Steam Machine Pricing Revealed - From $459 to $4,999

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Steam Machine Pricing Revealed - From $459 to $4,999

alienware steam machine

There's a Steam Machine for every type of gamer in every type of budget.

The Steam Controller and Steam Machines have been centeral to Valve's GDC presentations this year, with the biggest news being that they will finally be in our hands this November. Now, Valve has posted the full list of Steam Machines that will be available at launch, listing their manufacturers, system specs, and prices. The launch wave of Steam Machines will retail from anywhere between $459 and $4,999, meaning there is a machine for any budget.

The cheapest Steam Machine is the iBuyPower SBX, for $459, and comes with an AMD Athlon™ X4 840, ATI Radeon™ R7 250X 1GB GDDR5, 4GB Ram and a 500 GB hard disk. It's a pretty comparable price to what a PS4 or Xbox One will set you back, with comparable, if not better, specs.

Middle-of-the-road type Steam Machines like the Asus ROG GR8S ($699) and the Maingear DRIFT ($849) come with specs that completely blow "next-gen" consoles out of the water, like Core i7 Processors, Nvidia Geforce® GTX 980s, 16 GB of RAM and 512 GB Solid State Drives.

Finally, for the man with more money than sense, the top-of-the-line beast-mode Steam Machines like the fully-upgraded ORIGIN OMEGA Steam Machine and Falcon Northwest Tiki Steam Machine (both $4,999) come with crazy stuff like Core i7 4790Ks, triple SLI Titans, 32 GB of RAM and up to 14 TB of storage.

Of course, all of the Steam Machines will come packaged with a Steam Controller, but if you'd like to purchase additional controllers, you can do so for $49.99 a piece.

Do any of these Steam Machines tickle your fancy? Personally, I'm content with just plugging my gaming PC into my TV via a really long HDMI cable, and using an Xbox 360 controller, but I can see how some console gamers looking to convert to the "PC gaming master race" may see the appeal of these all-in-one media center solutions.

Source: Valve

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Am I the only one who thinks that logo looks like the Brotherhood of Nod?

Steven Bogos:

Do any of these Steam Machines tickle your fancy?

A few, possibly. Depends on my future needs, the needs of my family, friends, and associates, and how minimal the pre-installed software packages are.

Customization options will also be a factor.

Personally, I'm content with just plugging my gaming PC into my TV via a really long HDMI cable, and using an Xbox 360 controller, but I can see how some console gamers looking to convert to the "PC gaming master race" may see the appeal of these all-in-one media center solutions.

That's great and all, but what about those who are looking to build a new PC? What of those who are looking to upgrade or supplement their current rig? What about those who want as minimal hassle as possible in jumping into PC gaming?

The Steam Machines offer a solution to these people.

As for the 360 controller: I can't wait to replace it. I have never liked the thing, it's uncomfortable in my hands, and the hardware itself is disgustingly cheap (and cheaply made) for what they charge for it.

I'm still wondering whether there's a real advantage, outside of convenience and brand recognition, to these things over a PC you can pick and choose the parts for (maybe even let it get assembled for you). I still don't fully get them, as console gamers will just...stick to consoles, won't they? It sure is cheaper. And so is picking out your own PC.

Now, I like these things in concept. A gaming PC I can just put in my living room easily, as I prefer to game with a controller anyway but prefer the greater PC library, sounds great but letting my own Steam box get assembled seems to be a cheaper solution. These brand deals are, well, just that.

Also, $50 for a controller? Sheesh.

I'll admit to some rather profound doubts about the viability of the platform, but I suppose I could be wrong. Or at least pessimistic.

At a price point on average significantly above existing current-gen console offerings from Sony/Microsoft/Nintendo, a less-cohesive marketing strategy, and what is arguably an existing user base that has functionally zero need for the product in question... It seems rather unlikely that they'll have much, if any, market penetration by this time next year.

PC gamers already have PCs, can build a better machine for cheaper, and already know how to wire the damn thing up to their television. Console gamers are already committed to a platform, really, and a more-expensive machine to play the same games on (that they'll have to buy all over again) isn't likely a huge priority for them. And if history has shown us anything, it's that parents, come the holidays, are almost certainly not going to be spending their money on the most expensive, least-advertised entry into what is arguably the console market.

For a second I thought it was implying the drift would have a i7 gtx 980 and 512 ssd for 849. Was wondering what kinda witchcraft was going on. That said I'll never get a steam machine cause there's not really a need for one. Yay a branded PC... I'll just keep mine and if steam OS is the bees knees i'll load that onto it.

IF someone was looking into PC gaming I wouldn't even recommend it.
I wouldn't even recommend it to console brethren. Yes your new steam machine is more powerful than a ps4 "well why won't it run the witcher 3 everything just like jerks around" Maybe try it without ubersampling and HBAO and aa32 and the Ultra texture resolution. "blank stare"

TheSYLOH:
Am I the only one who thinks that logo looks like the Brotherhood of Nod?

Nope, totally with you there. PEACE THROUGH POWER!

OT: I like, I like...now to see what the prices are in £, because they look reasonably priced and I know they won't be when they fucking convert to pounds from monopoly money. An Nvidia GTX 980 is $685 in the UK, compared to the $399 in the states. and is almost the cost of the entire Maingear Drift. I'm expecting the prices to skyrocket in the UK.

Cowabungaa:

Also, $50 for a controller? Sheesh.

Y'know, I'm pretty sure the US has the cheapest games, consoles/components and periphrials. Try $70 for a controller.

TheSYLOH:
Am I the only one who thinks that logo looks like the Brotherhood of Nod?

You are not the only one. I thought the same thing when I saw the news article. :)

These machines do look promising for people who don't already own a gaming rig. If nothing else, it could expand PC gaming to folks who previously thought it was too complicated or who might have been afraid of trying something new. I hope these find some success for that market. Good luck Steam Machine!

Ummmm. No.

Look I know valve is valve and they've had the golden touch when it comes to selling us things we usually hate like Steam as DRM and free to play games. But this is missing the point of a console that the specs are equal across the board and so you can rely on every console running the same game equally (though to be fair some CONSOLES are forgetting this point too). Sure you can have a slim or expanded hard drive version but to have such a HUGE range of prices will just divide your new burgeoning playerbase.

If you're aiming for the PC crowd then they won't be happy about not being able to upgrade it yourself and if you're aiming for the console crowd, just remember how poorly the PS3 started with it's high price point and the infamous "599 US dollars" E3 reveal.

But then maybe the launch title will be an exclusive half life 3 and then we'll be forced to buy one.

I dunno, I'm just feeling like the entire market at the moment is like it was in the 90's where everyone wanted to bring out their own console to compete only to forget that affordability and games will often exceed specs and branding in terms of how well a system sells.

Roboshi:
Ummmm. No.

Look I know valve is valve and they've had the golden touch when it comes to selling us things we usually hate like Steam as DRM and free to play games. But this is missing the point of a console that the specs are equal across the board and so you can rely on every console running the same game equally (though to be fair some CONSOLES are forgetting this point too). Sure you can have a slim or expanded hard drive version but to have such a HUGE range of prices will just divide your new burgeoning playerbase.

If you're aiming for the PC crowd then they won't be happy about not being able to upgrade it yourself and if you're aiming for the console crowd, just remember how poorly the PS3 started with it's high price point and the infamous "599 US dollars" E3 reveal.

But then maybe the launch title will be an exclusive half life 3 and then we'll be forced to buy one.

I dunno, I'm just feeling like the entire market at the moment is like it was in the 90's where everyone wanted to bring out their own console to compete only to forget that affordability and games will often exceed specs and branding in terms of how well a system sells.

It's not a console though and that's not what it's supposed to be. You can upgrade it yourself. The high end models are for enthusiasts, and the lower models are to draw people into PC gaming, not be an alternative console. Heck the lowest one is a little cheaper than a console yet has better specs.

Fact is, the hardware needs to be at least better than a current console to draw some people in, and they can't sell it for cheaper than that because they need to make money (unlike Sony where the PS3/4 was a massive money hole), and PC gaming does require a slightly more expensive initial investment, which provides you with a more future proof machine, which is upgradable, will perform better, and pays for itself after just a few game purchases(Steam sales and games are cheaper anyway).

Consoles are not only more expensive for what you get, but the games are too(£10 or £20 in some cases), and you've got no chance of anything approaching a steam sale on the console. Not only that you need to subscribe to XBL or PSN if you want to play online too.

Who in their right mind would drop 5k on this this? If you're going to drop that kind of dough you might as well build a machine yourself.

Steam is my primary platform for gaming, I've got a massive game library, and I still can't think of a single reason I'd buy this. If it were $100, maybe, but I can't justify that kind of money when I, essentially, already have two. I hope they didn't dump a lot of money into this.

Roboshi:
But this is missing the point of a console that the specs are equal across the board and so you can rely on every console running the same game equally (though to be fair some CONSOLES are forgetting this point too).

Steam machines aren't, nor have they ever been, touted as consoles. They're pre-built PC's running Steam OS (so dedicated gaming machines essentially) with the intent on taking a lot of the guesswork out of it for people that just want a gaming PC but don't know shit about gaming PC's.

Sure you can have a slim or expanded hard drive version but to have such a HUGE range of prices will just divide your new burgeoning playerbase.

Again, dividing the player base isn't an issue because they're not consoles. And the huge range of prices is because you can get anything from entry level gaming PC to multiple graphics card power house.

If you're aiming for the PC crowd then they won't be happy about not being able to upgrade it yourself

Several of them are upgradable for those that want that feature. Again, it's part of the point of them being gaming PC's and not consoles.

and if you're aiming for the console crowd, just remember how poorly the PS3 started with it's high price point and the infamous "599 US dollars" E3 reveal.

Good thing they're not. And the PS3 still sold better in it's first months than the 360 did a year before just as a little factoid for the day.

But then maybe the launch title will be an exclusive half life 3 and then we'll be forced to buy one.

Not a console so launch titles are mostly irrelevant. You can still slap windows on these if you want and games will undoubtedly be ported to Steam OS now that there's a Linux distro with half a hope of gaining major traction with gamers.

I dunno, I'm just feeling like the entire market at the moment is like it was in the 90's where everyone wanted to bring out their own console to compete only to forget that affordability and games will often exceed specs and branding in terms of how well a system sells.

That's because you've completely missed the point of what the Steam Machines are I'm afraid. Nothing wrong with being misinformed of course. Unless someone willfully stays that way anyway. XD

Ukomba:
Steam is my primary platform for gaming, I've got a massive game library, and I still can't think of a single reason I'd buy this. If it were $100, maybe, but I can't justify that kind of money when I, essentially, already have two. I hope they didn't dump a lot of money into this.

The money they've spent is in Steam OS, and for the prospect of a gaming focused Linux distro that might actually catch on I'd say it's money well spent. As for the machines, I doubt Valve pays these companies anything whereas they probably pay Valve to be able to use the Steam Machine name. And all of them are built using pre-existing hardware (custom cases not withstanding) so compared to the money that goes into developing a console, these would have cost basically nothing by comparison.

I still have 500$ left from my tax refund. I'm not sure if I should blow it all on this, or just get more games with it.

I don't think Valve quite understands how consoles work. I can't see people plonking down for a system that is more expensive than what Sony/MS/Nintendo are offering at the bare minimum. If you're going to spend this much ya might as well get a console which can also get you a few games or peripherals for the price difference. At best this'll be niche, at worst Valve is in for a rude awakening.

TheSYLOH:
Am I the only one who thinks that logo looks like the Brotherhood of Nod?

I didn't catch it until you said something, but now... GABE LIVES IN DEATH!

Some of those mid range machines look right up my alley. If I could get one of those for gaming and then just take a cheaper laptop for my schoolwork that would be ideal.

I'd like to get one, I'm looking for a small form factor upgrade to me laptop.

I think I'll just run an HDMI cable, save myself a few hundred bucks.

More titles are being released for the Steam OS, but not enough to justify even a $500 console.

Vigormortis:
That's great and all, but what about those who are looking to build a new PC? What of those who are looking to upgrade or supplement their current rig? What about those who want as minimal hassle as possible in jumping into PC gaming?

The Steam Machines offer a solution to these people.

I sometimes wonder if some people believe Valve invented the concept of pre built machines or something. These things offer zero that you couldn't already get... they're an attempt to make some companies extra money through ignorance I suppose for the companies involved, an attempt by Valve to push their crappy OS+controller (OS makes sense, controller is just for cash).

Vivi22:
Steam machines aren't, nor have they ever been, touted as consoles. They're pre-built PC's running Steam OS (so dedicated gaming machines essentially) with the intent on taking a lot of the guesswork out of it for people that just want a gaming PC but don't know shit about gaming PC's.

I suppose we're supposed to conveniently forget those other "steam machines" ever existed eh? Those that were *gasp* than marketed as console PCs.

Biggest advantage I can see for these things, is that when we are a few years further into the current generation, steam machines will be much more powerful than the competition for the same price, and have better, cheaper versions of many of the same games, with a promise of future backwards compatibility, of course.

I guess Valve is hoping you will all buy these things for your kids instead of Xbones/PS4's, or that current console owners will be compelled to switch over.

Alienware having the cheapest base price out of the entire lineup. Now I have truly seen everything.

now I'm not interested in this, but I do know of quite a few people who would be..I doubt these will be popular off the bat, but give it a year and it might just fill its own niche and hopefully give windows 10 something to compete with (linux is already making a strong position as it is, but hopefully with valve behind this it'll give microsoft a fire under their ass to make windows 10 actually gamer friendly)

until the majority of games come out for linux/steamOS, then I'm not exactly interested in this, but hey, a person can dream.

Hiname:
Alienware having the cheapest base price out of the entire lineup. Now I have truly seen everything.

now that is hilarious, and it's almost a bit terrifying...what the hell did they do with the hardware that other companies couldn't? alienware just drools at the mouth of making things overpriced, so are they cutting corners on reliability, or are other companies being greedy as fuck?

No one is going to buy a console at $459 in this day in age. I mean, look at the XBone! That was $499 and until the price drop it was selling as bad as the WiiU (And worse when Mario Kart 8 came out). So the fact that none of these Consoles are cheaper then $400's will mean that the Steam Machine is going to be a failure.

Then again, I never had faith in the Steam Machine, really. Any console made by multiple manufacturers is never a successful one (Looking at you, CD-i).

The thing about all of these is you will only be able to run the approx. 1000 games that were ported to Linux. Unless you either buy an OEM copy of Windows (which you won't be able to move to a new machine) or spend $200 (or the best deal online you can find) for the retail copy of your preferred version of Windows. I'm not seeing several games I have on the Linux lists. Buying a premade PC with a custom Linux distro already installed and a controller I'm already not liking does not look like my future.

At this point MS should stop trying to shove Xbox Live up Window's arse to turn it into a hand puppet for a moment and try to make a gaming centric distribution of Win 10 that doesn't cost over $100. That might put some nice competition on Valve and maybe make both OSes a little healthier for consumers.

So, about the specs of that DRIFT...

Price: Starting at $849

CPU: Up to Intel® Core™ 4790K
GPU: Up to NVIDIA® Geforce® GTX 980 and AMD R9 290X
Storage: Up to 2x 1TB SSD and 1x 6TB 3.5' HDD
RAM: Up to 16GB of DDR 3 Memory
Other: Epic 120 Liquid Cooling

It lists the lowest price a DRIFT system can be, then it lists the absolute top end equipment it may have or be upgraded to have.

So does that mean $849 gets you nothing in that list?

Does it mean that if you buy that system that there is only a chance that you get those items with the company placing in cheaper parts at their whim?

Seriously though, I hate the marketing practice of showing a price with a feature listing that does not apply to the listed price. At least make it clear what exactly the base price gets you before advertising the upgrades.

TheSYLOH:
Am I the only one who thinks that logo looks like the Brotherhood of Nod?

Gaben lives!

Peace through source engine!

That's about as clear and concise as a Melville novel made of mud. I apologize if I don't see genuine advantage in getting one of these over a gaming PC -- other than the price of the box is probably getting you better parts to start than the same price for a gaming rig otherwise would. Feel free to enlighten me though.

Vivi22:

Steam machines aren't, nor have they ever been, touted as consoles. They're pre-built PC's running Steam OS (so dedicated gaming machines essentially) with the intent on taking a lot of the guesswork out of it for people that just want a gaming PC but don't know shit about gaming PC's.

(sorry snipping for space)

They have those already, they're called "store bought pcs" or just "laptops".

And to say this isn't supposed to be a console is a bit silly. I mean most consoles are just prebuilt PCs anyway with a limited OS, and that's just what the Steam OS is, a different form of Playstation or xbox dashboard.

Now of course I may be missing a huge element to this, but I don't really see the draw. One of the things that currently pushes steam to provide a better deal in it's sales is the competition online; GoG, origin (for what it is), direct company downloads etc all prevent a monopoly existing in the pc market and a dedicated Steam machine would destroy that.

Plus, I feel people are forgetting, This is no longer the valve that made Half life 2 episode 2 and TF2, this is the Valve that won't provide quality control on their greenlight service or give a proper refunding service if your game won't work.

if they're trying to match xbone/ps4 controller price, they're never going to convince people to switch over for zero actual known benefit

Too late, Gabe. I assembled myself a new gaming PC just last year, and it's going to tide me over for at least another four with its current specs, at which point I'll probably just upgrade it a bit.

I can see the thinking here - if you want a quality gaming machine you can shell out for a mid-range version and feel like king of the hill among current-gen users, and then just pay small bucks for a second PC to do all your office work on. However, since I have my still fairly new PC that's designed to do everything I'm not in the market for Steam Machines, and I get the feeling it'll be this way for a lot of people.

I do love the concept of the Steam Machines, but I have my doubts about their market viability. Time will tell, I guess.

Vivi22:
summation = steam machines are not consoles, and should not ever be compared to consoles

sorry but even though you have spent the better part of 1 and half pages of text trying to say that steam machines are not consoles, and that anyone who thinks they might be consoles is wrong I don't buy your line of reasoning to which the best you've given is "they are PCs, so therefore not consoles" which doesn't hold water for one simple resounding truth 'consoles are specialized PCs' they have unified specs, they have unified naming (when the thought of possible band confusion with yourself is taken into account eg: Nintendo). I buy a game for and XBox360 whether I have a low tier Gen1 360. or a top tier Gen5 360 the game will still run. but even as a person who has done the spreadsheets worth of work to determine if my system will run a given PC game I can tell you first hand that this is a detriment of the PC gaming community.

let me walk you through the real world of PC gaming with a direct case example of Assassin's Creed (pick any of them) within an hour of the game being announced there are at least 5 threads on the steam forums, and the Ubisoft forums each asking the same question "will my system run this", and then countless replies of "maybe", "yes", "no", "what if I have this instead". as a person who has worked in game development I can also tell you that minimum system requirements in 80% of cases is bullshit at the least they are what the developers were using, and at the worst they are just guesses, and then most of the time they are not feasibly testable because testing against a backlog of 5000+ different hardware configs is a joke.

even Gabe has said that "I would want to remove some of the barriers to PC gaming" and you know what has a lower barrier for entry then a PC a console. yes I will give you that they are not being called consoles, but at the same time the only reason that I can say they fall short (literal, and figurative intent) of being consoles is that their pricing is still prohibitive, their specs are non-uniform, and they will still create situations of the questions "will my system run this?"

the worst part about these steam machines (And I would be willing to bet real money on this to my real life friends, but none of them would take it cause they are all smarter then that), and what will drive a real nail in their motherboards is they will try to keep up with tech "innovations" (either Intel, AMD, ATI, or Nvidia yelling "we have something new and shiny buy it"), and then release a new version every year making them even more prohibitive a product then a console (at least if I throw down on one of those I know I would have to relatively get a new one for about 4-5 years). the PC market is hard to get into as a customer for very specific reasons: figuring what hardware you need to benchmark at, finding a retailer/seller that will offer that hardware at a reasonable price, assembling/building/setting-up the hardware, and then potentially having to upgrade that hardware. these system don't answer any of these issues, and therefore they will not receive needed penetration, and at the most I see these as a thing that will stick around for maybe 3 years then fade away

my point is just because no one at Valve said the word "console" mainly because that would either aggravate the PC playing base that believes in that "PC master race" BS, or caused even more confusion over what "console" is in the general populous. by calling them steam machine on all of these, and saying that they will run games on steam (they never said all games, or even if they will continue to run games in the future) they are effectively calling them consoles without using the specific words. just because the super market doesn't say apples, and oranges are fruit when stocking them doesn't mean they are not fruit.

Roboshi:
[quote="Vivi22" post="7.871812.21863331"]
Now of course I may be missing a huge element to this, but I don't really see the draw. One of the things that currently pushes steam to provide a better deal in it's sales is the competition online; GoG, origin (for what it is), direct company downloads etc all prevent a monopoly existing in the pc market and a dedicated Steam machine would destroy that.

Plus, I feel people are forgetting, This is no longer the valve that made Half life 2 episode 2 and TF2, this is the Valve that won't provide quality control on their greenlight service or give a proper refunding service if your game won't work.

I really don't see this creating a monopoly mainly considering that they would have to follow a few steps that would cause mass exoduses with each step: require any developer that wanted to post a new game on steam also post it in SteamOS compatible (depending on creation tool this is not conducive), and offer different prices for different versions of the game (effectively making the SteamOS version less expensive). for the most part there are still sites that sell even steam-keys to games at competitive prices (HumbleBundle Store, Green Man Gaming), so I don't see them trying to lock down their system.

the only thing that would cause their system to become a monopoly is if Microsoft (similar to Win8. though I am pretty sure most people just stuck with Win7), or Apple (I don't actually know why people stick with these draconian butt-heads) do something to drive so many people away that they gain what they feel to be market saturation, but those would be seen as bad business moves on the parts of Microsoft, and Apple, and not aggressive practices by Valve. then at the end of the day in a Linux environment it is still possible to sandbox in Windows.

Hiname:
Alienware having the cheapest base price out of the entire lineup. Now I have truly seen everything.

Speaking as an Alienware user, I must concur with the amusement factor.

OT: Well, Valve, I'm glad you've got a machine fit for Bill Gates, but could we not make the same error as Sony did with the PS3?

elvor0:

It's not a console though and that's not what it's supposed to be. You can upgrade it yourself. The high end models are for enthusiasts, and the lower models are to draw people into PC gaming, not be an alternative console.

If you know any PC dummies then you'll know that they don't get what they need, they get the *best* they can for their money. They would get a hex-core CPU regardless of the other features just because "it's better". They would shell-out for HDD which is SATA 3 compatible because "it's better".

This whole introducing people into PC gaming is over before it even started as people aren't going buy one if they get confused first because there are so many versions with different specs/prices. With these kind of people, if you fail at marketing then the whole project is over.

People aren't going to buy one if they're not even interested in the first place, people are more interested with the console, with their exclusives and with their social community. The whole point of the Steam machine was to a have a slice of that pie.

which provides you with a more future proof machine

The term "future-proofing" is often a euphemism for buying the best within that technological generation. As I said above, people often look at the statistics and forget the features.

008Zulu:
I think I'll just run an HDMI cable, save myself a few hundred bucks.

More titles are being released for the Steam OS, but not enough to justify even a $500 console.

Then I hope you relish in the fact that the Steam OS is going to be free of charge.

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