DELL'S GAMES DIVISION Alienware will release a Steam Machine games console this year dubbed Alienware Alpha, which will arrive running Windows 8.1.
Despite the fact that the Steam operating system (OS) and controller aren't ready yet, Alienware said that its first Steam machine will hit the shelves in time for the holiday season priced at $550 for a model with an Intel Core i3 processor.
The Alienware Alpha will feature 4GB of DDR3 RAM running at 1,600MHz and a custom-built Nvidia Maxwell GPU based on mobile architecture with 2GB of dedicated GDDR5 video memory. It will also include HDMI In and Out along with two USB 2.0 ports in the front of the unit and two USB 3.0 ports in the rear.
Alienware will also offer a more powerful version of the Alpha at launch, with custom-built configurations of an Intel Core i5 or Core i7 Haswell processor, up to 8GB of DDR3 1,600MHz RAM and a 1TB or 2TB SATA3 hard drive.
The Steam Machine will ship with a Microsoft Xbox 360 controller while the firm sorts out a proper Valve Steam controller, which will be coming sometime in 2015. Perhaps most interestingly, the Steam Machine will ship running a skinned version of Microsoft's Windows 8.1 software.
Windows 8.1 as opposed to the Steam OS might not be a bad thing. In April, security firm Malwarebytes uncovered a way for hackers to steal Steam accounts while bypassing an additional security measure.
When logging in to Steam on a PC you haven't used before, Steam Guard appears as a window asking for a verification code that was sent to your email address. Without the code, you can't log in. Malwarebytes said it found that scammers came up with a way to get around this security measure. µ
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