When Valve first announced its Steam Machine concept it centered around the idea of making a gaming console that users could upgrade themselves. While there is no shortage of Steam Machines heading your way, PC Gaming giant Alienware has revealed that its Steam rig will be customizable at purchase but non-upgradable by the user and will instead offer yearly releases.
[After purchase] there will be no customization options, you can't really update it.
Yes, yearly releases. Got the eye-rolling out of your system yet? Alienware boss Frank Azor drops the deets: “Lifecycle-wise, consoles update every five, six, seven years, we will be updating our Steam Machines every year,” Azor told Trusted Reviews. “The platform will continue to evolve as the games become more resource intensive.”
"There will be some configuration options when you purchase it," he continued, "maybe you can get a faster CPU, maybe some more memory something like that." But after that, "there will be no customization options, you can't really update it."
While Steam Machines were being help up as a work around to the classic problem of console hardware obsolescence upon launch, it was suggested that best way was to have a console that was upgradable by the user. Alienware clearly doesn't see it this way. Instead you'll have the ability to purchase a new, higher powered Steam Machine every year. Azor suggests that users who want more upgrade options should check out Alienware's PC models. After all, any computer running Valve's SteamOS operating system can become a Steam Machine.
"This particular product [the Steam Machine] is restricted in its upgrade options."
Check out our rundown of the Steam Machines announced during the Consumer Electronics Show (CES).