SteamOS isn't yet ready for prime time, but that hasn't stopped CyberPowerPC from introducing a fresh batch of living-room gaming rigs under its Syber brand. The machines run Valve's Big Picture UI via the Windows client, giving them access to a much bigger game library than what's currently available on the Linux-based alternative.
The price of entry has been lowered to $549 with the Vapor E, a quad-core machine with an Athlon X4-740 processor and GeForce GTX 750 graphics. The pricier Vapor I pairs a Pentium Anniversary Edition with Radeon R9 280X graphics for $649, while the flagship K derivative offers a Core i5-4690K and GeForce GTX 970 for $1099.
Those three models are supposed to be available immediately. A couple of others are in development, including a slimmed-down design with integrated graphics and a streaming-focused unit with Bay Trail guts. The Vapor Stream prototype being demoed at CES is equipped with a quad-core Celeron J1900 processor, 2GB of RAM, and a 64GB SATA SSD. The system can run Win8.1 or SteamOS, and it could be a compelling option for folks seeking a basic home-theater PC that can tap into a more powerful gaming rig elsewhere in the home.
CyberPower hasn't announced pricing for the streaming system, but rolling your own will probably be cheaper. That said, it's nice to see gaming PC vendors dipping their toes into local streaming—and becoming more aggressive about marketing systems for the living room. If the PC master race is to ever outnumber the console peasantry, we're gonna need everyone, including folks who prefer to buy off-the-shelf machines.