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Asus ROG GR8 Steam Machine revealed, launching with Windows 8.1 until Valve’s SteamOS is ready

Asus ROG GR8

Asus has announced its first Steam Machine gaming PC, the ROG GR8, which will be initially launching with Windows 8.1

Asus has become the latest PC manufacturer to reveal a Steam Machine gaming PC, announcing the ROG GR8 ahead of its press conference at the Computex trade show in Taiwan last night.

Following Valve’s announcement that the Steam Controller (and therefore Steam Machines in general) would be delayed until 2015, Asus confirmed that the GR8 would initially launch with Windows 8.1. Once Valve has finalised the hardware, and released the full version of the SteamOS operating system, a version would then be launched as a dedicated Steam Machine.

The ROG GR8 is a compact system that’s no larger than a PS4 or Xbox One, but inside is a fully-equipped gaming PC. Powered by an Intel Core i7 processor and with Nvidia GeForce GTX 750Ti graphics, it should be able to play games at similar graphical levels to that of Sony and Microsoft’s next-generation consoles.

Unlike some Steam Machine concepts, which are sealed units that can’t be customised or upgraded by the user, Asus has promised that gamers will at least be able to swap out the storage and memory on the GR8 – meaning you won’t have to worry about filling up your hard disk with games.

Finished in black, with red accents and LEDs to match the company’s Republic of Gamers high-end PC gaming division, the GR8 looks rather imposing for a compact mini PC – we’ll just have to wait until SteamOS arrives to see how it stacks up against Steam Machines from other manufacturers.

As well as DisplayPort and HDMI video outputs, four USB3 ports, two regular USBs, Gigabit Ethernet and 802.11ac Wi-Fi, the GR8 is also fully compatible with the Miracast wireless streaming standard, meaning you’ll be able to stream content directly from a supported Android smartphone or tablet.

The Windows-powered GR8 is expected to launch in the US from Autumn onwards, but Asus has yet to reveal whether it will eventually come to the UK – or how much it might cost if it does.

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