Alienware announced earlier this week that their Steam Machine wouldn't be upgradeable. Gamers started scratching their heads and wondering why. Really, that just goes against the logic of PC games and the greater sense of freedom that comes with it as far as upgrading without having to buy a new system every five or six years. The company's changed their minds and you'll now be able to upgrade their Steam Machines, but it won't be easy.
Senior Vice President Frank Azor said that:
"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."
That's a bit different from the statement he released earlier in the week that resulted in some backlash:
"There will be some configuration options when you purchase it ... maybe you can get a faster CPU, maybe some more memory something like that. ... there will be no customisation options, you can't really update it."
Azor also said in his original remarks that if you're looking to upgrade your Steam Machine, you'd be better off with Alienware's X51 system instead since it was designed with customization in mind.
Alienware plans to release a Steam Machines that will have new versions annually with updated hardware while costing about the same as a Playstation 4 or Xbox One. That's good news in case something happens to your box about the time a new model comes out. Add in Steam's digital distribution system and you'll be the one consoling your best friend when his PS4 or Xbox One dies with his favorite game stuck in the disc slot.