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Earlier this year, Valve showed off more than a dozen Steam Machines covering a wide range of shapes, sizes and price points. While it's no doubt good for Valve (and ultimately, the consumer) to have so many companies buying into the idea, it may not be very profitable to play the game.
One of the machines on that list was from Alienware (Dell) and in a recent interview with The Wall Street Journal, Alienware chief Frank Azor said their branded Steam Machine was going to be very challenging. What's more, he added that it'll absolutely be the least profitable system they ever sell.
So then, why do it at all?
As the publication points out, they simply want to be associated with Valve - the company that operates arguably the most popular video game download service in the world.
The executive did a little damage control in a follow-up with PC Gamer, however. Here, the tune changed with Azor saying Alienware is very optimistic about PC gaming's future and its opportunity to extend to the TV. He added that their decision to invest in developing the purpose-built Alienware Steam Machine and pricing it as aggressively as possible has everything to do with how much they believe in the vision and want to see it materialize.
Dell isn't the only one voicing its opinion about the Steam Machine initiative. In the same WSJ piece, iBuyPower product marketing chief Tuan Nguyen said it's like the Android phone marketplace with a number of handsets all over the place with wild specs and pricing. If it was up to him, he'd rather see Valve market a single Steam Machine.
What do you think? Do you like the option of having multiple designs and price points or do you agree that a single, unified Steam Machine is the best approach?