price competitive with similar units on the market though. Due to the rather small size of the chassis, we guess that it will be powered by SteamOS (Linux based) along with an Intel CPU and NVIDIA GPU. When it comes to I/O ports the Alienware Steam Machine has four USB ports, a single HDMI port and Gigabit Ethernet.

We also saw one of the hard to come by Steam Controllers when visiting with Alienware. This was the only wired steam controller that we saw at CES 2014 as most Steam Machine partners were not given a remote and most did not have working machines. It was nice to see that Alienware had some PCs available that we could get on and try out the new controller for the first time.  The controller features a total of 16 buttons, half of which Valve says can be accessed without lifting your thumbs. The buttons are also symmetrical, making the controller identical to both left and right handed gamers. One of the first things you’ll notice with the Steam Controller is that it does not have thumb-stick controllers, which is a popular and proven method of control. Instead, it has two circular, clickable trackpads that have dual linear resonant actuators attached to them! This means that it knows how fast you are moving your thumbs and match the speeds of your movements in-game. Pretty cool, but we picked up the Steam Controller and tried to game for a bit and there is certainly a learning curve to the new controller design. The final build of the controller will feature a touchable LCD display between the two trackpads, but as you can see it is missing here.

We also got a chance to speak with Bryan Dezayas, global marketing director for Alienware, about the new Steam Machine and you can watch that video clip above!