It looks like a console
iBuyPower showed off a prototype for its first Steam Machine, which will be out next year for $499. The sexy white box will have a multicore AMD CPU, an AMD Radeon R9 270 graphics card, a 500GB hard drive, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, SteamOS, and a Steam Controller.
Don't run at me with torches ablaze, but it looks like this early Steam Machine will outperform the new consoles, at least from a raw power perspective. TFLOPS is a way to calculate how fast a computer is, and according to Anandtech the PlayStation 4 has 1.84 TFLOPS, the Xbox One has 1.23 TFLOPS, and The Tech Report has the R9 270, a $180 GPU, at 2.4 TFLOPS. With similar AMD multicore CPUs, the edge will go to the system with the better graphic processing and speed.
This is a lower price with better hardware than most people were expecting. Valve's own prototypes are all above this price point, so it's nice to see that the first third-party system will be very affordable. We'll learn more about the hardware of this box, and other Steam Machines, at CES in January.