For the same amount of money — $500 — you will pay for a shiny new Xbox One, you can get a Steam Machine with a weird Steam Controller next year. iBuyPower has revealed what looks to be the first Steam Machine prototype, and guess what? It's a box. A box with a glowing light bar sandwiched in between two chunks of plastic.
iBuyPower's prototype Steam Machine is larger than the PlayStation 4, but smaller than the Xbox One and will come in two models. The Steam Machine will come with a multicore AMD processor, Radeon R9 270 graphics, a 500GB hard drive and built-in Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. It will also have an integrated power supply, just like the PS4 (no big power brick here!). At first glance, iBuyPower's Steam Machine isn't nearly as powerful as some of the 300 prototypes Valve is handing out for free. But for $500, what do expect? Surely, not a Steam Machine with an NVIDIA Titan graphics card...
There is one caveat: this Steam Machine will run the Steam OS on Linux and not Windows 8, which means you'll have a whole lot less to play. Games for the Steam Machine will run at 1080p resolution at 60 frames per second, which is again — on par with the PS4.
While we do have some shots of the Steam Machine prototype in the gallery down below, it's still a prototype, and therefore could change before its final release.
How many of you guys and gals picked up a PS4 or Xbox One (or both) and are considering a Steam Machine? I have to admit, the funky Steam Controller does intrigue me. And if $500 can get you a solid PC gaming experience, I'm game.