Gaming PC manufacturer Alienware launched its latest PC gaming console, the Alpha, at the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) in Los Angeles on Tuesday, without Valve’s highly touted SteamOS.
The Alpha, previously introduced as a Steam Machine prototype at 2014 International Consumer Electronics Show (CES), was originally planned to launch as a one of Valve’s Steam Machine partners. But, with Valve delaying the Steam Machine into 2015, PC manufacturers were left looking for other solutions while Valve continues work on SteamOS and the Steam controller.
Alienware appears to have found an intermediary solution in the meantime. Microsoft Corp.’s (NASDAQ:MSFT) Windows 8.1 and Xbox 360 controller will supplant SteamOS and the Steam Controller with the launch of the Alpha. Coupled with a custom software interface, the Alienware Alpha will be navigable using just an Xbox 360 controller, with no mouse or keyboard required.
Microsoft may be powering the operating system of the Alienware Alpha, but it doesn’t appear that Valve is entirely out of the picture.
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The Alpha will also run Steam’s Big Picture interface, which provides users of Steam’s digital content library a simple way to navigate through and play more than 500 controller-supported games.
According to Alienware, the Alpha console will still support SteamOS and the Steam Controller, when Valve publicly releases its Steam Machine platform sometime in 2015.
But until that time, gamers will be able to purchase the Alienware Alpha in the 2014 holiday season for the base price of $549.