Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Alienware’s ‘Alpha’ Console Lets You Play PC Games on Your TV

Wired - If you want a Steam Machine running Valve’s SteamOS that you can use with Valve’s Steam Controller, you’ll need to keep waiting until 2015. But thanks to some clever workarounds, Alienware’s first Steam box will be available by the end of this year.
The Alienware Alpha will use its own interface built on top of Windows 8.1 rather than Valve’s Linux-based SteamOS. But Steam is still the lifeblood of this system, as the small-footprint box will bring PC gaming to your HDTV using Steam’s “Big Picture” mode. The Alpha has an HDMI out port with 4K capabilities for compatible TVs and games, as well as an HDMI-in port with pass-through support.
While the Alpha UI runs on top of Windows, those Windows underpinnings will be invisible when the box is running in console mode. The Alpha UI looks and feels like a console, and it’s completely navigable with a game controller. As soon as you plug in a mouse, you can select a “Desktop Mode” that makes it act like a computer.
Size-wise, the Alienware Alpha splits the difference between a Roku box and a current-gen game console. But unlike the consoles it’s built to compete with, it has user-replaceable components—you can swap out and upgrade everything except the integrated GPU, a custom Nvidia “Maxwell” chip.   Read More