Priced at about $50 more than the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, Alienware's $449 Steam Machine has been making its rounds in the hands of the lucky few ahead of its Nov. 10 release to the rest or the world.

Not to be confused with the Alpha, a Windows 8.1 gaming box, the Alienware Steam Machine comes with Valve's Steam OS platform. And it makes no attempt to double dip into gaming and being a PC. This is strictly for gaming.

To encourage more PC players to retake their living room, video game developer and distributor Valve introduced the idea of Steam Machines. Valve is putting out a collection of Steam hardware, it's just that Alienware is getting its own hardware out into the hands of reviewers to build up hype before the boxes are handed over to consumers.

The Steam Machine is more of a philosophy than an actual product, according to Valve's Erik Johnson. There are a plethora of Steam Machines out there, and those include the ones that hobbyists have put together themselves, says Johnson.

"Think of it like there's a set of form factor and heat and sound issues that a bunch of companies are going to go out and attack, like Alienware and ASUS and Falcon Northwest," says Johnson. "All of those different hardware vendors have specific kinds of customers that they like to work with."

With that in mind, here's what some of the early reviewers have been saying about Alienware's interpretation of what it means to be a Steam Machine: Power and Performance

Though calling it a solid mid-range PC, Kotaku's Nathan Grayson points out that the box is still technically a Linux machine and he isn't sure if this Steam Machine is ready for prime time.

"Frankly, though, I can't wholeheartedly recommend this thing to anybody yet," Grayson writes. "If you're a PC gaming newcomer, I'd say the barrier to entry here is still too high; in the process of trying to simplify some things (especially controls), Valve actually made them more complicated."

Manufacturers of Steam Machines target the console aesthetic to attract casual PC gamers. And that's just the crowd that'll be more open to sub-60 gaming — that's below 60 frames per second.

With  hardware of a midrange PC, it's not surprising to see Alienware's Steam Machine's frame rate fall well short of the 60 fps standard, but that doesn't make it a slouch, according to Endgadet's Sean Buckley.

"Most games automatically configured themselves to medium visual settings by default, hovering at 45 frames per second or higher, depending on the title, but I found the system could push most of them a little further," writes Buckley.

ⓒ 2021 TECHTIMES.com All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without permission.