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Alienware: our Steam Machines can't be upgraded

But new models will be available each year.

Alienware's Steam Machines won't be built to support upgrading, the company has revealed, although those seeking new hardware will be able to buy fresh models each year.

The SteamOS-powered hardware will be refreshed on a 12-month basis, Alienware boss Frank Azor has explained.

"Lifecycle-wise, consoles update every five, six, seven years, we will be updating our Steam Machines every year," Azor told Trusted Reviews. "The platform will continue to evolve as the games become more resource intensive.

"There will be some configuration options when you purchase it," he continued, "maybe you can get a faster CPU, maybe some more memory something like that." But after that, "there will be no customisation options, you can't really update it."

Those looking for more flexibility with a new PC should consider Alienware's other ranges, he added.

"If you actually want to customise your Alienware Steam Machine, maybe change your graphics card out or put in a new CPU, you would be better off with the standard Alienware X51.

"This particular product [the Steam Machine] is restricted in its upgrade options."

Replacing a Steam Machine on a yearly basis would be an expensive endeavour, but Azor concluded by reminding users that, unlike when buying an entirely new console, they wouldn't lose any of their games library - it would still be there to re-download.

At the Consumer Electronics Show this month Valve announced a raft of manufacturers it had partnered with to create Steam Machines, Alienware among them, at a range of prices.

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Tom Phillips

Deputy Editor

Tom is Eurogamer's deputy editor. He writes lots of news, some of the puns and makes sure we put the accent on Pokémon.