[Update] Alienware's Frank Azor has clarified to Eurogamer the upgradability of its forthcoming line of Steam Machines. According to the Alienware boss, gamers will be able to upgrade the box, it just won't be as easy as working with a standard PC.
Enabling customers the opportunity to upgrade components has been a core tenet for Alienware since the company was founded, and that remains true today. The Alienware Steam Machine, announced at CES, is designed to deliver a great gaming experience in the living room and we will enable customers to upgrade components.
Considering we've purposefully designed the Alienware Steam Machine to be smaller than the latest generation consoles, upgrading the internal components will not be as easy as compared to other platforms, such as the Alienware X51, but we will not prevent a customer from upgrading.
[Original] The recently announced Steam Machine from Alienware will receive yearly iterations, the popular PC manufacturer has announced.
In addition to annual releases, the SteamOS-powered box will be locked in terms of specs, not allowing gamers to upgrade their machines like they would a PC. General manager Frank Azor shared the news with Trusted Reviews, saying:
Lifecycle wise, consoles update every five, six, seven years, we will be updating our Steam Machines every year. There will be no customisation options – you can’t really update it. The platform will continue to evolve as the games become more resource intensive.
If you actually want to customise your Alienware Steam Machine, maybe change your graphics card out or put in a new CPU, you would be better off with the standard Alienware X51. This particular product is restricted in its upgrade options.
Does this have you rethinking your Alienware Steam Machine purchase? Were you even considering picking one up in the first place? It's going to be really interesting to see how well Steam Machines do when they launch later this year.