MSI, a company known for making outlandish-looking gaming PCs that resemble tiny spaceships, has released a new living room PC that takes some cues from Xbox. It even has an "S" in its name: MSI MAG Trident S (opens in new tab).
The MAG Trident S 5M is designed to look and act like a game console. At a glance, it looks a lot like a special edition of the Xbox One S (opens in new tab), Microsoft's previous generation gaming console. It even has a similar vented grille on the left-hand side and can be set horizontally or vertically like the console.
When you dive deeper into the specs, you quickly start to realize the Trident S isn't anything like the Xbox. Hell, it's nothing like a typical gaming PC. For starters, there's no discrete graphics card.
According to the spec sheet, it's actually running an integrated AMD Radeon graphics. CPU-wise, it's a choice between three: a Ryzen 7, 5 and 3. It also supports DDR4 RAM up to 64GB. There are also two M.2 slots for Gen 3 or 4 SSDs and a drive bay for an HDD.
MSI is positioning the Trident S as a living room game streaming box. The pre-installed Games Stadium app curates all your streamable games libraries from Steam (via Steam Remote), MSI App player, and Xbox Game Pass while acting as a launcher. The machine has both DisplayPort and HDMI 2.0 ports.
The Trident looks to be easily upgradeable since the motherboard slot slides right out from the back if you want to expand the memory. It's still a Windows PC, so it seems like you can also treat it as a pretty good-looking emulation and low-spec gaming machine that'll fit snugly under your TV.
Finding a Trident S is a bit challenging; MSI's product page doesn't really show it anywhere in stock and doesn't give you any pricing. I did track down one with a 512GB SSD at Vaosia on sale for $1,149.
A bit pricey for what essentially is an entry-level gaming PC with no discrete graphics card. The MSI MAG Trident S 5M is a curious experiment (especially after Steam Machines never took off), and I hope we can get our hands on one to see what it can do beyond streaming, and how it compares to modern consoles.
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