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Alienware Alpha Gaming Console Available for Pre-Order

Gamers looking to get their hands on Alienware's Alpha PC gaming console won't have to wait much longer. Starting today, shoppers can place their pre-order to be among the first to own an Alpha when it ships during the holiday season. The new console, which starts at $550, will be available directly on Dell's website as well as via Amazon and Walmart.

Alienware has yet to announce what specs the base model will feature, but gamers can configure the Alpha with an Intel Core i7 CPU, up to 8GB of RAM, Nvidia's Maxwell-based graphics, up to 1TB of storage and a 802.11 AC wireless adapter. The Alpha can support up to four controllers, as well as a keyboard and mouse. 

More: Most Anticipated Steam Boxes

The Alpha was initially designed to be one of the first Steam Boxes, but due to delays with Valve's Steam OS and proprietary controller, the gaming console will ship with Windows 8.1 and an Xbox 360 controller. However, the Alpha will feature an exclusive UI that provides a controller-friendly navigation experience.

But no matter how powerful the specs and how pretty the UI, a console is only as good as its games. The Alpha, utilizing the Steam Store, will give gamers access to over 3,500 titles, including AAA and indie games in just about every genre. That's a big advantage over Xbox One and PlayStaton 4, which have tiny catalogs by comparison. In order to give gamers a taste of what Alpha can offer, Alienware is bundling PAYDAY 2, Magicka, Magicka's Dungeons and Daemons DLC and Gauntlet Helm with the system. 

After playing several (hundred) rounds of Broforce in 4-player co-op on the Alpha, we're definitely intrigued by the console's potential. However, it remains to be seen if PC or console gamers will be willing to shell out $550 for a hybrid console.

Follow Sherri L. Smith @misssmith11 and on Google+.  Follow us @TomsGuide, on Facebook and on Google+.