The PC master race may have a point about graphics quality and performance that you get fromgaming PCs versus purpose-built consoles, but that hasn’t stopped Alienware from looking at ways to chip into the console market. SteamOS promises an easier route into the living room, but Valve’s not quite ready to launch the Linux-based operating system that is based on its digital retail platform.
It’s probably time to forget about Steam Machines. When Dell and Alienwaredebuted their Alpha PC console at E3 earlier this year, I confidently predicted it would be the ideal gateway to teleport Xbox and PlayStation diehards into a frustration-free PC gaming experience. I recently took a deeper dive into the Alienware Alpha user interface, and my confidence has only been elevated. For those unfamiliar with the Alpha, it’s a sleek, diminutive box which Alienware describes quite purposefully as a “PC console.” And its purpose exactly? To offer graphical performance on par with a system like the Xbox One or PlayStation 4, but do so without the usual hurdles and hassles typically associated with PC gaming. Stuff like Windows and Driver updates, network and display configurations — hell, even the desktop itself (or lack thereof).