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CyberPower’s Steam Machine will launch as a Windows 8.1 device instead

Rather than let its hardware vendors run with their own brand Steam Machines that they’ve been developing for the past year, Valve decided to delay things until next year while it tweaks its Steam Controller, an integral component of any machine that might use the “Steam Machine” designation. That decision left OEMs and boutique system builders in an awkward place, but rather than let their hardware designs collect dust, we’re seeing them reborn as Windows-based PC/consoles that boot right into Steam Big Picture mode. The newest PC/console to take this approach is CyberPower’s Syber system. Let’s have a look. Syber is similar in design to what would have been CyberPower’s Steam Machine if Valve didn’t muck things up. Turning lemons into lemonade, CyberPower plans to develop Syber around Windows 8.1, though when you turn the console on, it will boot directly into Steam Big Picture mode so you can begin gaming in your living room on your big screen HDTV.

When Alienware trotted out its retooled Alpha system at E3 last week, we should have guessed its response to Valve’s Steam Machine delays could be the start of a trend. Lo and behold, CyberPower PC is apparently doing something similar with its Syber console PC. With Valve delaying the official rollout of its Steam Machine platform to bring PC gaming into the living room, owing to continued tweaks to its Steam Controller and SteamOS, its partners providing Steam Machine systems have started making other arrangements so they don’t gather dust until next year. Like Alienware’s Alpha, CyberPower is planning to ship Syber with Windows 8.1 installed, according to MaximumPC. Of course, it will be able to run SteamOS when it’s ready, but Valve’s home-theater-friendly OS is still in beta. To compensate in the meantime, both Alpha and Syber make use of Steam Big Picture Mode to optimize output from the PC for an HDTV. Syber will also have a starting price similar to the Alienware, though a touch higher: $599 versus $549 for the Alpha. While some of the specs are similar for the respective base configurations (4GB of RAM, 500GB hard drive), Syber provides a little more flexibility when it comes to graphics cards. Alienware puts a custom, non-upgradeable card into the Alpha, but CyberPower will use off-the-shelf components like the AMD Radeon R9 270 or Nvidia GeForce GTX 750 Ti.

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Written by Chastity Mansfield

I'm a writer, an amateur designer, and a collector of trinkets that nobody else wants. You can find me on Noozeez, and Twitter.

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