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Some Third Party Steam Machine Makers Are Nervous

by Joey Davidson | May 19, 2014May 19, 2014 9:30 pm PDT

SteamOS - Steam Machines - Room

For companies like Alienware and iBuyPower, the task of making and selling a Steam Machine seems lofty and challenging.

Steam Machines are, essentially, gaming PCs with a Valve made Linux-based OS installed and a fancy controller included from the company. These computers pack Steam OS, are meant for living room setup and will supposedly provide easy access to Valve’s huge and successful gaming platform.

Instead of making a single Steam Machine themselves, Valve is licensing out the right to the name to third party computer manufacturers such as the aforementioned Alienware. All of these companies will make their own iteration of the Steam Machine, complete with different specs and price points to boot.

While speaking with The Wall Street Journal, some of these third party manufacturers are showing a little trepidation about the venture.

Frank Azor, the GM of the Alienware Game Division, spoke about the challenge they’re about to face:

“It’s going to be very challenging. This will absolutely be the least profitable system we ever sell.”

Tuan Nguyen, Director of iBuyPower, even went on to express concern about the potential for fragmentation that we’re seeing with the Android phone world.

“It’s like the Android phone marketplace….You have phones all over the place with wild specs and pricing.”

That variety in price and specs leads to difficulty for consumers in making purchases, yes, but also for developers in making games for all phones. That’s a challenge in the Android development world, could it be one for the Steam Machine place as well?

Probably not… PC developers makes games for a whole host of part variety in the PC space already, I don’t see that challenge intensifying any further. I could be wrong, of course, but that’s my opinion.

Do you think the world of Steam Machines is a risky gamble for third party computer makers? Should they be nervous?


Joey Davidson

Joey Davidson leads the gaming department here on TechnoBuffalo. He's been covering games online for more than 10 years, and he's a lover of all...

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