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Valve and Xi3 reveal a “Steam Box”

8 Jan 2013  by   Paul Younger
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Piston Steam

Xi3 has unveiled a grapefruit sized “Steam box” at CES which is specifically designed for those looking for something a lot smaller than a standard gaming PC. The Xi3 will also support Steam and it’s “Big Picture” mode for TVs and it’s been financially backed by Valve.

The small system can be easily picked up and moved around the home or even taken to LAN parties for use on any high definition screen.

“Today marks the beginning of a new era for Xi3,” said Jason A. Sullivan , founder, President and CEO of Xi3. “This new development stage product will allow users to take full-advantage of their large high-definition TV displays for an amazing computer game experience. As a result, this new system could provide access to thousands of gaming titles through an integrated system that exceeds the capabilities of leading game consoles, but can fit in the palm of your hand.”

The new system has been labelled a “development stage” product and is currently going by the name of “Piston”.

The small box comes with a modular motherboard, no media input (it doesn’t need it because it uses Steam), 1TB of internal storage, an AMD R-Series APU, and AMD’s 384 core Radeon HD 7660G. The Xi3 will also be upgradable as new components hit the market.

At this stage there is no pricing for the “Piston” but they’re going to have to make the price reasonable to have any kind of penetration.

The system looks similar to the 7A version of Xi3 which was revealed last year when they launched a Kickstarter campaign that failed to reach its goal. With the pricing likely to be above the $1000 mark, I don’t see PC gamers rushing to place orders, unless  they are determined to have a smaller PC.

The video below was released last year to demonstrate the Xi3 vision of a smaller modular PC. As you can see, it’s pretty much identical to the Piston. However, the Piston is not the Steam Box everyone has been talking about, that will be Valve’s own project.

Image: Engadget

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