Alienware has confirmed that you cannot upgrade their brand of Steam Machines, but they will crank out new models each year.
"Lifecycle-wise, consoles update every five, six, seven years, we will be updating our Steam Machines every year," Frank Azor of Alienware 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, maybe you can get a faster CPU, maybe some more memory something like that," he added. However, "there will be no customisation options, you can't really update it."
Alienware has not announced how much their Steam Machine would cost, but considering the announced machines range in price from $499 to $6,000, this could be an expensive endeavor.
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