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CyberPower PC to ship its Steam Machine design with Windows 8.1

by Mark Tyson on 16 June 2014, 11:30

Tags: CyberpowerPC, PC

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It looks like firms which were designing Steam Machines for launch this summer are all going to launch them anyway - with Windows installed. As the Steam Controller and OS are still being refined to be market-ready, the hardware partners have been left with these living room PC designs threatening to go stale if they wait until next year for Valve to finalise its offerings.

At Computex we saw the launch of the ASUS RoG GR8 Console PC and at the start of E3 Alienware showed off its Alpha system. Now CyberPower PC has signalled that its 'Steam Machine' design will be released as the Syber, with Windows 8.1 installed as the OS. As was hinted with the Alienware machine, this Syber system is said to boot straight to the controller-friendly Steam Big Picture interface.

The CyberPower PC Syber shares a lot of qualities with the Alienware Alpha we looked at last week. However while its base configuration costs $50 more than the Alpha it offers more upgradeability - in particular off the shelf graphics cards including such beasts as the NVIDIA GTX Titan and Radeon R9 290X can be fitted inside this machine.

MaximumPC reports that the CyberPower PC Syber will come in two base configurations, as follows:

  • An AMD quad-core based system with AMD Radeon R9 270 graphics card, 4GB of memory and 500GB 7200RPM hard drive. This is priced at $600.
  • An Intel Core i3 4150 CPU based system with Nvidia GeForce GTX 750 Ti graphics card, 8GB of memory and a 1TB hard drive. This will be priced at $700.

The above prices include a controller and (possibly) a remote but further details concerning these bundled accessories wasn't divulged.

It will be interesting to see how many other such living room gaming PCs which were intended for SteamOS arrive. Also I'm sure games industry players - at least Valve and Microsoft - will be watching closely to see any signs of success or failure for these PCs.

HEXUS Forums :: 10 Comments

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The PC is at a disadvantage in the console market given the cost, but the two things its form can offer as a serious advantage is an internal SSD and its GPU. Given that I could buy a PS4 and add an SSD, that leaves me as a consumer thinking that these boxes are launching too soon. Wouldn't it make more sense to wait for Valve, ride on their PR hype, and then have the opportunity to exploit price drops in SSDs and GPUs (or even better GPUs)?

I want to see these alternatives succeed, but I'm worried that these early launches are going to lead to a string of headlines about commercial failure and thus kill all interest in further investment. I like Win 8.1 on my desktop PC, but it doesn't seem like the right thing for a TV-based console at all. Besides, we need something like SteamOS to invisibly parcel driver and OS updates into single updates, and make sure they don't happen much more regularly than MS/Sony updates. Otherwise we're going to have lots of unhappy customers telling their friends, “This is exactly why I stopped buying PCs in the first place”.
The machines are already developed. Valve's delay is what means it's not a Steambox.

It's better to release them now, and have customers use them either as a normal SFF PC or with an XBox 360/One controller plugged into their TV, and maintain the option of updating to a steambox via OS download and the addition of a controller down the line, than just to mothball the product. Development costs need to be recouped.

Also; the sooner it's in customer hands, the sooner end-user feedback can be garnered to improve the next iteration.
The cynic in me thinks valve might have delayed to allow bug-fixing on boxes that do not contain their brand name…..and VR headsets to mature a little.

In fact, the more I think about it, the more believable it seems that valve would have purposely put the brakes on.
Couldn't I buy one now and install steam OS myself and just use a 360 controller?

I am not going to or plan too but surely they could sell them with no OS and let them be steam boxes already.
Couldn't I buy one now and install steam OS myself and just use a 360 controller?

I am not going to or plan too but surely they could sell them with no OS and let them be steam boxes already.

Yup. I'm fairly certain the inclusion of Windows 8.1 is mostly due to the idiot factor. If they just went with the SteamOS beta, too many will pick them up without checking which OS it comes with, then throw a hissy fit when call of dooty wont install.