Alienware recently announced the X51, which is available for order now. The unique selling point is that it’s small enough to live in an entertainment center.

While I am a unabashed enthusiast of self-built PCs, I recognize that people like me are very much in the minority. For companies like Alienware that try to sell a gaming PC as a ready-to-go premium product, the answer is to get out of the den and expand into the living room.

Keyboard and Mouse purists will call blasphemy on this, but there is a real future in PCs with a form factor designed for an entertainment center, with software like Steam running an interface designed for large high-definition displays. Every day, I see more and more reports of people plugging their desktops into their TVs to play Skyrim and being dazzled with the results.

For the present, these Alienware machines are a little expensive for what you get inside, but it’s a step in the right direction.

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