Nearly two years ago, we broke the news that Valve was working on its very own game console. The reasons weren't yet clear. We didn't yet know that the company wanted to throw off the shackles of Windows with its own Linux-based operating system, or that a host of PC manufacturers would take it seriously enough to build hardware.

Today, the Steam Machines are here. Valve has just announced the first wave of computers that can officially be called Steam Machines at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.

So what is a Steam Machine, anyhow? Just ask Alienware.