Valve's decision not to delay the launch of Steam Machines to 2015 has left companies such as Alienware with a stock of powerful hardware that can't be shipped; at least not without finding an operating system to run it.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, Alienware has decided to install Windows 8.1 on its line of Steam Machines and rebrand it as "the Alpha." The company is also bundling an Xbox 360 controller in place of the yet-unfinished Steam Controller.
The Alpha will be available during the holiday season. The basic SKU features a Core i3 Haswell processor, 4GB RAM and a 500GB hard disk for $549 with upgrade options including Core i5 and i7 processors, 8GB RAM and hard disks up to 2TB.
The also features a custom built GPU based on NVIDIA's Maxwell architecture with 2GB of dedicated GDDR5 memory.