If you were already on the fence about the myriad of Steam Machines releasing this fall (as I was), this may make you fall off completely, at least for one of them.
Alienware, whose Steam Machine has certainly been the most talked about because of its design, has delivered the facepalm of the day by announcing that their box will release every year in new iterations. Not only that, but the existing box you purchased will not be customizable like with a PC.
“Lifecycle wise, consoles update every five, six, seven years, we will be updating our Steam Machines every year. There will be no customisation options – you can’t really update it. The platform will continue to evolve as the games become more resource intensive.”
It seems like Alienware has lost what little sense Valve was trying to instill in these boxes. Some other variations come equipped with extra video card slots for future expansion. I can not perceive why Alienware would try to annualize a game machine like this. This isn’t a $100 Ouya. It is a machine that will, most likely, come in at $500 or more. Now you are asking potential buyers to play with a non-upgradable PC for one year before charging them again.
Has this hurt the Steam Machine’s already murky future? Will it make consumers look harder at the other brands offering them or turn them off to the concept completely?