In the light of the recent hegemony over the gaming market shared between Microsoft and Sony, a new kid on the block has popped up from under the dense webs of developing labs, in the gaming body of the Alienware Alpha – a console-PC courtesy of Valve. Alienware Alpha is a new breed of gaming platform based on custom modified hardware. This model is a road opener for Valve’s Steam Machines, and is striving to go head to head with the new-gen prodigies: the Xbox One and PlayStation 4. The Alpha is fueled by an Intel i3 CPU clocked at 2.9Ghz, 4GB of DDR3 RAM, 500GB HDD, and a modified Nvidia GTX 860M GPU with 2GB VRAM. This Steam based console-PC is currently going for $550, about $150 pricier than a PS4 or Xbox One.
The fancy Steam Machine is set to launch within a few weeks from now, despite the fact that SteamOS, the main operating system for all of Valve’s machines is not out yet. Reportedly, the Alienware Alpha will ship pre-loaded with Windows 8.1, Steam, and other additional features developed in partnership with Valve to allow Steam features such as Big Picture Mode to interface with it. Alienware Alpha will come in different models with various performance attributes ranging from moderate to high-end. Now, the real question is if it can go head to head with the kings of gaming platforms, the Xbox One and PS4. Surprisingly so, the differences are not that huge in terms of performance and graphics experience, in spite of the relatively modest hardware specifications. To see how it handles itself compared to the Xbox One and PS4, Gamespot published a comparison video in which a few big titles are being played side-by-side across the Steam console-PC and sequentially, the PS4 and Xbox One.
Well aware that in order to get a good comparison, the Alienware Alpha needed to be preset with the optimal graphics settings rather than the highest possible, in order to obtain the best frame rate without losing visual quality. As you will see in the following comparison video, the Steam based platform carries itself quite commendably compared to the new-gen console giants, although the graphics are not as good. The full market release for these Steam Machines is scheduled for 2015, so PC gamers might have a good alternative in their hands by then. Take a look at the graphics comparison video below.