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Who let the dogs out?

Sometimes in life, you have to make compromises.

PCs are, generally speaking, more powerful than consoles. Yes, you can buy or build a gaming PC with older/less powerful components that would yoke it down to a similar level power to your average console, but for the purposes of this analogy? PCs are more powerful than consoles.

That being said consoles are, generally speaking, a bit more convenient than PCs. They come in one box, you don’t need to source or assemble any components, and – the Xbox One optical drive’s horrendous din aside – they’re generally a lot smaller and quieter to sit under your TV than your average gaming PC.

If you’re gaming at a desk, the PC is king. If you’re gaming in the living room, then you might favour the convenience of the console. But what if there was a third way…?

Enter the Corsair Bulldog

Actually that’s not strictly true or accurate – it’s just the way the article was going!

It’s fair to say the Corsair Bulldog is an evolution in the development of console-like gaming PCs, but it’s definitely not the first. There’s the Alienware X51 for starters, which is a decent spec gaming machine from Michael Dell and his chums that’s barely bigger than an Xbox One.

There’s also the fabled Steam Machine, a class of hardware (in the same way that UltraBook designates an especially thin and light laptop) that is designed to be relatively small and sit nicely under your television, yet still have enough grunt for it’s primary purpose: Steam gaming. Lots of manufacturers make Steam Machines, including the Asus Gr8 and the Alienware Alpha, or you can buy them from a number of custom kit-builders; either as a part-assembled barebones unit to load up with your own hardware, or as a fully-fledged out-of-the-box console PC.

You can also build and spec your own unit from scratch which is fun, but cramming powerful enough hardware into that small a space – yet still getting the boost in oomph that makes it worth going over and above a console – can be a challenge. You’ll certainly end up scraping your knuckles and turning the air blue with expletives on the install, if nothing else.

And that’s where the Corsair Bulldog comes in.

When it’s released in early 2016, you will be able to buy the Corsair Bulldog in three flavours:

  • Chassis only (but still including a 600 W power supply and super-quiet water-cooling system) for an RRP of $299
  • The motherboard bundle (including everything you get above, plus a gaming-spec Mini-ITX motherboard) for an RRP of $399
  • And a pre-assembled ‘console’ unit (which we currently have no notion of the available components for) and as for the RRP? We’re guessing the sky’s the limit on that one!

It looks nice though, and it will sit pretty in your living room, which is super-important if Corsair are planning to topple the consoles with the Bulldog. That built-in water-cooling unit it should also make it whisper-quiet, and by including this more unnerving-sounding of components (Water? In a computer?!) in a pre-configured arrangement will reduce or remove one of the technical barriers to entry that might be putting people off.

Oh, and if you’re looking to get the full PC experience in your living room – that’s mouse and keyboard, the only way to be competitive on MOBAs like DOTA 2 or hardcore first-person shooters like CS:GO – there’s a companion device for the Corsair Bulldog called a Lapdog, which is a bit like a TV tray for gaming…

Can’t wait for the Corsair Bulldog? Check out the available Steam Machines on Amazon now.

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