If you follow Cheerful Ghost news, it's no surprise that I am looking forward to buying a Steam Machine. Alienware just dropped the details of it's Alienware Alpha that is shipping this holiday season.

"The Alienware Alpha console will ship with Windows 8.1 which, through a custom software interface exclusive to Alienware, can be easily navigated with the included Xbox 360 controller — no mouse or keyboard required. The Alpha console is also SteamOS and Steam Controller READY, and designed to easily integrate with the highly anticipated launch of each.

The Alienware Alpha console will start at $549, and will begin shipping in time for the 2014 Holiday Season.

Well, yeah, it makes sense that Alienware has decided to continue on with it's console efforts even though Valve has put off the official launch of SteamOS and it's Steam Controller till 2015. In the meantime, it seems Alienware is moving full speed ahead on it's console and has decided to replace SteamOS with Windows 8.1 and a XBox 360 controller.

You might think Alienware might be ditching SteamOS or the Steam controller and according to them, that is absolutely not the case and according to a recent Forbes interview with Alienware they said...

“Steam Machines aren’t dead, they are absolutely pursuing SteamOS and the controller 100%,” my Alienware rep explained. “They refuse to release something that is not ready, and we commend them for that. But we want similar things: For the PC gamer to choose what the hell they want and play how they want to play.”

Alienware has also talked a bit about the internals of the Alpha in that it will consist of user replaceable components and a custom build nvidia GPU. I imagine the reason for a custom GPU is to make it fit in the small case and for this reason it doesn't seem replaceable. That said, the Alpha will also ship with an Intel CPU, 4GB DDR3 memory & 500GB hard drive.

All told I was pretty bummed when I heard Valve was pushing back it's Steam Machine efforts a year but it seems Alienware is still moving forward and I think that's a good idea. Alienware has said the hardware will ship SteamOS and Steam Controller ready so if you want to go ahead and get it, you can use it as a proper Steam Machine later. The launch price for the Alienware Alpha will be $549.