Skip to main content

Alienware Alpha Review

Combining the UI of a gaming console with the power of a PC, the Alienware Alpha is a force to be reckoned with.

Console Mode

As its name suggests, Console mode replicates the experience of playing on home consoles such as the PS4 and Xbox One. Instead of reinventing the wheel and making its own interface, Alienware wisely relies on Steam Big Picture mode to do all the heavy lifting.

Designed for living room experience, Big Picture Mode, which resembles the PS4 interface, lets gamers access all of their Steam games and features without a mouse or keyboard.

On the home page, you can access the Store, Library and your Steam account via three tabs along the top of the display. If you need to look up a hint or cheat code, you can press the Left Button on the controller to access the Web with links for Google, YouTube, Facebook and Twitter.

Pressing RB will display a list of your friends, just in case you want to do some last-minute recruiting for a boss battle. You initiate chat with the A button while the Y button opens a menu to set your status, add a friend or edit your profile. Gamers can also access Voice Chat using the start button on the Xbox 360 controller.

The Library tab grants players access to not only the games in the library, but also all the screenshots you've taken during your gaming sessions as well as your music library. Speaking of music, if you download Spotify to Desktop Mode and add it to your Steam library, you can stream your music instead of taking up precious hard drive space. The same goes for media servers such as Plex.

There is one feature that traditional consoles have that Steam Big Picture has yet to implement: live-streaming. That means that Twitch fanatics will have to switch to Desktop mode to broadcast their games, which is an inconvenience.