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The first official Steam Machines hit Oct. 16, on store shelves Nov. 10

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The first wave of Steam Machines, console-like computers designed to run Valve's Steam software and its thousands of PC games, will be in some pre-order customers' hands on Oct. 16 and in stores on Nov. 10, Valve announced today. The Steam Controller and Steam Link will also hit on Nov. 10.

Alienware and CyberPower will be the first two computer designers to release their take on the machine under this program. Other Steam Machine manufacturers are expected to release plans for pre-ordering their systems in the coming weeks.

All Steam Machines will run SteamOS, a Linux variant with Steam's big picture mode of interface. While Steam Machines will be limited to games with Linux compatibility, the systems will be able to play any game purchased on Steam by streaming it from another local Windows or Mac computer. Meanwhile, Valve is working to add direct Linux support to as many games as possible. At launch, between 1,000 and 1,200 games will be natively supported, according to Dell and Valve officials.

The Steam Machines will start at $449, the Steam controller will sell for $49/€54 and the Steam Link, which connects any TV to your PC, Mac or Steam Machine wirelessly, will also sell for $49/€54.

The Alienware Steam Machine will be available in four specifications, with prices ranging from $449 to $749. Everything but the graphics chip, which is built into the motherboard, is upgradeable on these systems. The custom built chips perform at the same level as a GeForce GTX 860M or better, according to Dell.

Steam controller

Here's the breakdown of each:

$449

  • Intel Core i3 - 4130T DC
  • nVidia GeForce GTX GPU w/2GB GDDR5
  • 4GB DDR3
  • 500GB 7200RPM HDD
  • 1x1 802.11 Wireless Card
  • Steam Controller

$549

  • Intel Core i3 - 4130T DC
  • nVidia GeForce GTX GPU w/2GB GDDR5
  • 8GB DDR3
  • 1TB 7200RPM HDD
  • 1x1 802.11 Wireless Card
  • Steam Controller

$649

  • Intel Core i5 - 4590T QC
  • nVidia GeForce GTX GPU w/2GB GDDR5
  • 8GB DDR3
  • 1TB 7200RPM HDD
  • 2x2 802.11 AC
  • Steam Controller

$749

  • Intel Core i7 - 4765T QC
  • nVidia GeForce GTX GPU w/2GB GDDR5
  • 8GB DDR3
  • 1TB 7200RPM HDD
  • 2x2 802.11 AC
  • Steam Controller

"We have collaborated for years with Valve and GameStop to develop a platform with the best content, the best performance, and the best value compared to anything else on the market. Finally, with this preorder, we have a chance to address the building anticipation for the latest and greatest gaming system," said Frank Azor, general manager of Alienware and XPS, Dell.

Starting June 4, U.S. customers can pre-order the Alienware Steam Machine, Steam Link and Steam controller from GameStop or Steam. An unspecified number of those pre-orders will be fulfilled on Oct. 16. Dell officials tell Polygon that customers will be told when they pre-order if they are receiving the system in October or November.

GameStop, EB Games, Micromania, GAME UK and Steam will pre-sell the Steam Link and Steam controller as part of this program as well, according to Valve.

CyberPower will also begin taking pre-orders today on its site. Though it's unclear if it will ship any of its systems before the official November launch of Steam Machines.

Michael Turner, GameStop's director of merchandising, said the retailer has been working with Dell and Alienware for a number of years on PC products, and when it heard of the company's work on Steam Machines they asked to partner with them.

"Buying computers can be a very complex process with the variety of hardware and software options available," Turner told Polygon. "We think offering machines which are optimized for Steam will be very helpful to our customers."

Turner said that once the Steam Machine officially launches they plan to have a "wide variety" of the systems available to customers, along with the Steam Link and Steam Controller.

"We expect to carry some of the Steam Machines in stores and many more online," he said. "As always, our customer demand will tell us what the exact mix should be."

Turner added that the company has seen a growth in the PC gaming category and are "excited to add more options to the games, accessories and digital products we offer to our customers.

"We think offering standardized machines could help expand the market to customers who have been reluctant to try PC gaming before now because of its complexity. As a general rule we welcome any innovation in gaming, because we believe this helps bring more and better choices to our customers."

Valve's DJ Powers says he's not sure what sort of impact the launch of Steam Machines will have on PC gaming, but that Valve is paying close attention to the new systems.

"We are super curious to find out which products customers try first, what their experiences are, and how that learning can help is continue to expand their Steam experience in the days and years following launch," Powers told Polygon. "Our goal is to expand Steam's capabilities beyond the desktop."

Read more about Dell's decision to launch the first Steam Machine right here.