Alienware Tagged Articles RSS Feed | Alienware RSS Feed on en Launch Media Network Alienware has Announced an Oculus Rift bundle Mon, 11 Jan 2016 11:08:35 -0500 Kaj_5807

After the price bomb was dropped on the Oculus Rift's price, a lot of people were angry with the pre-order being $600, now Alienware has announced that they will be releasing X51 desktops bundled with the Oculus Rift.

The bundle has been priced at $1,600, with the X51 valued at $1,200, meaning there's a $200 off of the Oculus Rift's price tag. The official Alienware website has placed the specs of the X51, and it will feature the following: 

  • Intel® Core™ i5-6400
  • NVIDIA® GeForce® GTX 970 with 4GB GDDR5: VR ready
  • 8GB Dual Channel DDR4 at 2133MHz
  • 1TB (64MB Cache) 7200 RPM SATA 6Gb/s 

The whole system will run Windows 10 and can be bought on its own without the Oculus Rift. There is also a small grey note on the Alienware website saying:

Stay tuned for additional promotional offers from Oculus coming soon.

Whether this means more powerful systems will be bundled with the Rift is unknown, but it seems likely. 

Both Azor and Lackey have also defended the recommended specs for the Rift saying that we simply cannot compare VR graphics to monitor graphics as texturing and filters used on non-VR games don't necessarily work with VR games. 

The 5 best gaming computers under $500 Thu, 06 Aug 2015 10:49:29 -0400 Rob Thubron


1. Alienware Alpha ASM100-1580 Console


If you want the absolute best gaming PC available for under $500, then the Alienware Alpha ASM100-1580 Console is for you.


The memory and processor on this PC can be customized, meaning the only way to get the cost of this rig under $500 is by selecting the cheapest options for both. Doing this, however, still results in a truly amazing budget PC that blows its competitors out of the water.


Alienware have never been known as the best company for the frugal PC gamer, but with this cheap PC they've concentrated on what’s important for great gaming: the graphics chip. It uses a modified NVIDIA GeForce GTX 860M, the kind used in gaming laptops, and it has a performance comparable to the excellent, mid-range GTX 750Ti desktop graphics card. As someone who has 750Ti in one of my PCs, I can vouch for its performance.


As well as this custom graphics chip, the $474 version of this machine gets you a 2.9 GHz Intel i3 dual-core processor, 4GB DDR3 memory, 500GB SATA HD, Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 3160 1x1 and Bluetooth 4.0. It also comes with an Xbox 360 wireless controller, which shows how much Alienware are pushing this as a gaming machine.


Alienware’s tiny, console-like PC is touted as being a Steam machine, meaning it allows people to use the company’s own Steam-based, games-focused operating system. There’s also the option to alternate between this OS and Windows, should you feel like it.


Getting down to the bare bones of things, here are the all important gaming benchmarks:


(average frames per second)


Bioshock Infinite (1080p, Ultra): 44 fps; (1080p, Low): 99 fps,


Metro: Last Light (1080p, Ultra): 16 fps; (1080p, Low): 48 fps


Shadow of Mordor (1080p, High) 43 fps


Battlefield 4 (1080p, Ultra) 36.2 fps


Far Cry 3 (1080p, High) 40.7 fps


These are insane numbers for a PC that costs under $500. By cutting back on the processor and the RAM, Alienware have been able to concentrated on the components that matters most to gamers. If you want a budget gaming PC, I cannot recommend this highly enough, absolutely stunning.


Price: $476


Processor:  2.9GHz Intel Core i3-4130T (dual-core, 3MB cache)


Memory: 4GB DDR3 (1600Mhz)


Storage: 500GB SATA (6Gb/s)


GPU: AMD: Nvidia GeForce GTX 860M (custom, 2GB GDDR5)


PSU: 450 Watt


Extras:  Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 3160 1x1; Bluetooth 4.0, Wireless XBOX 360 controller 1-year Alienware Limited Hardware warranty, Microsoft Windows 8.1 (64‐bit)


The Alienware Alpha ASM100-1580 Console is available here 


2. Fang Mini R9 SE


CyberPower’s ultra small form factor PC, the Fang Mini R9 SE, may be lacking in some areas, but its gaming components are top notch. Boasting a speedy, AMD quad-core processor, the Fang sacrifices memory (2GB DDR3) and storage space (120GB, although it is in the form of a fast solid state drive) for the Radeon R9 M275X, a middle-class-level graphics card.


The Fang will play most 1080p games at an acceptable level, providing the settings are adjusted accordingly. Some modern titles may not always rise above 30 fps, but it’s still the best budget gaming PC so far. That SSD is a godsend for those who hate waiting for Windows to boot up, and it can make loading times between levels a thing of the past. The tiny chassis gives it that console feel, and it comes with built-in Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. My only concern would be the 2GB memory and 135W PSU.


The Fang's more powerful graphics card and solid state drive lift it above the Syber, and it's only the fantastic machine at number one that keeps this gaming PC off the top of the list.


Price: $449


Processor: AMD A8-5557M 2.10GHz Quad-Core Processor


Memory: 2GB (2GBx1) DDR3-1333 SODIMM Memory


Storage: 120GB Kingston SSDNow V300 Series SATA-III 6.0Gb/s SSD


GPU: AMD Radeon R9 M275X GDDR5 2GB 


PSU: 135W power adapter with power cord Input


Extras: Build in 802.11b/g/n,/ac 2.4 - 5Ghz bands + Bluetooth v4.0, Windows 8.1, standard 3-year warranty [3 year labor, 1 year parts], limited warranty plus life time technical support


You can buy the Fang Mini R9 SE here


3. Syber Vapor Gaming Desktop


The Syber Vapor Gaming PC is the first example on this list of a PC which is aimed squarely at those looking for a console-esque computer. Syber have smartly cut back on the RAM and the hard drive space in order to include a GTX 750 graphics card; a much more gaming-focused GFX card than the previous entries.


The AMD Athlon X4 740 Trinity Quad-Core 3.2 GHz provides an impressive amount of processing power, while the 4GB of DDR3 SDRAM and 500GB hard drive provides enough memory and storage space for your average gamer. The Syber also comes with Wi-Fi connectivity, Windows 8.1 64-bit, a wireless keyboard and a game pad - although it doesn’t specify what kind.


Overall, the Syber is a good choice for those looking for a cheap gaming PC in a stylish, mini-ITX case. It should have no problem with the majority of modern games running at 1080p with medium to high settings.


Price: $479


Processor: AMD Athlon X4 740 Trinity Quad-Core 3.2 GHz


Memory: 4GB DDR3 SDRAM


Storage: 500GB HDD




Extras: Build in 802.11ac/g/n WLAN, Windows 8.1 64-bit, wireless keyboard, gamepad, 12 months for parts and 12 months labor limited warranty. 


The Syber Vapor Gaming Desktop is available here


4. CyberPowerPC Gamer Ultra Desktop


The Gamer Ultra desktop from CyberPowerPC comes with one of the nicest cases you will find in this price range. The chassis’ hinged front cover, blue lighting and side window make it the prettiest gaming PC on the list, if not the best.


A quad-core AMD FX 4300 processor and 8GB of 1600MHz RAM moves this system along at a quick pace. It comes with a DVD-RW optical drive, a very nice gaming keyboard and mouse, and a 500GB hard drive. Graphically, the Ultra packs an AMD Radeon R7 240 2GB graphics card; while more powerful than the Patriot’s integrated GPU, the 240 will struggle with most modern games once the resolution is jacked up above 720p. If you are tempted by the Ultra, I’d recommend saving up for a better GPU to go into that fancy case.


Price: $489


Processor: AMD FX 4300 quad-core


Memory: 8GB DDR3 1600MHz


Storage: 500GB HDD


GPU:  AMD Radeon R7 240 2GB


Extras: Windows 10, gaming keyboard, gaming mouse, 6 months Kaspersky subscription, Dual-layer DVD±RW drive, 12 months for parts and 12 months labor limited warranty. 


The CyberPowerPC Gamer Ultra Desktop is available here


5. CybertronPC Patriot TGM1293D


This competitively priced, AMD-powered rig comes with 8GB DDR3 RAM, a spacious 1TB hard drive and a 3.4GHz A4-5300 Dual-Core processor. The Aerocool Strike-X One Gaming Mid-Tower chassis the Patriot is packed into is particularly impressive for a PC in this price range; it has plenty of ventilation, three fans, and plenty of room inside - should you want to upgrade components at a later date. It’s even got a 802.11b/g/n wireless (WiFi) network adapter, DVD-RW drive, a fairly beefy 450 Watt power supply and comes with a keyboard and mouse! Plus, it looks pretty damn sexy.


Graphically, the Patriot uses an AMD Radeon HD 7480D integrated into the APU. It’s not going to play the Witcher 3, but it’ll get you about 70 fps in 720p on Dirt Rally and will rise above 30fps on many less-demanding games at this resolution. Luckily, the Patriot's large case means sticking a dedicated graphics card inside at a later date shouldn't prove much of a problem.


Price: $459.99


Processor: 3.40 GHz AMD A4-5300 Dual-Core


Memory: 8GB DDR 3


Storage: 1TB Serial ATA Hard Drive (7200 RPM, 6 GB/s)


GPU: AMD Radeon HD 7480D (integrated APU)


PSU: 450 Watt


Extras: Keyboard, Mouse, Windows 8.1 64-bit OS, Wireless 802.11bgn Adaptor, Dual-layer DVD±RW drive, 1 Year Parts and Labor Warranty


The CybertronPC Patriot TGM1293D is available here


The words ‘PC gaming’ and ‘budget’ don’t always go together well. The reality is that if you want a gaming rig that has graphical parity with an Xbox One or PS4, then most of the time you’ll have to spend around double the amount these consoles sell for.


If you’re really looking to push the boat out and want to experience the magnificence of features such as 1440p or even 4K gaming, then you can expect to shell out upwards of $2000.   


But not everyone wants to spend a small fortune on a gaming computer.


Many are happy playing games on consoles, but may also like to own a cheaper gaming PC as well; perhaps to experience some of the undemanding MMOs and MOBAs the platform has to offer, or to play some of the PC exclusive titles that these rigs can handle. There’s also the immense PC back-catalog, most of which requires very little graphical muscle. Both Steam and GOG offer an abundance of these classic titles - games like the X-Wing series and the original Dues Ex never stop being fun to play.


There are, however, occasional exceptions to the good gaming PC = expensive PC rule. And the rigs on this list are proof of that.


While many may point out the benefits and satisfaction of building a PC from components, for some people, building their own PC is a no-go area. They’d be much happier forking out the cash for a pre-built rig, safe in the knowledge that most of these computers come with a long warranty, pre-installed software, and typically cost only a little more than self-builds. 


So for those folks not looking to spend a fortune and who simply don’t want the hassle of having to build a computer themselves, here are the 5 best gaming PCs on the market under $500. Each entry includes a breakdown of the most important gaming-related components, a link to the retailer, and my opinion on what makes it a viable option when it comes to PC gaming on a budget.

First Wave of Steam Machine Hardware Pre-Order is Sold Out Mon, 29 Jun 2015 20:24:01 -0400 Courtney Gamache

Valve has announced that their first wave of Steam Machine Hardware including the Steam Machine Controller and Steam Link Streaming Hubs have officially sold out via the October 16th pre-order option.

Wowza that's fast!

Valve released earlier this month that pre-orders were finally available for this highly anticipated video game machine. For those that were able to pre-order the hardware, they will receive it around October 16th, whereas the rest of the world has to wait until November 10th. The pre-orders were accepted through EB Games, GameStop, Micromania, Game UK, and of course Steam

Get it November 10th

The pre-order option for November 10th is still available through Steam. The computer accessories and add-ons are a bit pricy, but they are made to be used with Steam which should help with controller syncing issues that have happened in the past.

What kinds of accessories?

The accessories that are available include: the Steam Controller for $50, Steam Link for $50, Alienware Steam Machine starting at $450, and a Syber Steam Machine starting at $500. To look more closely into their benefits, you can view them on Steam's hardware purchase page.

Why Would You Buy A Steam Machine? Sat, 06 Jun 2015 13:30:02 -0400 OrganisedDinosaur

With the announcement of Steam Machines being available for pre-order (who precisely is supposed to want to pre-order a first iteration of new hardware I don’t know), it brings back to mind a very good question that was first asked when these PC-console hybrids were first announced. Who precisely are they for?

The Steam Machines appear to fill a gap in the market that isn’t there.

A solution looking for a problem. Now of course, there are people in the gaming community who will buy them simply for the sake of having one. I am somewhat embarrassed to admit that I might at some stage buy a cheaper one just for the sake of having it hooked up to my projector along with my consoles, while my real gaming PC sits in the corner. Though this is out of my lack of self-control and inherent need to own every gaming platform. The Steam Machine isn’t even a unique platform with any unique features or exclusive titles. To someone of sounder mind than me, where is the appeal?

The age-old battle between consoles and PCs at least had valid points on either side. PCs were more powerful and customizable and can also perform other tasks, but had the downside of cost and the need for more regular upgrades.

Consoles, on the other hand were good until the next generation, much easier to use and play on, and significantly cheaper. They were less powerful and had fewer overall uses, however. Consoles and PCs alike also had the draw of exclusive titles.

What niche are Steam Machines after? They combine the worst aspects of consoles and PCs. They lack a PC’s versatility and a console’s simplicity. There is no target consumer who comes to mind who would purchase a Steam Machine over a console or PC.

Choosing a Steam Machine means that you want to be a PC gamer rather than a console gamer. But you do so by buying an overpriced wannabe console.

Why on earth would you not simply purchase a PC with similar (or better) specs than the Steam Machine? If the simpler nature of the Steam Machine is the appeal for you, then buy yourself a console. If you want to be a PC Gamer, then buy an actual PC. Even financially, they don’t seem to make much sense.

The Steam Controller on the other hand may have merit

Steam Machines literally don’t do what they are advertised to do.

Whether or not Steam Machines may be viable in the future is up for debate, but at present most games don’t even work on its operating system, SteamOS. So that makes it absolutely the worst console/PC (or whatever you want to call it) on the market. As of right now, they are overpriced, lacking games, and sit uncomfortably in an imagined niche - and they aren’t even out yet.

But who knows?

I may well be proved wrong and we may see them bought in droves by console gamers who would like to play PC titles, but who don’t want to build a PC or purchase a non-dedicated gaming machine. Console gamers who want an easier and guided way to enter the PC world are the closest thing that Steam Machines have to a market. But I don’t see that working either.

True console gamers will view it as a PC and steer clear, whereas true PC gamers will view it as a console and keep away in turn. It is sitting on the fence and trying to be friends with both sides. The Steam Machine is the Switzerland of gaming devices. Then again, I've been to Switzerland - and it is rather nice. 

What do you think of the Steam Machine? Is there any chance it could succeed? Let us know in the comments below!

Pre-orders for the First Steam Machine Begin June 4th Fri, 05 Jun 2015 06:33:38 -0400 Victor Ren

Valve's console-like PC that is designed to run SteamOS and play its library full of thousands of games is now open for pre-orders. Everyone that pre-orders will receive the new piece of hardware on October 16th, while the official release for store shelves is on November 16th. Alienware and CyberPower are the first two companies that will release a Steam Machine, but soon many more companies will follow suit.

Each of these newly built machines will be have the SteamOS installed onto them. Although this only allows for games that are compatible with Linux, this still gives the user from anywhere between 1,100 and 1,200 games to choose from. With that said, you also will be able to run any game from your Steam Machine as long as it is being streamed from your PC.

The machines from Alienware start at a cost of $449, but can range to $749. The Steam controller will sell for $49 and the Steam link will also sell for $49. Also everything but the GPU will be upgradeable for users, and that the graphics card will be the equivalent of a NVIDIA GTX 860m.

Below are the listed configurations for each price on Alienware:


  • Intel Core i3 - 4130T DC
  • nVidia GeForce GTX GPU w/2GB GDDR5
  • 4GB DDR3
  • 500GB 7200RPM HDD
  • 1x1 802.11 Wireless Card
  • Steam Controller

$549 :

  • Intel Core i3 - 4130T DC
  • nVidia GeForce GTX GPU w/2GB GDDR5
  • 8GB DDR3
  • 1TB 7200RPM HDD
  • 1x1 802.11 Wireless Card
  • Steam Controller


  • Intel Core i5 - 4590T QC
  • nVidia GeForce GTX GPU w/2GB GDDR5
  • 8GB DDR3
  • 1TB 7200RPM HDD
  • 2x2 802.11 AC
  • Steam Controller


  • Intel Core i7 - 4765T QC
  • 8GB DDR3
  • 1TB 7200RPM HDD
  • 2x2 802.11 AC
  • Steam Controller

The configurations for CyberPower's Syber box are around the same, although some might appreciate the extra boost in the GPU for a little less of a price. There is also a $1419 configuration for their machines:


  • Intel Core i3 - 4160
  • NVIDIA GeForce GTX 750 GPU w/1GB GDDR5
  • 4GB DDR3 1600 MHZ
  • 802.11 ac/g/n Wireless Card
  • Steam Controller
  • Keyboard and Touchpad


  • Intel Core i5 3.40 GHZ
  • NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960 GPU w/2GB GDDR5
  • 8GB DDR3 1600 MHZ
  • 802.11 ac/g/n Wireless Card
  • Steam Controller
  • Keyboard and Touchpad


  • Intel Core i7 4.0 GHZ
  • NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980 GPU w/4GB GDDR5
  • 16GB DDR3 1600 MHZ
  • 802.11 ac/g/n Wireless Card
  • Steam Controller
  • Keyboard and Touchpad

Gamestop's director of merchandising, Michael Turner, loves the idea of the new Steam Machines as he pushed for a partnership with Dell and Alienware. In an interview with Polygon, Turner was quoted saying:

"Buying computers can be a very complex process with the variety of hardware and software options available. We think offering machines which are optimized for Steam will be very helpful to our customers."

Being uncomplicated is one of the major weapons that the console holds against the PC. Its ease of use and simple plug and play, is what helps bring in a huge chunk of its audience, and it helps new gamers get into the gaming world. It looks like now Valve is also giving players everywhere the choice of simplicity, and maybe it will be able to persuade some console gamers to join the PC race.

Although Valve is pushing out new hardware for PC gaming to be playable on the couch, is it enough to draw in some more fans? How will people adapt to the SteamOS, and how will those on console react after switching over? Give us your opinions down in the comments below!

Valve's first Steam Machines release Oct. 16th, in stores Nov. 10th Thu, 04 Jun 2015 07:31:24 -0400 Bryan C. Tan

After three years of ups and downs, Valve has finally announced a release date for their first official Steam Machines: October 16th for some pre-orders, and November 10th for retail.

Alienware and CyberPower will release the first two lines of PC-console Steam Machines, which will run Linux-only SteamOS and will be able to stream Steam games from any local Windows or Mac computer. The Alienware Steam Machine will be fully upgradeable except its graphics chip, which, according to Dell, performs at the same level as a GeForce GTX 860M or better. The CyberPower Steam Machine will be fully upgradeable with support for graphic cards such as the Nvidia GTX Titan and AMD Radeon R9 290X.

Starting at $449, the Steam Machines will be available for retail on the same day as the Steam Controller and the TV-streaming Steam Link, both with a price of $50 each. 

Pre-orders for the Alienware Steam Machine, Steam Controller, and Steam Link start today at GameStop and Steam, along with the CyberPower Steam Machine on its site. GameStop, EB Games, Micromania, GAME UK, and Steam will pre-sell the Steam Controller and Steam Link as wel

Take a look at Alienware's Alpha iteration of the Steam Machine.

10 Best Booths From PAX East 2015 Mon, 09 Mar 2015 18:38:22 -0400 Ryan Mayle


Alienware had more to show than just PC hardware. They also deemed it worth to show off their custom Pick-up truck that had color changing LEDs all over it, speakers strung across the roof rack, and 6 game stations that pulled out of the back of the truck bed. On top of all of this, the lights would change to the music that was being played.


Twitch had a huge booth that you saw as soon as you walked into the Expo Hall. This was the most well-lit booth as the front of it was set up like a studio complete with lights, cameras, and sound equipment. It gave attendees a great opportunity to see behind the scenes of the live-broadcast of a show.


Grey Box had a huge booth this year for their game Grey Goo. They had their booth built around a center stage to demo their new RTS game. It was very easy to see their booth from a distance due to the glow that it emitted. And statues!


The Cards Against Humanity booth wasn't easy to find, but it was worth the search. Their booth consisted of 2x4s, cardboard scraps, some duct tape, and their cards spread all over the table. Also featured at this booth: game developers were posted every day to sign cards from their game and hand out swag. This was the most low budget booth in the entire convention center, but this made it the most hilarious. 


For Capcom, Monster Hunter is big, and they did a great job supporting it this year. They created a Monster Hunter themed trailer to sell merchandise from and had three tents surrounding it, creating a great looking hunter caravan. Two tents contained New Nintendo 3DS XL's with Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate and one tent was filled with 3DS charging cables for attendees.


Blizzard's Overwatch booth was something that was easy to see from almost any spot in the expo hall. The entire booth was glowing orange and had huge displays on each corner showing game footage. Lines wrapped around the booth and into the center where people were sent to booths in each corner to play their new game Overwatch.


The booth for Oculus was set up to bring people out of the show floor and into a makeshift living room. The booth itself had an entrance on the front and exists in the back and rooms with soundproofing walls surrounding it. When being inside the booth you almost forgot that you were in the middle of a loud expo hall as it was much quieter and relaxing inside the booth.


Guild Wars 2  had a very jungly booth for their new expansion Heart of Thorn. They had fake foliage surrounding everything at their booth. In some spots, it was difficult to see what was going on inside the booth. It was very easy to spot the Guild Wars booth from a distance as a tree inside an expo hall sticks out like a sore thumb.


Hot Pockets gets my Best Booth That Wasn't A Booth award. They had a food truck stationed directly out front of the convention center. They constantly had a line outside of it as they passed out free Hot Pockets to anyone who came along. No promotional material, didn't ask for any email address, just a constant free stream of Hot Pockets.


Wargaming had a huge setup designed to look like something pulled out of the World of Tanks and World of Warships world. The entire booth had a concrete and steel look and even featured some crumbling parts to look like it was a war-torn building. This all meshed up very well to provide a good sense of environment that matched the game.


PAX East 2015 has come and gone, but some booths will not be forgotten. The environmental setup of a booth helps developers really pull people into their games by transporting attendees into a new world. Here is a collection of photos that I thought did the best job at this by looking great and setting themselves apart from the rest of the show floor.

First Impressions On The New Steam Controller at PAX East Sun, 08 Mar 2015 12:23:57 -0400 Ryan Mayle

There has been a lot of excitement and scrutiny of Steam's new controller. In one group, you have people excited that there is a new controller built from the ground up with PC in mind, and on the other you have people who consider it a joke because it only has one joystick. Well after getting to try the new controller, I have two new pieces of information that could be interesting to people who may be considering Alienware's new Steam Machine, which comes with the controller.

The Build

The build quality is pretty solid. It does feel like it may have a good amount of empty space in the core of the controller, but you can feel that the shell of it is sturdy. The buttons click and have solid tactile feedback, and the triggers don't feel like they will stop responding anytime soon. Also the touchpads on the controller don't feel like a cheap laptop trackpad. They have a nice texture to them as you slide your thumbs across, but not so much as to make your fingers hurt.

The Touchpads

This is the biggest part of the Steam controller and is what helps it set itself apart. However, the question everyone is asking is, "Do the touchpads work for gaming?"

Well they do, sort of... When using the touchpads you do get a little bit of feedback and they are very wide which gives you a lot of room to move. This is great for games that rely on mouse to be played such as Civilization or the game I tried to the controller on, This War of Mine. You have enough room to move the cursor around, but nowhere near as much as a mouse. The other issue is that it's hard to get the same accuracy as you would have with a mouse. When it comes to accuracy, it's almost identical to playing a game with a laptop touchpad. As any gamer knows, this is doable, but not ideal. 


The Steam controller is exactly what it looks like. It's a hybrid. Not quite as accurate as a mouse, and doesn't quite give you the feel of controller joysticks. If you want a controller to play something like Civilization or The Secret of Monkey Island, you will be pleasantly surprised. However, when it comes to something quicker like Starcraft or Counter-Strike, you may want to stick with a mouse. If you are looking for something versatile, the Steam controller is what you want, but if you are looking to play a lot of twitchy games or first-person shooters, you may want to stick with the classic keyboard and mouse.

Finalized Steam Controller To Be Shown Alongside Valve's Steam Machines at GDC Mon, 12 Jan 2015 17:59:48 -0500 Esteban Padilla

After several design changes and false starts, Valve has announced that they have finally decided on a controller design for their flagship Steam console.

The controller is set to unveil in March of this year at the Game Developers Conference in San Francisco during a company presentation of its Steam Machines.

The design of the Steam Controller has always been a touchy subject because of the nature of PC gaming vs console gaming. With such a heavy reliance on a point-and-click interface, analog sticks don't really deliver the same level of precision or satisfaction when playing certain PC titles. The original and beta Steam Controller had touchpad trackpads to try to get around this issue. It is unknown at this time what the final controller design will be.

The Rocky Transition From PC To Console Gaming
The design of the Steam Controller has always been a touchy subject because of the nature of PC gaming vs console gaming.

Valve first announced its decision to break into the console market back in 2012. With such a large PC consumer-base, this seemed like a nobrainer. But since then, gamers have been holding their breath for what seems like forever, patiently awaiting any news of what the system and its accessories will look and feel like. Finally, the console, now dubbed the Steam Machine, will be shown and demoed at GDC.

It should also be clarified that in reality, Valve will not be producing the consoles on their own. Instead of one Steam Machine, consumers will be purchasing a Steam Machine from a variety manufacturers. 14 PC companies have confirmed their own version of the console, each with a wide array of hardware and specs but all running the same Linux-based SteamOS, so gamers will have their choice of Steam Machine to fit their particular needs.

Alienware was the first to release their Steam Machine, the Alienware Alpha, late last year, just in time for the holiday rush. Although the reception has been fairly lukewarm (especially since SteamOS is still in beta), the PC masquerading as a console was noted as at least demonstrating what a "Windows Box" could feel like. Hopefully the addition of a dedicated Steam controller and several other hardware configurations can bring to light Valve's original vision.

Is a Valve living room console really the way of the future or was it simply wishful thinking on the behalf PC gamers? Do you think that the new controller design and presentation at GDC will bring back the enthusiasm we once felt for the Steam Machine? Let us know in the comments below.

The Top Hardcore Gaming Laptops Out Today Mon, 04 Aug 2014 19:13:28 -0400 onpv3rtigo1

Are you a PC gaming freak? Do you go into constant debt every summer after the Steam Summer Sale? Do you wish that you had all that desktop power in a semi-quasi-portable platform? Then look no further. We offer you up a few of the best gaming laptop rigs out in the market today. You better have deep pockets because you can't get phenomenal cosmic powers in an itty bitty living space for cheap.

To start out, let us go over some of the basics that you will need to consider when shopping for your rig. Most high-end gaming PCs or laptops let you build your own right on the manufacturer's website. This lets you put in the components you want for ultimate performance, power and price. Now I won't get into the lengthy explanations about how the components work or what they are for. I am assuming that most hardcore PC gamers know what they are looking at. However, for the newbies out there looking to break in, let me refer you to an article by GameSkinny's own Queen of the Nerds, Venisia. Here, she goes into the ins and outs of PC components. So if you need help please feel free to give this article a gander.

Graphics Card: Nvidia or AMD?

First and foremost for any hardcore gaming rig is the graphics card. This is the pure muscle behind what you want to do with your gaming. As of right now the best cards on the market for laptops are either the Nvidia GeForce GTX 880M or the AMD Radeon HD 8870M.

The choice between the two is purely personal. They both are so close performance wise it basically comes down to the old argument of Coke vs Pepsi. Now on both of these cards you will most likely be able to choose how much memory they have as well. You will want to get the most memory on your graphics card that you can afford to get. You will want to go for at least a 1GB card to start with but the more memory it has the better.

Processor: Intel for gaming

Now the next thing on the list is the actual brains of the operation--the processor. Hands down you will want to go with either of the top Intel processors available. Those would be the Core i5 or i7 processors in whatever speed you can afford (speeds will range between 3.0 to 3.8 GHz).

Now when I shop for processors I don't go all out for the highest speed. I save a few hundred and go for the middle road clock speed. To me, I really don't think .2gHz in processor speed is gonna kill my gaming. I would rather put the money I save here into any graphics card upgrades or into getting more RAM.

RAM: How much do I need?

Speaking of RAM, this one is pretty self explanatory. Get as much RAM as you can afford to get. The more RAM you have overall the more programs and stuff you can run at the same time. RAM is one of the cheaper components you can upgrade as well. You can even take advantage of certain promotions that exist where you can double your RAM for free. The more, the better. About 16 GB will serve most average gamers.

Hard Drive

The last major component to choose for your gaming rig would be the hard drive. There are two choices out on the market now to consider. Traditional hard drives and solid state drives. If you want to get the fastest performance from your hard drive, consider getting a solid state. These drives forgo spinning drives for flash-based memory technology like that found in USB memory sticks. They are much faster and contain no moving parts so that there is less room for mechanical failures.

The down side to SSDs is that they don't really come in the higher GB range that traditional hard drives come in and they are much more expensive. Some options available to certain higher end laptops is the ability to have multiple drives. In this case one could have a smaller size SSD for whatever you play and a large size HDD for everything else.

Other options to consider like screen size and battery life are worthy of note. Battery size for instance is not going be of huge importance in a high-end gaming laptop. You'll want to be near an electrical outlet when you're in the middle of a high stakes Battlefield or Guild Wars 2 match anyways. As far as screen size, yes bigger is better here as well. However, the bigger the screen the bulkier and heavier the laptop becomes. Is it still portable? Absolutely. Just consider the size and bulk as compared to the portability. Another thing to think about here is that most laptops, high-end or not, are coming with HDMI output ports. Now this can be used as a second screen experience or you can use it to throw something like Skyrim on a 50" flat screen. At that point, who cares how big the laptop screen is.

Now without any further interruptions let us look at three of the top gaming laptops out on the market today. As well as giving some brief information on each brand, I will also give you an example of a custom build from each manufacturer to show which hardware each has as well as the price you can expect to pay. Now remember this is totally customizable and in no way do you have to get the build I put down. These builds will only represent the top-of-the-line models that each one can put out.

MSI GT70 series

The GT70 series of laptops offer the technical specs and features that are the very latest in gaming and computing technology. What this series lacks is the full customization options that are offered by other manufacturers; it is not a simple build-your-own type of laptop, but offers limited customization. Some people may not miss the options to upgrade certain things because you are already getting the best hardware.

The highlight of the GT70 series is the number of hard drive options. Within the series you can get four hard drives - three 128GB SSDs and a 1TB HDD. This feature is currently unmatched in the gaming laptop industry. THere are other models within the series that do offer different combinations of SSDs and HDDs as well. These laptops are only available with a 17" screen which is a plus for a great gaming laptop. This series also has the most USB ports to be offered with a total of six. That is one to two more than the competition. Other features that are standard for this series include built-in Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, webcam, mic, memory card reader, and HDMI port. They also come with a Blu-ray drive as the standard option.

The top-of-the-line MSI GT series laptop offered is the GT72 Dominator Pro-007 which is priced at $2999.99. Here are the specs:

  • Intel Core i7-4710HQ at 2.5GHz (3.4GHz w/Turbo Boost)
  • 17.3" full HD Anti-reflective w/ a 1920x1080 resolution
  • Nvidia GeForce GTX 880M w/ 8GB of DDR5
  • 32 GB DDR3L RAM @ 1600MHz
  • 4 x 128GB SSDs + 1TB HDD @ 7200RPM
  • Blu-Ray
  • Bluetooth
  • 6 x USB 3.0 ports
  • 1080p FHD webcam
  • HDMI
  • SD card reader

Although there is no build-your-own options on these laptops, the sheer number of hard drives offered as well as USB ports included put this series in the top.

Origin EON series

The Origin series of laptops are designed with the hardcore gamer in mind. Unlike the MSI GT70 series, the laptops from Origin are fully customizable. The multimedia features are also calibrated not only for gaming, but for creative tasks and everyday computing as well. This makes the Origin series a great system for gamers and graphic artists alike.

There are also 13" and 15" models available if you are looking for something a little smaller. But hey, we're gamers, it's go big or go home right? There are fewer USB ports on the Origins as compared to the MSI series. That being said, you still get four ports which will definitely get the job done. The hard drive options are also plentiful with the choice to install up to three separate drives. Now being fully customizable you have the option to go all SSD, all HDD, or a combination of both. A memory card reader, webcam and mic, built in Wi-Fi and Bluetooth make this a great gaming laptop with easy to use features. You also get the option while building your own to choose between all versions of Windows 7 as well as Windows 8.

The biggest laptop available for customization is the EON17-SLX. This particular build will run you around $6300 and here are the specs:

  • Intel Extreme Core i7 4940MX Quad-Core 3.1GHz (4.0GHz w/ Turbo Boost)
  • 17.3" SLX LED Backlit display w/ a 1920X1080 resolution
  • 2 x 8GB Nvidia GTX 880M (yes that's right DUAL 8GB 880Ms)
  • 32GB Kingston HyperX Impact RAM @ 1600MHz
  • 3 x 1TB Samsung 840 Evo series SSDs
  • 6x BD-R Slim Blu-ray burner
  • Bluetooth
  • 3 x USB 3.0 ports
  • Built-in 1.0M user facing and 5.0M front facing video cameras
  • HDMI
  • SD card reader

Now a few things to note on this particular build. Yes it is MAD expensive but that's because I maxed out most everything available. Each 1TB SSD was an extra $700. Also there is the matter of the dual Nvidia cards. Do you need all that graphical muscle? No. Should you have it just because? Hell yes! The only other item to bring up here has to do with the 32 GB of RAM. In order for them to build the machine with that much RAM you need to upgrade the OS to at least Windows 7 Professional. Home Premium will not support RAM over 16GB. 


If you are looking for the ultimate gaming laptop upgrade, then look no further than Alienware. Labelled by many PC hardware sites as the best out there, the Alienwares bring the best in performance, design and features. As with the Origin series, the Alienwares are fully customizable.

These laptops are some of the few that have the complete 3D technology option. All you need to do is plug your Alienware into a 3D TV or monitor to amplify your gaming experience. However, a Blu-ray drive is not a standard option on all models and may require you to upgrade to one during customization. The Alienwares also come in different screen sizes offering a 14", 17", and even a whopping 18" beast. The other standard features apply as well. Webcam and mic, memory card reader, HDMI, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and three to four USB ports are all offered stock. Also a feature of note is the ability to customize the illumination on your entire machine. The keyboard, touchpad, speaker vents and Alienware logo can all be their own unique color or all the same. The choice is yours.

For the Alienware, I will go with the 18" screen size model. Now this is not the highest 18" model but does give you more customization options. The reason for this is that the highest model already comes with most of the beefiest hardware to begin with so there is nothing to upgrade to. The price of this build will set you back around $4800. So here it is:

  • 4th Generation Intel Core i7-4940MX Quad Core (up to 4.0GHz w/ Turbo Boost)
  • 18.4" WLED full HD TrueLife display w/ a 1920 x 1080 resolution
  • 2 x Nvidia GeForce GTX 880M w/ 8GB DDR5 RAM (again that is a DUAL set up that is Nvidia SLI enabled)
  • 32GB of DDR3L RAM @ 1600MHz
  • 512GB SSD Boot drive + 1TB 5400 RPM HDD
  • Slot-loading Dual Layer Blu-ray Reader
  • Bluetooth
  • 4 x USB 3.0 Superspeed ports (1 w/ Powershare technology)
  • Webcam
  • HDMI
  • 7-in-1 Media Card reader

With several model options in each screen size category each with different customization options, you really can't go wrong with Alienware. These laptops are also universally accepted as some of the top gaming laptops out today. With the extreme hardware offered as well as the personalization options given put these rigs at the top of everyone's list.

So, there you have it. The top laptops for all your gaming needs. Yes, the builds offered here are going a bit overboard but, like I said, go big or go home. Only if your wallets allow it of course. But even if your pockets aren't that deep, you should still be able to find a kick ass rig to fit your budget.

Get Your WildStar Keys Quick - How to Get Yours Mon, 28 Jul 2014 20:44:45 -0400 Mary Yeager

Wildstar released almost two months ago. Players are well settled in and guides from beginner on up are already flourishing on the web. Now, Carbine wants to give even more people access to the Nexus with their offer of trial keys in partnership with Alienware Arena.

Wildstar gave Alienware a total of 20,000 keys to hand out to people registered on or willing to register on the Alienware site in North America and Europe. 10,000 keys are reserved for each continent. Getting a key is simple, but you do have to make sure you go grab one now before they are all gone.

1. Visit Alienware Arena and sign in or register.

First things first, you have to register on the Alienware website or sign in to the site if you have already registered. The registration form is pretty much standard. They will not ask you for any payment information. You also have the option of logging in with Facebook or Steam.

2. Get your key from Alienware's site.

Go back to Alienware's site and grab your key. Your key will be given to you then. It will also be sent to you though email. Should you close your browser window on accident or if it crashes, you can also view your keys inside Alienware's site on your giveaways page found here.

3. Log into WildStar Site.

Next you will need to visit the WildStar site. If you don't already have an account, you will need to sign up for a new account here. Again, information is all standard and they do not ask for any payment information. One thing to note is the password instructions are a bit misleading. You will need uppercase and lowercase letters plus at least 1 number and 1 special character. You will need to verify your email address to complete your registration.

4. Login and add your code.

After logging in on the WildStar website, you will be shown a landing screen with some options on what you can do within your account. On the right hand side, there will be three blue banners. Click the one that says "Apply a Code". Put your code in the box and click Apply. You will be taken to a confirmation screen that will tell you that the code will show being used in the transaction history page.

5. Download the game.

Go back to your account summary page (click the profile link) and on the right side of the page above the apply code button is a button with gold lettering that says "Download Game". Hit the button and run the installer once it is finished downloading. The installer will finish downloading and installing the WildStar game (took me about an hour on my internet speed).

You are now ready to venture into the Nexus. Go jump in-game and get started on your free trial. Keep in mind, the trial starts as soon as you input your code into the website. So don't put it your account until you are ready to play. The key is good for a 7-day trial.

Alex "Xpecial" Chu Believes ESports Will Become As Popular As Real Sports Sun, 29 Jun 2014 03:47:28 -0400 John Gaudiosi

Those wondering how eSports and traditional sports like soccer, baseball and football are becoming more alike need only to look at Riot Games’ League of Legends. This year the League of Legends Championship Series added a minor league Challenger Series. That has set off a chain reaction of trades as teams jockey for position and new talent replaces aging pros. Alex “Xpecial” Chu, one of the star players of Team Solomid (TSM) was traded recently to Team Curse.

The LoL support player was at the Alienware booth at E3 2014 to check out the new Alienware Alpha gaming system. He explains why eSports and real sports are merging in this exclusive interview.

What’s the transition been like for you coming over to Team Curse?

Chu: It’s been different. Curse is a lot different. Both teams have their strengths and weaknesses. I really want to push Curse to be a strong team. That’s my goal. Make myself, push myself to be really good and make my team really good.

What would you say the strengths and weaknesses are of Curse compared to TSM?

Chu: With Curse our teamwork and our laning is as strong as Team Solomid. At TSM we were known for our laning, really strong laners, all mechanically strong. With Curse we’re really close in mechanical skills, but not nearly the same, and our teamwork is also lacking. We need to improve in shot calling and our lane game and mid-game rotations are our big key. For TSM they just have a lot of weaknesses and mainly just energy. They don’t work too well with team plays. They’re really rough for them. That’s why they are falling right now.

How have you seen the ability for players to trade and move around impact League of Legends as an eSport over the last few years?

Chu: I think it’s positive. Every single sport has these trades and they’re seen as normal. It makes teams better, and that’s really the goal. As the game gets more and more competitive these traits  are going to be more common. You want the best players on your team. Maybe even if you have the best players, they’re not going to be the best fit, and that’s what these roster changes are about. You want the best fitting team. You want the team to work really well. Good synergy is crucial and it’s showing in League of Legends.

Each one of you pros has his own fan following as well as team followings. How have you seen your fans follow you from TSM to Curse?

Chu: There’s a saying that some fans follow for the name on the front and some follow for the name on the back, and there’s a lot of both. I have a lot of fans that follow Xpecial and some are fans of Team Solomid, and that’s fine. That’s normal. I do get a lot of hate, like ‘Why did you leave TSM?’ But it’s for competition. We all want to win and we’re going to do the thing that’s going to give us the highest chance of winning. That’s what this all is about.

What impact have you seen having the LCS championship last year played in a real arena in Staples Center have on eSports as a valid sport?

Chu: I don’t think the venue itself is going to make it so that League of Legends becomes a sport. It’s really the league that has the set- with all these tournaments and the ramp of you have now with these Challenger teams that are competing as LCS. It’s just the way things ramp up and it’s really similar to real sports. You have amateurs that want to be pro. You have pros that aren’t pros anymore because they’re just not good enough. That is where League of Legends is really pushing itself as an eSport. It’s by making itself a sport, not just a venue, but the structure.

What are your thoughts on the fact that just this X Games awarded pro gamers for Call of Duty gold medals just like they would to extreme sports athletes?

Chu: It’s just a matter of time. I remember doing interviews three years ago and I would say it’s inevitable. And it really seems to be coming true. You’re seeing sports and eSports blending together. I don’t think that line will ever be gone, but it’s definitely getting closer. You’re going to see a lot more eSports in around sports. It’s not that they’re going to be the same thing, but it’s going to be similar. People are going to recognize this. People are going to see it and recognize that these are pro players, competitive players, and it’s really similar.

What impact has the Challenger Series had on giving amateurs new opportunities?

Chu: The Challenger Series is really great for these players that want to go pro. You have these players that are trying really hard and this is where they get to shine. Before CS, it was really hard to just show yourself as competitive in those public games. Now players can really show themselves. A lot of roster changes that we’re seeing are from these amateur teams. They have these really good players, but their team might not be as good. And you have LCSC pro teams drafting these players and making them into stars.

When you look around here at E3 there are a ton of MOBAs. What do you feel differentiates League of Legends and keeps it so popular even with all the competition?

Chu: League of Legends was first. That’s a really big thing, but the bigger thing is that it’s constantly updating. The Season 3 patch was huge. The Season 4 patch was even bigger. You have a new champion out every single month and it’s always fresh. If you leave the game for half a year, you’re going to find out that everything is different. It’s a fresh game. It’s a fresh start for a lot of players and it’s really refreshing. People get tired of games no matter how fun they are, but League of Legends constantly changes stuff so that even if you get tired a little bit, something new is going to come out and you’re going to be rejuvenated. I really like that about League of Legends. Sure it makes our job as a pro hard because you have to adapt, but that’s part of League of Legends. It’s part of what makes people want to play it.

What impact do you feel a device like the Alienware Alpha, which brings video games like League of Legends into the living room, will have on the popularity of the game in the living room?

Chu: I think it’s great. Much like how people love consoles and you often play those games on your TV. They’re bringing the PC onto the TV. So say you’re playing in the living room and your mom is watching you and it brings even more awareness to League of Legends. The impact might not be as big but really the goal is to expand League of Legends and PC games and get more and more players each day. PC gaming has grown so much. You have an event like E3 for console and just PC and that’s really very popular. You see tens of thousands of people here and it’s crazy. It blows my mind. The first time I went to a convention I could not believe that there’s so many people out there who enjoy what I do. But there’s a lot more people who don’t go to events and they don’t really realize this is so common. Gaming is not nerdy. That term still applies, but nerd, the connotation, just does not apply. We’re normal people. We go out. We love games. We still do real life stuff.

What’s a match that stands out as one of your favorites from all the competition you’ve faced over the years?

Chu: People ask me this question all the time and I would love to say something in the past. There’s plenty of games that I’m proud of, but my biggest goal is a game in the future.  I want my best game to be in the future.  I don’t want to look back and be, ‘Hey, my best game was in the past. I’ll never do that again.’ I want to say, ‘My future, tomorrow, next time, that’s where my best game lies.’

WildStar Goes Above and Beyond for National Guard Mom Fri, 23 May 2014 14:02:01 -0400 Mary Yeager

The devs are listening.

That is the philosophy the employees at Carbine take to heart. From the developers to the community team, they all follow it. On May 5th, this mantra became reality for one woman from Indiana. It all began with a single tweet.

May 5th, 2014, the community team for WildStar launched a promotion on Vine. The short video was simple. They wanted their players to tweet how they were readying for launch on June 3rd with #WildStarLaunch.

The winner would receive a surprise personal visit from the community team and some great swag. A tweet from Jennifer Baugh captured their attention.

Jennifer Baugh is working mom from Indianapolis, Indiana. Her only son is preparing to leave for boot camp. The day he leaves coincides with the launch of WildStar. A day of happiness for a new game merged with such sadness as to see her son leave to train to defend his country. As she put it, "it's a double-edged sword."

From California to Indianapolis, two Carbine employees flew to meet the woman who they'd chosen. Jennifer Baugh had no clue that the community manager, Tony Reyes, and the social media manager, Sean Clanton, were going to hand-deliver her winnings. The two found shocked greetings.

Community Manager Tony Reyes with Jennifer Baugh and her husband John.
Community Manager Tony Reyes with Jennifer Baugh and her husband. Image from Twitter

On top of the personal visit, Jennifer received some WildStar promotional items, like t-shirts for her family, and with their partner Alienware, they presented her with an Alienware gaming laptop with mouse and headset. A working mother who couldn't afford such a prize on her own, this accompanied tear-filled words and great surprise. But that was not all that the team presented her with. The last part of the prize was a year subscription to WildStar for her and her family.

Community support can be so awe-inspring. To watch people support someone they don't know but share a common interest with restores one's faith in humanity.

Jennifer's story does not end there. Jennifer's husband received a diagnosis of Malignant Melanoma. This news would accompany expensive doctor bills. Using the site GoFundMe, Jennifer started a campaign to get help with the bills. The WildStar community showed up to support their fellow player. While the campaign is not yet fully funded, gamers and Carbine staff have shown overwhelming support to Jennifer Baugh and her family.

One simple tweet started it all. Carbine caught it all on video to share with their fans about the power of one single tweet. Carbine gives back.

Why I Play Games - A Trip Down Memory Lane Tue, 04 Feb 2014 16:45:47 -0500 Venisia Gonzalez

Playing games is one of the most popular things to do worldwide. It doesn't matter whether it's a card game, board game or video game. Games can bring social interaction among friends, families, co-workers or even bring a sense of freedom from every day life struggles.

The question of why I play games has many answers, but I'll give one: I simply just love them. Take a trip down memory lane with me as I introduce you to the console and PC gaming world I love.


My love of video games started when I was young and I received my first console the Atari 2600 during the 1980s. I remember the wood veneer on the design and that joystick. I played Asteroids all the time. Games like Pac-Man, Breakout, Donkey Kong and Frogger were magic to my brothers and me.


The next console to enter my life was the Nintendo NES. Games like the Adventure Island series, Bionic Commando, Castlevania series, Kirby's Adventures and The Legend of Zelda took me on so many adventures.

The Sega Genesis was the third console to come into my world. I played that bad boy quite a bit. I played games such as Castle of Illusion: Mickey Mouse, Battletech: A Game of Armored Combat, Dark Castle, Dungeons and Dragons: Warriors of the Eternal Sun, Forgotten Worlds, and who could forget Lemmings.

The fourth console to enter my life was the Sony Playstation. I played Aliens Trilogy, Aliens Resurrection, 3D Lemmings, Beast Wars: Transformers, Blades of Blood: Samurai Shodown III, Bushido Blade, Castlevania Chronicles and Command & Conquer.

I did love my PC games. A simple game like Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego? was a learning hoot. Yet, in Aliens versus Predators, playing as a face-hugger was epic fun.


Nintendo 64 was the fifth console to pay a visit. Games like Command & Conquer, Conker's Bad Fur Day, The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask, and Mega Man 64 were fun and very entertaining.

The "indestructible" Nintendo GameCube was the sixth console. Metroid Prime, Resident Evil games, Super Smash Bros. Melee, Pikmin, Super Mario Strikers were huge hits with me.

Sony Playstation 2 (PS2) was the seventh console and was a favorite of my daughter's (thanks to a generic controller that lit up). Burnout Revenge was so much fun! I played other games like Marvel: Ultimate Alliance, the very criticized Manhunt (with the famous blue plastic bag scene), Max Payne, Monster vs. Aliens, and the Mortal Kombat series kept me busy.

Life with Microsoft's first console, the Xbox, changed things when I was introduced to Halo 2. Holy cow that game was amazing. Aeon Flux, Baulder's Gate: Dark Alliance, Destroy All Humans!, Soul Calibur II, Silent Hill 2, and Star Wars: Battlefront were among the very played games in the house.

The Xbox 360 is the favorite of mine and pretty much everyone in my family. Among my top games are the BioShock series, Halo series, Forza Motorsport 4, Borderlands series, Alan Wake, Skylanders, Minecraft, Call of Duty series, Battlefield 3, Gears of War series, Battlefield Bad Company 1 & 2, Fable 3... I could go on and on.

Sony Playstation 3 (PS3) was the only console to enter my life long after its release just so I could play The Last of Us. I mean it, the only reason. Now I played the console before but the reason I went out of my way to own the console was for that game. I did enjoy the Fallout series, God of War series, Ni no Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch, as well among others.

My gaming laptop is the awesome Alienware M18x, and is pretty frequently used not just for games. I play all kinds of games such as The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, Diablo III, DOTA 2, Age of Conan Unchained, Warframe, StarCraft II, World of Warcraft series and I'm very excited for The Elder Scrolls Online.

The latest console to enter my life is the Xbox One. Upon its release I've played Battlefield 4, Call of Duty: Ghosts, Dead Rising 3 and Forza Motorsport 5 so far. I'm eagerly anticipating the PvZ Garden Warfare, Destiny, and Titanfall as of now.

I've lived with video games most of my life and I've loved every minute. I have watched how games have evolved into the marvels that they are today. I've got to see the graphics transform from the pixel art to the awe inspiring reason you have your jaw drop.

Gaming has been among my favorite things to do and is a major reason why I'm still here today. The gaming world has evolved as much as I have and I can't wait to see what happens next.

The question of why I play games has many answers but I'll give one: I simply just love them.

Alienware Steambox Non-Upgradable: Dell's Gamble Fri, 24 Jan 2014 13:14:40 -0500 Cordy Coleman

Most PC gamers are aware of the upcoming Steam Boxes, and most are fascinated with Alienware's, because a certain YouTube gaming channel showed their interest in it without knowing any of the specs. Well, I'm very interested in it as well. Not because of the specs though, rather because of the new information surrounding it.

Dell is known for their laptops in the gaming PC market, so they have some room to play around since a very devoted group of people will buy their Steam Box no matter what. So they took a leap of faith into the Steam Boxes target market, the console players, similar to the steam controller's recent redesign (which I am not happy about). 

An Iteractive Approach

PC gaming is always evolving; that's why it's ahead consoles right now (notice how I worded that) the basis of that evolution is the sheer amount of customization and build options that PC rigs have.

Alienware's Steam Box is un-upgradeable, making the box more console-like. ReviewTechUsa said if they really wanted console players, they shouldn't be making all these models of Steam Boxes with these ridiculous prices.

They should just make one base model, on which every single game made for Steam OS and even ported to is playable on the highest settings. I think what PC gamer nerds like me should be mad about is that you won't be able to max out all these games with 100+ FPS--but just be glad that we're not getting the same type of thing we already have.

This is for people who want to get into PC gaming but think it's too expensive. I genuinely do not believe that Alienware's price tag will be low. They're known for sometimes overpricing things, but the iBuyPower and CyberPC Steam Boxes are both $500--the same prices as the Xbox One, which their target audience probably already has. 

This will stop non-PC gamers from getting confused about all these different PC components, which they don't even know how to compare. 

How do you guys feel about this one? Do you think Alienware is killing their fanbase? Or do you think that this is a good step forward to getting Steam Boxes in living rooms alongside the PS4 and Xbox?

UPDATE: Even though everything in this article still stands, Alienware will actually allow  upgrades--but still I think all games should be able to work on the base hardware. Console gamers won't want to upgrade, and if there's a new one every year, why would they?

Check out my personal blog for more info on Steam Boxes and much more.

Alienware Steam Machine Will Be Upgradeable After All Thu, 23 Jan 2014 08:57:06 -0500 Lauren Puga

Contrary to what was reported earlier this week, Alienware users will in fact be able to upgrade their Steam Machines – it just won’t be easy.

In an interview today with Eurogamer, Alienware general manager Frank Azor clarified that the company won’t prevent Steam Machine owners from modding their consoles, but warned that the task might prove difficult.

"Enabling customers the opportunity to upgrade components has been a core tenet for Alienware since the company was founded, and that remains true today. The Alienware Steam Machine announced at CES is designed to deliver a great gaming experience in the living room, and we will enable customers to upgrade components. Considering we've purposefully designed the Alienware Steam Machine to be smaller than the latest generation consoles, upgrading the internal components will not be as easy as compared to other platforms, such as the Alienware X51, but we will not prevent a customer from upgrading."

This new statement is pretty much a 180 from what Azor said this past Tuesday, but comes as good news to those previously disappointed by the console's lack of customization options. 

Azor still insists however that users interested in upgrades and modifications would be better off buying a PC – the Alienware X51to be specific. 

Alienware Steam Machines to be Released Annually; Non-Upgradeable Tue, 21 Jan 2014 09:03:49 -0500 Amanda Wallace

Alienware GM Frank Azor spoke to TrustedReviews earlier this week, announcing that the company's iteration of the upcoming Steam Machine would be "updating" every year. This means that the Alienware plans to launch a new Steam Machine model annually. 

With a price tag meant to rival that of the Xbox One and PS4, Frank Azor views this hardware change as being comparable to that of the standard console market, which also updates regularly. 

Life cycle wise, consoles update every five, six, seven years, we will be updating our Steam Machines every year.

Evidently no one has pointed out to Azor that the console life expectancy of half a decade is hardly relatable to a once yearly hardware upgrade, especially with a $450 price tag. 

Additionally, Alienware is planning for a non-upgradeable console, indicating that if you want to upgrade your Steam Machine, maybe you should buy a gaming PC instead; 

If you actually want to customise your Alienware Steam Machine, maybe change your graphics card out or put in a new CPU, you would be better off with the standard Alienware X51. This particular product is restricted in its upgrade options. 

As a positive, even if you buy a new Steam Machine every year, your game library will persist between console generations. However, with a price comparable to a console and a shortened life span without the options of customization, it's a bit unclear who this Steam Machine is intended for. 

Alienware's Steam Machine Coming in September 2014 Thu, 16 Jan 2014 08:33:06 -0500 Venisia Gonzalez

Breaking News on the Alienware Steam Machine!

It's been confirmed by Dell Representatives that the Alienware Steam Machine will be released sometime in September 2014. Though its specs are still unknown, it has been said that it will be competitively priced to the Xbox One at around $499.

Valve's Gabe Newell introduced the Steam Machine at CES 2014 in Las Vegas, NV last week, showing off their plans for their Steam OS.

Alienware's Steam Machine is designed as a compact console, measuring at 8" x 8",  and is 3" tall, which is quite a bit smaller than the Playstation 4 and Xbox One. It's designed to scale native at 1080p, and even higher if desired. It'll feature an external power supply, offer 2 USB 3.0 ports, optical audio connector, ethernet jack and HDMI input and output. Yet there are still no plans as to when they'll offer live television feeds.

Alienware has stated that the Steam Machine will be the most affordable machine they've ever produced.

Are you excited? I know I am. I'll keep bringing you updates as soon as they're announced. In the meantime, PLAY ON!

To Be or Not To Be, That is the Steam Machine Tue, 07 Jan 2014 12:53:46 -0500 Venisia Gonzalez

"Steam machine, steam machine, O for where art thou..."

Seriously, what's the deal with the Steam machine?

Short version: It's a line of pre-built PCs that will be manufactured and distributed in 2014 by a variety of manufacturers, including Alienware, which will use a range of specifications from the Valve Corporation to run the Linux-based Steam OS.

What does this all mean?

Valve wants a revolution on gaming after outcries from gamers wanting PC-style consoles. Names like Digital Storm, Origin, Falcon Northwest and Dell's Alienware are among those up to the challenge. Valve announced they have talked with Alienware for four years about the project because of its innovative gaming style.

As stated by Valve Founder and President Gabe Newell:

"We have been working with Alienware since we began defining our vision of the Steam Machine. Alienware's historic commitment to gaming, their design and engineering capabilities and their global reach made them an ideal partner for us on our Steam Machine Project."

Can it be since Alienware has the Steam software already pre-installed on all their systems, that gave them the "extra credit"? Who knows.

What I can say is that this is a Linux-based system, and not what most people are familiar with. Yes, the prices will range from the Xbox One ($499) up to... ready... $6000, but this isn't your average console.

How will it compete?

There are many games out there in the public eye thanks to the Steam arena that would not have a chance in the regular or console market. I can say that I'm intrigued on the idea of how this will turn out. I, myself, am a console and PC gamer so this idea of the Steam Machine piqued my interest.

There are ideas on the gamepad featuring a touchpad much like that on a laptop yet most PC gamers prefer their mouse and keyboard.

CNET/Sarah Tew

There are also various styles for how the actual machines will look, but from what I've seen so far, Alienware has a design that's pretty sexy. 

CNET/Sarah Tew

As to the War of Console vs PC gaming, who knows where the Steam Machine will take us. No matter the outcome, there will be the exhausting amount of tweets and posts of those crying of their hatred. We will just have to wait and see.

I bid thee till it be 'morrow (or at least until it launches, that is).

Alienware Displays New Steam Machine Mon, 06 Jan 2014 16:56:01 -0500 Courtney Gamache

As if we weren't excited enough with the thought of the Steam Machine; Alienware has taken it upon themselves to display exactly what we have to look forward to in late 2014 if all goes as planned. 

Details, Details, Details!

Although things can be a bit foggy going into seeing a new system, Valve and Alienware have done their best to make this transition as easy as possible. The Steam Machine is set to be 8 inches by 8 inches, and roughly 3 inches in height. Don't let this fool you - the system will pack a punch full of amazing games. At the moment it's really unknown what kind of processor and CPU this system will have, but with Alienware's reputation, we can expect greatness.

On the technical side, the Alienware Steam Machine will have two 2.0 USB ports and an HDMI output and input method in the back of the system. This will excite many gamers as more details are exposed, revealing a revolutionizing console to challenge next-gen. Price range is still unknown, but Alienware states that they will be in the competition with Sony and Microsoft when it comes to hitting your wallet.

So what does this mean for us gamers?

We'll be hearing more details as Valve and Alienware start giving snippets of their amazing work to the public, and getting a hype they've never seen before.