Valve's Steam Machines are a little behind schedule but that isn't stopping Alienware from releasing its Steam Box.

During E3 2014, the company announced its Alienware Alpha Steam Machine will begin shipping in time for the 2014 holiday season.

Since Steam OS and the Steam Controller will be delayed, the Alienware Alpha will ship with a black Xbox 360 controller. You'll also be able to hook it up to Steam Big Picture to play games - in 1080p - but there will also be an "exclusive Alienware Alpha Console-mode UI."

The console's price starts at $549 (about £327, AU$588). Base specs include an Intel Core i3 Haswell based processor, 4GB DDR3 1600MHz memory, custom-built NVIDIA Maxwell based GPU, with 2GB of dedicated GDDR5 high-speed memory, dual-band Wireless-AC 1x1 with Bluetooth 4.0, HDMI In and HDMI Out for uncompressed 8 channel audio and support for 4k content, two USB 3.0 ports, two USB 2.0 ports, 500GB SATA 3 HDD and Windows 8.1 64-bit.

The Alienware Alpha can also be configured with an Intel Core i5 or an i7 Haswell based processor, 8GB DDR3 1600MHz dual-channel memory, dual-band Wireless-AC 2x2 with Bluetooth 4.0 and 1TB & 2TB SATA 3 HDD.

Keeping it open

Though shipping with a 360 controller, Alienware told us that the machine will be compatible with a variety of gamepads. You'll even be able to connect different ones for simultaneous gameplay.

Like Valve has mentioned before, the contents of the Alpha will be readily swappable should you feel like switching out the parts over the years - just like you would a desktop PC.

You may be wondering, like many other people out there, why not just get a PC, then? According to Alienware, the company's goal reinforces Valve's own reasoning behind creating the Steam Machines: to make the PC more accessible to more people by bringing "PC games to the living room."

Check out the pictures below of the Alienware Alpha and let us know if you think it's worth getting.

Alienware Alpha Steam Machine

Alienware Alpha Steam Machine

Alienware Alpha Steam Machine

Alienware Alpha Steam Machine

Alienware Alpha Steam Machine

Alienware Alpha Steam Machine