Alienware won't "prevent" users from modding Steam Machine

But doing so will not be "easy".

PC manufacturer Alienware has clarified an earlier report that its upcoming Steam Machine cannot be upgraded by users.

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Owners will not be locked out of modding, the company has now explained, but making alterations to the hardware will not be "easy".

"Enabling customers the opportunity to upgrade components has been a core tenet for Alienware since the company was founded, and that remains true today," Alienware boss Frank Azor explained to Eurogamer in a statement today.

"The Alienware Steam Machine, announced at CES, is designed to deliver a great gaming experience in the living room and we will enable customers to upgrade components. Considering we've purposefully designed the Alienware Steam Machine to be smaller than the latest generation consoles, upgrading the internal components will not be as easy as compared to other platforms, such as the Alienware X51, but we will not prevent a customer from upgrading."

Azor's comments take a different tack than his position earlier this week when he claimed that, for Alienware's Steam Machine, "there will be no customisation options, you can't really update it."

Nevertheless, Azor reiterated his earlier comment that users who are interested in heavily modding their hardware would be better off buying one of the company's more conventional models.

"If a customer is interested in modding and upgrading their rig on a regular basis, then we recommend the Alienware X51," he said. "Enabling easy upgradeability was a critical design requirement for the X51. It includes features such as single screw access to all internal components, and easy-to-remove ODD, HDD, graphics, etc.

"We feel we have multiple options for customers based on their individual needs. If a gamer wants more freedom to upgrade, we have the X51. If they would prefer a smaller, more console-like system, we will offer the Alienware Steam Machine."

A Steam Machine is expected to cost around the same price as a new generation console. The range will be updated with fresh hardware every year.

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