With an innovative new controller and dedicated new operating system, Alienware has announced the world’s first Steam Machine is coming soon.
Bridging a long-standing divide in the world of gaming, the Machine will allow players to enjoy thousands of games previously only available on their PC, now directly on their living room TV.
In a false start, the company launched a similar system – the Alienware Alpha – in 2014, which was essentially a windows PC for the lounge room. This newer system builds on that concept, with the addition of a few exciting elements.
With a massive international community of dedicated gamers behind it, the console seems perfect to capture those wanting to transition to more social gaming.
The machine you’ve been waiting for
The Steam platform, developed by gaming company Valve, has long delivered direct-download games to home PC users, leveraging flexibility and affordability as its major drawcards.
The key difference driving this system is the dedicated Steam operating system (OS) instead of the usual Windows or Mac OS, which allows Steam to tailor the user interface and offer a true console experience.
The new Steam Controller will also afford game developers added functionality, bringing the familiar swipe control we enjoy in many mobile devices to console games.
The entry unit of the new Alienware console features an Intel Core i3 processor, 4GB memory (RAM), 500 GB hard drive and an NVIDIA GeForce GTX GPU with 2GB of video RAM. Extra money will buy you greater processing power. The hard drive and memory can also be upgraded.
It will launch in Australian version in early 2016, with a retail price yet to be announced, although the starting price in America is $US449.
We know you’re eager to get your teeth into some top gaming titles before then, so here are the new game releases we’re most excited about:
Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End
Following on from the wildly successful Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception, in Uncharted 4 we find fortune hunter Nathan Drake has cashed in his chips and is now enjoying a simpler life. Cue: return of long-lost, thought-dead brother to encourage Drake from retirement to search for mythical pirate treasure. Uncharted 4 also joins the long list of games currently spoiling fans with gloriously rendered multiplayer battles, this time set among temple ruins and other historic sites.
Rainbow Six: Siege
Already tucking awards under its belt, this Rainbow Six game brings a glorious level of environment destruction and player tactics to bear, as your team takes on a shadowy international consortium bent on creating chaos and mayhem. An online-only multiplayer, the game features a heavy customisation and character progression system, bringing hours of replay value.
Star Wars Battlefront
Can anything beat playing as Lord Vader as you rip through an icy battlefield on the planet Hoth, flinging rebel scum into the distance with your Force powers and deflecting blaster fire with your light sabre? No. Nothing can beat that. Highly addictive and dripping with Star Wars authenticity – like sound effects and clothing design taken directly from the movies – this game is a guilty pleasure for anyone with a heartbeat.
We forge once more into the post-nuclear war wasteland of America, this time traversing the area that used to be Boston, Massachusetts. But more than just another sandbox of gloriously designed post-apocalyptic landscapes and adventures, this new game offers a comprehensive new crafting and modification system, allowing players to mod everything from weapons and armour, to building their own settlement.
Rise of the Tomb Raider
The much-anticipated sequel to one of 2013’s best video games, take control of formidable fortune hunter Lara Croft as her quest to uncover truths and conspiracies long hidden takes her to the lost city of Kitezh in the icy and desolate Siberia. Simple gameplay gives way to beautiful and stunning environments, with players interacting to a greater degree with a larger playable area.
Call of Duty: Black Ops III
Taking players into a dystopian 2065, the latest instalment of Call of Duty: Black Ops features all manner of high-tech upgrades to both human and machine. Cutting-edge weapons and a new progression system take centre stage, as players choose the solo campaign, zombie storylines or the always-epic multiplayer.