The PC market continues to be a flourishing one for developers and publishers alike, with millions of avid players taking part in a number of downloadable and retail games, from DOTA 2 to Call of Duty. That trend will likely continue, but now it’s finally expanding into a whole new area – the living room.

GamesIndustry International recently confirmed that Valve’s Steam Machines, which were announced a couple of years ago, will launch on November 10, with a number of partners producing their special versions of the hardware, including Alienware, CyberPower and others. Interested gamers will be able to pick up a system, along with the innovative Steam Controller and the Steam Link peripheral, with the option to pick it up earlier, on October 16, for pre-orders placed through GameStop. The machines will be priced from $449 to $749, depending on internal specs.

“We are super curious to find out which products customers try first, what their experiences are, and how that learning can help [us] continue to expand their Steam experience in the days and years following launch,” Valve’s DJ Powers told Polygon. “Our goal is to expand Steam’s capabilities beyond the desktop.”

This introduces a new venue for players to try on the PC front, as this will enable them to play games directly on their TV or other desktop monitor without the need for an elaborate PC or laptop-based gaming rig, which can usually run into the thousands depending on hardware. Alienware previously dabbled in this market last year with the debut of its Alpha console line, although it didn’t indicate just how well it was selling.

With the Steam Machine, there are certain pros and cons to be weighed. Obviously, the “full” PC experience can’t be recreated through a controller, no matter how innovative it is. Some players will simply prefer the old-fashioned mouse and keyboard combo, although this set-up is likely to work with certain models of the system, similar to Alienware’s Alpha hardware.

Also, the store won’t be completely accessible upon launch. Steam OS will initially only launch with Linux support, with just over 2,000 games available. While that will still suit gamers’ needs to an extent, it’s only a matter of time before Valve revamps the service so that more Steam (and other game channel) offerings become available.

Still, the Steam Machine could be a big deal to the PC market overall, finally giving players an option to invest in the gaming experiences it has to offer – and take part in those Steam sales that Valve consistently hosts on its site (its next one, its official summer sale, kicks off next week). It allows an easier option for connectivity and “jumping in and playing,” compared to updating hardware so that everything runs efficiently enough.

It also gives Valve a competitor that can go head-to-head with some of the more popular consoles on the market, including Microsoft’s Xbox One and Sony’s PlayStation 4. While it’s too soon to tell just how much of an impact it’ll make, it’ll be interesting to see just who switches sides once the Steam Machines hit retail.

One thing’s for sure – the PC market will see a boost either way with the arrival of the Steam Machines. It’ll open up a new arena for casual and “hardcore” players alike to invest in, while at the same time creating a new funnel of investments in Valve’s Steam store, amongst other areas. And, yes, that controller, now built in with an analog stick for easier maneuverability with menus, is pretty slick.

Check out the video below to get a better idea of how it all works: