iBuyPower SBX PC gaming console available for pre-order

Another living room system that was announced as a Steam Machine back in January hits the market with Valve's SteamOS platform nowhere in sight.


With its SBX gaming console, iBuyPower was one of a number of companies that Valve touted as building so-called Steam Machines that would be powered by its SteamOS and challenge the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 for gaming supremacy in the living room. They were unveiled with fanfare at CES back in Janaury, with the expectation that they would start becoming available in the second half of 2014.

Since then, Valve has delayed an official rollout of its Steam OS platform , ostensibly to perfect its gaming controller, leaving manufacturers with Steam Machines waiting in limbo. One by one, those companies have given up waiting and just started releasing them as Windows systems that can easily be used with the SteamOS whenever Valve decides to release it.

In recent months, we've already seen Alienware roll out its Alpha console and CyberPower PC subsidiary Syber introduce its Vapor Xtreme PC . Now iBuyPower has joined them, rebranding the SBX Steam Machine as the SBX Entertainment System and making it availabel for pre-order through its website

Like other once-Steam Machines, the SBX looks like a piece of home theater equipment rather than a traditional PC (with the ability to stand vertically or lay horizontally) and can include a gaming controller and Windows pre-installed. iBuyPower appears to going downmarket, however, with more bare-bones configurations and lesser specs in general.

The company has four options for the SBX currently available, with all featuring built-in 802.11ac Wi-Fi so you can stream gaming data efficiently. Starting at just $399, the SBX Raw, as its name suggests, is just the basics, with no controller included or OS installed. You get an AMD Athlon 740 CPU, 4GB of RAM, 500GB hard drive, and AMD Radeon R7 250X graphics card. For $60 more, you can grab the same configuration but with an Xbox 360 controller added. Jump to $549, and you can get the SBX and controller with Windows 8.1 installed.

Finally, for $100 more than that option, the Plus Edition doubles the RAM and hard drive space. Unfortunately, as others have noted, the SBX $649 configuration just can't measure up to the Alpha at that price point, and, at least at this point, you can't soup up the SBX with high-end components like the Syber Xtreme, which can be configured with a powerful Nvidia GeForce GTX 980 graphics card. But like its competitors, the SBX offers Steam's Big Picture Mode for a more living-room friendly user experience, and iBuyPower is working on an app that will allow you to customize the LED lighting strip on the unit's front, as well as monitor the SBX's performance.

[Vi MaximumPC]