During CES, Valve announced that over a dozen companies would be creating first-generation Steam Machines. They will be priced as low as $500 and include the Steam controller. The companies crafting them will be able to tailor specs for certain price points and make their own designs as well. Alienware, Alternate, CyberPowerPC, Digital Storm, Falcon NW, GigaByte, iBuyPower, Maingear, Materiel.net, Next Spa, Origin PC, Scan, Webhallen, and Zotac will be making the machines. The $500 price point as a bare minimum is promising since it allows people to gain access to some amazing gaming deals without needing to spend $1,000 on a gaming rig to do so, and the inclusion of other controllers for support means that you won’t need to just use Steam’s controller if you’d prefer using a 360 or Xbox One pad down the line.
The terminology of first-generation Steam Machine officially may seem a bit odd, but it also seems like an indication that Valve is in this for the long haul and expects to continue to evolve the hardware – so they don’t seem to be willing to rest on their laurels. This is a good move since it will allow them to continue to make revisions, but could alienate people who wind up buying higher-end systems only to find that they become redundant within a few years – although those buying the higher-end units will likely be able to get more high-end gaming life out of the system than those buying less-expensive united.