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Alienware Alpha Gaming Console PC

By: on November 22, 2014
$549 - $899.99
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It started shipping only a couple days ago, but Alienware's "substitute" Steam Machine, the Alpha PC gaming series, has already gotten a lot of ambivalent feedback from blog reviewers and buyers alike. Me? Well, my mama says she's not paying $500 for "another box" so I guess I won't know firsthand until my little buddy Ollie down the street gets one and invites me and my friend Cornelius over to play it with him after he finishes his homework.

And for the record, Mama, it's $550.

And that will just get you the Alpha's lowest echelon model (2980), fitted with a dual-core Intel Core i3-4130T CPU, a Nvidia GeForce GTX GPU with 2GB of GDDR5, 4GB of DDR3L RAM, and a 500GB hard drive. The price increases to $900 as you work your way to the 7980 and its Intel Quad-Core i7-4765T processor and 2 TB hard drive.

For its part, Alienware believes the Alpha merges PC gaming freedom with console convenience. Navigate its custom user interface with the included Xbox 360 wireless controller instead of a keyboard and mouse. Use online community Steam Big Picture to access and instantly download thousands of Steam games. Or stream your choice of media in 1080P HD on big screen TV.

Alienware also promotes system upgrades, calling the Alpha user-accessible for swapping in a newer CPU and adding RAM to improve in-game performance and background application multitasking. However, the console's GPU cannot be altered, and critics grumble that the Nvidia 860M it's modeled after is already outdated, and won't be able to keep up with forthcoming games.

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Mattel Classic Football Game Keychain

$11.99 from Perpetual Kid »

Mattel's handheld Classic Football gets sized for even smaller hands in this mini version of the iconic 70s game. Calling it a "keychain" is a bit of a stretch - unless you like stuffing keychains the size of Little Debbie...

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Working Pip-Boy 3000

The electronic Personal Information Processor (PIP) manufactured by RobCo Industries in Fallout 3 and Fallout: New Vegas is now a viable acquisition to your non-gaming, non-digitized, biological life. Which is not only...

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Nintendo Switch Joy-Con Classic Controllers

$199 from ColorWare »

ColorWare's Nintendo Switch Joy-Con Classic Controllers are pretty fly for a game guy. And also pretty pricey for a paint job. I don't care how precise and professional the controllers look, or how hard their red retro...

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Pip-Boy: Deluxe Bluetooth Edition

$349.99 from ThinkGeek »

Die-hard Fallout fans, avid gamers, and gadget-giddy dudes in general, I present to you: a working Pip-Boy Model 3000 Mk IV replica. Also known as: your Sunday morning hard-on. Sure, you could call ThinkGeek's Deluxe...

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TinyScreen Video Game Kit

$74.95 from Tiny Circuits »

The Tiny Arcade goes handheld. Tiny Circuits' TinyScreen Video Game Kit gives DIY gamers the chance to build their own miniature console. At the heart of the kit is the TinyDuino processor board, an Arduino Uno board...

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Atari Flashback Portable

$49.50 from Amazon »

The Atari Flashback portable console is indeed here to console. The handheld 2600 will give a there, there pat on the back to everyone who didn't get an NES Classic before Nintendo announced they're discontinuing them...

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Playable PONG Coffee Table

$990 - $1,290 from Table PONG Project »

The Atari PONG Table isn't the first example we've seen of an element of the gaming world transformed into a coffee table...that's still fully functional as an element in the gaming world. Remember this Nintendo controller...

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Immersion - Gamer Rage Headset

My 13-year-old nephew has had gamer rage for, like, 5 years now. Oh man, he used to get SO MAD when the levels got harder in Super Mario Galaxy. Sometimes, if he knew he was about to die, he'd pause the game, hurl the...

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Teslasuit - Full-Body Haptic Suit

$1,100 - $3,665 from Teslasuit »

No, the Teslasuit is not for racing your Tesla. Or, more realistically, the Teslasuit is not a 3-piece Armani with embroidered logos and a gold-threaded pocket square to wear while cruising your Model S around the suburbs....

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An Anthology of Erotic Pokemon Go Stories

$8.88 from Amazon »

It's hard not to fall into daydreams of bondage and public groping when someone mentions Pokemon Go. Jason Miller, having lost one too many Ivysaurs and Wartortles to visions of dominating them with more than just his...

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Anki DRIVE - Real World Video Game

$149.99 from Anki »

Artificial intelligence and robotics, the virtual reality video game and the actual reality physical game, Anki and iOS: these are the parts of Anki DRIVE that make it a whole new experience in the gaming industry. A...

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Portal GLaDOS Ring

Discontinued

Genetic Lifeform and Disk Operating Systems now come in finger-sized. GLaDOS rings make it easy for all to show off their loyalty to the eye of Portal's most beloved piece of sociopathic artificial intelligence. Created...