Asus Republic of Gamers GR8 is latest gaming PC console to invade living room

Like its competitors, this compact system runs Windows 8.1 while it waits for the Steam OS to be released.


The continuing delay in Valve's Steam OS (and corresponding controller) hasn't stopped any potential Steam Machines from hitting the market. We've already seen Alienware , CyberPower PC (via its subsidiary Syber), and iBuyPower introduce their living room gaming PC systems, and now Asus is joining the club with its Republic of Gamers (ROG) GR8.

Linux-based game console (Gallery)

Meet the Steamboxes (Gallery)

More than a dozen vendors have announced that they've joined forces with Valve to produce Linux SteamOS-powered PCs and gaming consoles. Here their first wave of devices.

Read More

Like its competitors, the not-so-humbly named GR8 will ship with Windows 8.1 installed and include Steam Big Picture mode to display games on an HDTV. It's not as stacked as the Syber Vapor Xtreme, but it's better equipped than some configurations of the Alienware Alpha or iBuyPower SBX. It comes with an Intel Core i7-4510U dual-core Haswell processor and an Nvidia GeForce® GTX 750Ti graphics card, though the Vapor Xtreme tops that with the more powerful Core i7-4790K quad-core CPU and GeForce GTX 980 graphics card. 

Other specs include up to 16GB of RAM, either a 1TB hard drive or 256GB SSD, and 802.11a/b/g/n/ac dual-band Wi-Fi, which utilizes Asus' GameFirst III technology to optimize streaming gameplay. Audio quality is also emphasized with the GR8, as utilities like SupremeFX, Sonic SenseAmp, Sonic SoundStage, Sonic Studio, and Sonic Radar II are bundled. Exterior bling is found in the form of "Mayan" textures on the front-facing part of the side panels and the pulsing illuminated ROG logo.

One way the GR8 differs from other recent gaming PC consoles is that it won't be offered with an Xbox 360 controller. Instead, Asus provides a mechanical keyboard and ROG Gladius gaming mouse as options. The Gladius features a 6,400dpi optical sensor, while the M801 keyboard provides six backlighting choices and anti-ghosting technology.

Asus hasn't disclosed an official shipping date for the GR8, though Hexus says it's coming sometime this month. Pricing is also not known, though given the specs, it should cost less than the $1,499 Vapor Xtreme, but more than the base configurations of the Alpha or SBX.