PC GAMING WEEK: The companies building this year’s major Steam Machines have hit back at critics over their high pricing. The Steam Machines are designed to take PC gaming into the living room, putting them in direct competition with the likes of Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo.
However, even at their cheapest the Steam Machines retail for around the same price point as the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, with the cost of the more powerful models coming in at nearly ten times the cost of a PS4.
The cheapest device is CyberProPC’s, which will set consumers back $499 (£306), while the most expensive – at the moment – is Falcon Northwest’s $6,000 (£3,684) beast.
But Steam Machine makers Origin PC, Materiel.net and Webhallen insist the devices have major advantages over consoles, including cheaper titles and better specs.
“Steam Machines offer exceptional value and one of the best living room experiences possible,” said Kevin Wasielewski, CEO of the Florida-based Origin PC.
“Yes, they cost more than a console, but the value and experience we offer is higher.”
Stephane Guyard components and integration business unit manager of French hardware firm Materiel.net added: “A Steam Machine is a more economical choice than a home console,” he explains. “The latest consoles have been priced between £349 and £429. But each game costs at least £40. The same titles on PC, especially Steam, are far cheaper.”
He added: “Steam Machines can also evolve – gamers can always have the best graphics, by adding a new GPU or RAM etc. With this functionality, the price tag is not a deterrent.”
But Anton Nilsson, purchasing manager of Swedish firm Webhallen, told MCV that the Steam Machine is targeting a different audience than consoles, with PC gamers the primary target.
“Pricing will not be a deterrent as long as the customers understand the concept,” he explains. “Steam Machines will be set apart from consoles in terms of functionality and customer base.”
The Steam Machines will launch this year. 14 devices are currently in the works.