"Our brand itself is more about high-end systems," Chana said. "We're not really a more mainstream type of brand; we're focused on higher-tier. So that's where the Bolt 2 came in. We wanted to create a product that appeals to this type of market as a Steam Machine. Because obviously, when someone thinks of a Steam Machine, they think of something compact, hybrid – something they can place in their home theater environment as well."
The Bolt 2 is designed ideally for 4K gaming, with an eye on the future, Chana said.
"A $500 Steam Box isn't going to run a 4K TV," he said.
One $500 Steam Box, the SBX from iBuyPower, won't run 4K, but neither is it a PC. The SBX is presented as a console Steam Machine, while the Bolt 2 is very much a PC Steam Machine. The Bolt 2 launching in January won't ship with a Steam Controller, but it will have the option to install the beta of SteamOS, which anyone can download now. The true Steam Machine version of the Bolt 2, with the controller and SteamOS, will launch later in the year. The Bolt 2 will always run both SteamOS and Windows.
"The whole idea with it being such a high-end product, is we had to make it a hybrid because they're so high-end you can't just run SteamOS because SteamOS is still very limited, for what it is," Chana said.
There is a "pretty big" market for high-end gaming PCs, Digital Storm Senior Technician Robert Wall said. The Bolt 1 launched last year and did "extremely well," he noted:
"We've got a ton of great interest. Even online right now, there's tons of interest, people that want this."