Alienware Steam Machine review: A gaming PC for your living room
The Alienware Steam Machine delivers on almost everything Valve promised: It's easy to use and set up, feels just like a real game console and makes PC gaming in the living room a viable reality. If every game on the market supported Linux, it would be perfect.
- An authentic-feeling PC games "console" that just works
- Powerful enough to run almost everything on the Steam marketplace
- Steam Controller enables "PC-only" experiences from the couch
- SteamOS' Linux Library doesn't have everything you want to play
- Some games suffer from an odd, occasional stutter
- The console store is harder to navigate than the web version
- Can't turn the console on with just the controller
I laughed when the rumors started back in 2012: "Valve is building a PC-based game console for living rooms." Sure it is, I thought. Imagine my shock when "Steam Machines" turned out to be real. The project promised a bizarre, revolutionary controller, a Linux-based operating system designed specifically to play PC games and in-home game streaming for titles that required Windows to run properly. The proposal was unbelievable, but it's finally here; it's real. As of today, I have an Alienware Steam Machine nestled in my entertainment center that delivers on almost everything those original rumors promised. Let's talk about that.
How It Stacks Up
Doctor Who TARDIS PC
iMac 24-inch (mid 2007)
Pre-order Oculus Rift-ready PCs starting on February 16th
If you need a computer to go with Oculus' VR headset, you can snag one from Alienware, ASUS or Dell.
Playdate: Trying out Steam Machines and Valve's new controller
Tune in now (6PM ET to 8PM ET) for our live stream looking at Valve's new PC gaming hardware