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Xi3 CEO Responds to Valve's Steam Box Comment

By - Source: IGN | B 27 comments

Xi3's response seemingly outlines a disagreement over the operating system and game distribution platform.

Xi3 Corporation founder, president and CEO Jason A. Sullivan released a statement on Tuesday in response to Valve's distancing from the company and its products. The message sheds some light on what has happened between the buddy-buddy friendship they shared at CES 2013, and what now seems like a parting of ways.

For starters, Sullivan confirms that it received an investment from Valve, and that the studio gave Xi3 written permission to make the announcement. He also confirms that Valve asked Xi3 to build a product that was later revealed at CES 2013 as Piston. Both companies also showed the compact gaming PC in their respective booths (Valve was on lockdown so we can't confirm).

Now the story takes an interesting turn. "Then, during a meeting with Valve at CES, Gabe Newell personally asked me that we not disclose additional information about our relationship with Valve," Sullivan said. "We have honored that request and will continue to do so."

He goes on to state that Xi3 and Valve never said that Piston was the official Steam Box, but as we've stated in past coverage, reps instead took a "no comment" stance rather than saying "no, it's not Steam Box". Gabe Newell later cleared the air saying that Steam Box would be multiple devices, not merely one standalone desktop (aka a brand).

As for the apparent disassociation, Sullivan said that just because Valve may not "currently" have any involvement with products offered by Xi3, that doesn't mean the duo won't have something to offer in the future. Meanwhile, the Piston Console is seemingly bigger and badder than what Valve plans for its Steam Box thanks to its modular design. It will also initially ship with a Windows operating system, not Linux which will be used on Steam Box.

"Piston will also support a raft of other Internet-based gaming and entertainment platforms, which is more than what Valve apparently has planned for its official Steam Box," he said. "In this way, the Piston Console could be perceived as something more than just a Steam Box, which makes sense because at its core the Piston Console is a Modular Computer that can run any operating system or application designed to run on an x86-based 64-bit computer."

The letter seemingly describes a conflict of interest when it comes to the operating system and game distribution, which may have caused the relationship to dissolve. Windows is where the vast bulk of game software and computer gamers are today, Sullivan said. Razer told us the same thing at CES 2013 when we asked why they chose to use a Windows-based OS for the Razer Edge tablets rather than something cheaper like Ubuntu.

"Contrary to Valve's vision, Xi3 believes that the way to take this to market today is to do so with a Windows OS at the core, coupled with the ability to not just get to one platform/store for games, but to get access to all game stores/platforms," he said. "Studios should have the option to go through Steam if they choose or to go direct to the end-user if they so choose."

That will be the difference between Piston and other Steam Box units: the ability to use a multitude of distribution platforms like Origin, GameFly, Steam and others, he said, instead of relying on just one.

"In closing, what Valve does or doesn't do with its Steam Box will be up to them," he said. "So Gabe, it's up to you. The ball is in your court."


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  • 20 Hide
    Dupontrocks11 , March 13, 2013 4:13 PM
    So if Valve is out of picture for this console, who the heck are they marketing it to? What PC gamer in their right mind is going to pay $1000 for a quad-core APU and a 128 SSD? Answer me!
  • 16 Hide
    rohitbaran , March 13, 2013 4:45 PM
    echondoIt wouldn't be marketed to the average Joe consumer. This is for businesses and companies that need upgrades and a fast system for a small amount of space being taken up. With this, all you need is a monitor, Piston, keyboard, mouse and internet connection. Without this you have a huge tower to lug around taking space, especially companies with LOTS of employees.It has never been said that the Piston is the Steambox so I don't know why everyone thought it was.

    Lol. Businesses and companies will buy laptops rather than this.
  • 10 Hide
    dalethepcman , March 13, 2013 4:30 PM
    Quote:
    That will be the difference between Piston and other Steam Box units: the ability to use a multitude of distribution platforms like Origin, GameFly, Steam and others


    Gamefly is a joke for PC, and the only reason Origin has a large number of users, is due to EA's requirements of forcing people to sign up to play certain games online. Not because people like it.

    Direct2Drive, Onlive, Gamestop and Games for Windows are all more viable alternatives to steam than Origin or Gamefly.
Other Comments
  • 20 Hide
    Dupontrocks11 , March 13, 2013 4:13 PM
    So if Valve is out of picture for this console, who the heck are they marketing it to? What PC gamer in their right mind is going to pay $1000 for a quad-core APU and a 128 SSD? Answer me!
  • 10 Hide
    dalethepcman , March 13, 2013 4:30 PM
    Quote:
    That will be the difference between Piston and other Steam Box units: the ability to use a multitude of distribution platforms like Origin, GameFly, Steam and others


    Gamefly is a joke for PC, and the only reason Origin has a large number of users, is due to EA's requirements of forcing people to sign up to play certain games online. Not because people like it.

    Direct2Drive, Onlive, Gamestop and Games for Windows are all more viable alternatives to steam than Origin or Gamefly.
  • 16 Hide
    rohitbaran , March 13, 2013 4:45 PM
    echondoIt wouldn't be marketed to the average Joe consumer. This is for businesses and companies that need upgrades and a fast system for a small amount of space being taken up. With this, all you need is a monitor, Piston, keyboard, mouse and internet connection. Without this you have a huge tower to lug around taking space, especially companies with LOTS of employees.It has never been said that the Piston is the Steambox so I don't know why everyone thought it was.

    Lol. Businesses and companies will buy laptops rather than this.
  • 8 Hide
    bustapr , March 13, 2013 5:11 PM
    echondoIt wouldn't be marketed to the average Joe consumer. This is for businesses and companies that need upgrades and a fast system for a small amount of space being taken up. With this, all you need is a monitor, Piston, keyboard, mouse and internet connection. Without this you have a huge tower to lug around taking space, especially companies with LOTS of employees.It has never been said that the Piston is the Steambox so I don't know why everyone thought it was.

    please notice how in the responce, they are marketing the piston as a gaming console.
  • 7 Hide
    EVILNOD , March 13, 2013 5:50 PM
    hmm.. laptop is exactly what big corporations give to user.. they want ppl bring the laptop home work over weeknight and weekend. desktop is too big, and tablet only good for citrix vpn limited used. i have no idea why would any company spend 1000$ (700$ discount rate) on it. if its for space.. there always remote terminal which take no desk space at all (and only cost 300$)
  • 3 Hide
    PreferLinux , March 13, 2013 5:58 PM
    echondoIt wouldn't be marketed to the average Joe consumer. This is for businesses and companies that need upgrades and a fast system for a small amount of space being taken up. With this, all you need is a monitor, Piston, keyboard, mouse and internet connection. Without this you have a huge tower to lug around taking space, especially companies with LOTS of employees.

    It has never been said that the Piston is the Steambox so I don't know why everyone thought it was.

    This needed to be in two separate posts so I could vote the first down and the second up...
  • 4 Hide
    DRosencraft , March 13, 2013 5:58 PM
    I don't know what businesses you have in mind, echondo, but plenty of large businesses buy laptops for employees, and I don't know any company that would buy gaming consoles for their employees, or many workers who need to take their towers home from work but either doesn't have and use a laptop, or would find the performance in this thing sufficient.
  • 3 Hide
    balister , March 13, 2013 6:03 PM
    echondoBig corporations like Microsoft and Apple would not buy laptops, small businesses would, but big businesses would not.


    You obviously don't work in a big corporation. I work for Verizon and we're all issued laptops so we can work from home if needed as well as if we need to work at a location that we don't normally work from. And I know Microsoft also follows this attitude as well from former colleagues that work for Microsoft now.
  • 0 Hide
    hakesterman , March 13, 2013 6:10 PM
    It's Definatey a gaming rig, but it doesn't stand a chance no matter what name is on the side of it. Most people who spnd that much on a PC, wants something they can customize, that won't happen with this little box. DOA.
  • 3 Hide
    lpedraja2002 , March 13, 2013 6:19 PM
    Even Alienware seem good compared to this. I mean really, a freaking APU for gaming in a $1000 build?
  • 0 Hide
    Skcor , March 13, 2013 6:54 PM
    "Xi3 believes that the way to take this to market today is to do so with a Windows OS at the core"

    The lack of adaption will quickly destroy this company. Goodbye Xi3, your short lived fame thanks to Valve was nice.
  • 3 Hide
    COLGeek , March 13, 2013 7:36 PM
    Looks like Xi3 is about to be tossed into the trash bin of good ideas gone bad.
  • 0 Hide
    Marcus52 , March 13, 2013 7:52 PM
    I knew it wasn't the Steambox as soon as I saw the price. Either that, or Gabe is crazier than I thought, lol. I imagine that's the main reason he wants to stick with Linux, he can shave off a chunk of money on the retail end by doing that. Too bad he has to make himself look foolish by bashing Win 8 in the process. I mean, Gabe's a nice guy, I like him, and he's smart, but he's just off base there.

    I have a hard time believing any console can get significantly competitive with the PC these days, without costing as much or more (unless of course they heavily subsidize the price). And, there's the upgrade issue. An Xbox 360 or PS3 made sense when they were released, but they are a drag on game quality now. Hopefully the console lovers will get something that is both competitive AND upgradable. (It matters to me because it has effected the quality of graphics on PC versions more than anything else. However, game devs are moving away from that methodology and taking more advantage of PC graphics now, so it might not be an issue.)
  • 0 Hide
    24oz , March 13, 2013 7:53 PM
    hastenSeriously? You should put your palm on your forehead immediately. I guess you missed the memo a couple years ago that direct2drive is now gamefly. Maybe you should game a little bit before you make any type of comment about distribution platforms. Games for Window is a fricken nightmare who everyone only has to play batman AA or AC because they are forced too (wow just like Origin). Your post is foolish.

    hastenMost businesses are going virtual thin clients. Why would they ever pay a premium for this??

    Agreed Games for Windows is terrible and I used to buy from D2D but since Gamefly bought them I don't anymore.Greenman and Amazon are good places to buy digital download games.
  • 2 Hide
    JamesSneed , March 13, 2013 8:03 PM
    I actually like that Gabe bashed windows 8. At least he spoke his mind which is rare for people in his position. I'm hoping they do get the Stem box to take off using Linux. In a perfect world all games would use OpenGL which would allow them to rather easily port to Linux or Mac's along with Windows. This could help Linux adoption and do I dare say maybe even the Mac adoption rate too. All of this is a good thing for competition which MS really hasn't had to date.
  • 0 Hide
    blazorthon , March 13, 2013 8:55 PM
    JamesSneedI actually like that Gabe bashed windows 8. At least he spoke his mind which is rare for people in his position. I'm hoping they do get the Stem box to take off using Linux. In a perfect world all games would use OpenGL which would allow them to rather easily port to Linux or Mac's along with Windows. This could help Linux adoption and do I dare say maybe even the Mac adoption rate too. All of this is a good thing for competition which MS really hasn't had to date.


    If by *speak his mind* you mean *told blatant lies about Windows 8 regardless of how good or bad we think it is*, then yes, he *spoke his mind*. He outright said that MS did things to stop Steam from working on Windows 8 which was not true in the least.
  • 1 Hide
    ojas , March 14, 2013 12:53 AM
    dalethepcmanGamefly is a joke for PC, and the only reason Origin has a large number of users, is due to EA's requirements of forcing people to sign up to play certain games online. Not because people like it.Direct2Drive, Onlive, Gamestop and Games for Windows are all more viable alternatives to steam than Origin or Gamefly.

    I thumbed you up, but please don't suggest GfWL. It's an abomination.
  • 0 Hide
    kartu , March 14, 2013 3:28 AM
    Dupontrocks11So if Valve is out of picture for this console, who the heck are they marketing it to? What PC gamer in their right mind is going to pay $1000 for a quad-core APU and a 128 SSD? Answer me!

    Ditto.
    I don't get what Xi3 guys are thinking either.
    Oh we are so exclusive let's charge double price for hardware that is meant for a platform that has yet to emerge? (Steam is old, but Steam Linux is something in a beta stage with very few games available)
    WHO IS GOING TO BUY THIS THING AT THIS PRICE?!!
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