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Xi3 Launches Pre-orders for Piston 'Steambox' Console

By - Source: Engadget | B 31 comments

Xi3 says get 'em while they're hot.

Back in January, Xi3 teased a dainty little PC it called the Piston. The Piston caused quite a stir at CES 2013 in Las Vegas as it was pegged to be Valve Software's upcoming (unofficial) Steam Box. Well, this week brings us yet more news of the Piston, as the modular computer is now up for pre-order.

 

Xi3 this past weekend announced that pre-orders for the Piston would kick off at South by Southwest in Austin. The list price of Xi3's Piston console PC starts at $999.99 but those that place their order during SXSW will get a $100 discount off the list price. In case you were unaware, SXSW does not end until Sunday, so there's plenty of time to talk yourself into buying one of these early Steam Boxes.

"Given the amount of awards, media attention and gamer interest the Piston Console has generated since it was unveiled at CES 2013 in January, we've become seriously concerned that we will not be able to meet the demand for Piston Consoles this year," said Jason A. Sullivan, founder, president and CEO of Xi3 Corporation. "That's why we have decided to begin accepting pre-orders on our Piston Console, beginning today with the start of the SXSW Gaming Expo. Gaming Expo attendees will also get the benefit of being the first to see the Piston Console in action."

The Piston packs a quad core CPU clocked to 3.2Ghz as well as 8GB of RAM, and a 128GB SSD. According to Xi3, pre-ordered Piston Consoles will ship in time for the 2013 holiday season.


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  • 17 Hide
    hakesterman , March 12, 2013 12:03 PM
    I'm afraid that is a tough sale, too high a price tag for an entry level PC. Too many unknowns....
Other Comments
  • 6 Hide
    g00fysmiley , March 12, 2013 11:57 AM
    cool for the size... but need more specs before deciding if a good deal, cwould have to compare to a $900 pc which is a tall bar to reach,doesn't have to beat them, just be withing a reasonable amoutn of the performance
  • 17 Hide
    hakesterman , March 12, 2013 12:03 PM
    I'm afraid that is a tough sale, too high a price tag for an entry level PC. Too many unknowns....
  • 6 Hide
    fonzy , March 12, 2013 12:05 PM
    "The list price of Xi3's Piston console PC starts at $999.99"

    It's way to expensive even with a $100 discount, don't see this lasting very long unless they cut the price in half.
  • 4 Hide
    Immoral Medic , March 12, 2013 12:10 PM
    I would like to point out that no one in their right mind would purchase this for $1k. Maybe half, but at that price, you could build a beast machine. If you buy it for its size or for "aesthetics" then go for it. Just know the performance you get is a complete ripoff.
  • 7 Hide
    godfather666 , March 12, 2013 12:11 PM
    other gaming websites said the CPU was really a quad-core AMD APU.

    In other words, there's no dedicated graphics card.

    In other words, this really expensive for what you get.
  • 2 Hide
    uhh3000 , March 12, 2013 12:24 PM
    I think my $1050 pc might be a little more worth it.
  • 4 Hide
    goodguy713 , March 12, 2013 12:45 PM
    If they cant compete with game consoles on price you might as well ignore it .. im rooting for steam box but if this is there attempt at being afforable or trying to make its way into the living room at this price you might as well build your own htpc or try to sell it to the ( i Sheep ) because you can easily make a computer for way less and will preform better .. just saying .. there isnt even any specs on the gpu
  • 3 Hide
    downhill911 , March 12, 2013 1:34 PM
    So essentially you are getting a PC in small box and then what? Wait?
  • -3 Hide
    kettu , March 12, 2013 1:38 PM
    According to xi3 website it seems the CPU is this one:
    http://www.cpu-world.com/CPUs/Bulldozer/AMD-R-Series%20R-464L%20-%20RE464LDEC44HJE.html
    source: http://xi3.com/buy_now-piston.php

    That's actually 2.3GHz quad-core not a 3.2. Pretty shady marketing. I've seen one tech site make any kind of notice of that little fact. Either most sites are oblivious to elementary factual accuracy or they just don't care.
  • -4 Hide
    bustapr , March 12, 2013 1:45 PM
    this is likely the top tier model and just might come with a high end laptop GPU. remember these are mainly VERY low power gaming pcs. if you take a high end gaming laptop(lets just take for example the alienware laptop with i7 and 7970m/680m), remove the screen, chassis, battery, and 3rd party mobo. add in propietary chassis, mobo, and low power PSU. its fairly easy to reach the $999 price point and make a profit. also this would be an amazing LAN party solution.
  • 1 Hide
    shikamaru31789 , March 12, 2013 2:27 PM
    All the information I've read suggests it's a Trinity APU. Considering Trinity's performance when Tom's tested it, I really can't see paying $1000 for this. If you want a small form factor that bad you could put a Trinity APU (or the upcoming Richland APU) in a Micro ATX slim case for half that price. Now if the Piston had one of the upcoming Richland APU's and costed about $600, I could maybe see getting one, but I can't see it right now. Heck, the PS4 specs are better than what I've found on the Piston so far (minus the SSD), yet it's leaked price for the base model is $430 (and even if that leak is false I can't see the base model costing more than $500).
  • 1 Hide
    SirTrollsALot , March 12, 2013 2:58 PM
    I’m still running my old i7 930 oc on air at 4.1ghz, 256 solid state drive, 12GB of Ram and yeah a 460 gtx with 1GB… An ancient system to most, but I’m only running 1080 on a 40" LED… and any game on Steam can be played on Ultra

    I was really hopeful the “Piston” would be something worth buying, but after seeing the price $999. My hopes have been extinguished.

    For starters, even upgrading my mobo, CPU to SB or IB, + ram, + add a 660gt card, I’m only looking at around $700 give or take with descent components. Plus I get money for my old system making it even cheaper!

    I’m trying to wonder who the “Piston” geared toward? I mean no one in their right mind is going to pay double the price as the new Xbox or PS4 are they? So why is the price not within the prices of those systems? I have an idea maybe Valve/Steam can team up with Asus or another Mobo maker and start with Valve/Steam Themed board instead…

    Finally, I’d rather see Steam/Valve use resourses to make or help publish better “deep” games than sink into hardware…
  • 0 Hide
    loops , March 12, 2013 3:00 PM
    1k? and then games cost what? If it came with a crazy bundle or a % off games if you used the box to buy games...it might sting a bit less.

    700 buck PC plus 300 bucks in games would be my call. That would be at least 3 good AAA games and some filer games on sale. You would then have stuff to play and a better rig to play them on.

    Here is the thing, they are pricing this thing as if they were up against Apple. Look at the Apple prices and you'd see how they got to this number in some rational way. But they are not Apple. It is a plain mistake. As a shark might say, "I am out."
  • 2 Hide
    hapkido , March 12, 2013 3:30 PM
    They're pricing it as if it's a gaming PC that acts like a console, which is completely bass-ackwards.

    First, it's way too expensive. Second, it needs to be more powerful than "next-gen" consoles to appeal to couch gamers. The target audience for this doesn't know or care that it will be an open platform and PC games are cheaper to purchase (outside of AAA launch titles). They're going to see a price tag that's double of its competitors.

    I don't know why they made it so small -- mini-ITX with a capable GPU (like a 7750) would have been perfect for a small living room PC. Now it's like taking all the downsides of a laptop with none of the advantages of a gaming PC or a console.
  • 4 Hide
    lionheart2243 , March 12, 2013 3:31 PM
    kettuAccording to xi3 website it seems the CPU is this one:http://www.cpu-world.com/CPUs/Bull [...] 44HJE.htmlsource: http://xi3.com/buy_now-piston.phpThat's actually 2.3GHz quad-core not a 3.2. Pretty shady marketing. I've seen one tech site make any kind of notice of that little fact. Either most sites are oblivious to elementary factual accuracy or they just don't care.


    That or accurately Tom's accurately stated it clocks at 3.2Ghz, which is true with turbo, and you just made yourself look foolish. One or the other.
  • 0 Hide
    lionheart2243 , March 12, 2013 3:35 PM
    hapkidoThey're pricing it as if it's a gaming PC that acts like a console, which is completely bass-ackwards.First, it's way too expensive. Second, it needs to be more powerful than "next-gen" consoles to appeal to couch gamers. The target audience for this doesn't know or care that it will be an open platform and PC games are cheaper to purchase (outside of AAA launch titles). They're going to see a price tag that's double of its competitors.I don't know why they made it so small -- mini-ITX with a capable GPU (like a 7750) would have been perfect for a small living room PC. Now it's like taking all the downsides of a laptop with none of the advantages of a gaming PC or a console.


    People who epically fail at living on a budget love this kinda crap. Remember back when the first Razr phone came out? HOLY FLAT PHONE BATMAN TAKE MY MONEY!!!
  • 0 Hide
    husker , March 12, 2013 4:12 PM
    They are pricing it like they want to make money, which makes sense to me. Ertain people will pay for the convince and the small size. Do it yourself types will scoff at this but keep in mind you can change your own oill for a great price but Jiffy Lube is doing just fine, thanks.
  • 2 Hide
    Cons29 , March 12, 2013 5:04 PM
    i dont get it, i've read somewhere (not here but i think the info is the same), that yeah there's no dedicated gpu (well considering the size). then they say they are not competing directly against the consoles, it is optimized for steam (well duh).

    but the thing that bothers me is, consoles perform well because they have similar config (unlike a pc), so games look and run good. but how can you compete against a pc if you have an iGPU, and at the same time not compete against the consoles? and esp with that price.

    it's like the worst of both worlds, crappy for a pc and it's not a console...for $999!
  • 2 Hide
    blazorthon , March 12, 2013 5:11 PM
    huskerThey are pricing it like they want to make money, which makes sense to me. Ertain people will pay for the convince and the small size. Do it yourself types will scoff at this but keep in mind you can change your own oill for a great price but Jiffy Lube is doing just fine, thanks.


    The PS4 has a GPU that's undoubtedly around half an order of magnitude faster whilst being about half the price, maybe under half the price, of this. Even a pre-built laptop can be had for $1000 that kicks the crap out of this and is still a horrible value compared to a cheap pre-built desktop, let alone a home-built system. I could go on. This isn't just expensive for a DOY person, it's horribly expensive even for non-DOY gamers. Heck, you can probably get similarly performing systems of fairly similar size for much less money. The price is so high that it's unreasonable from the consumer's perspective to such a degree that it's almost more fact than opinion to say what I've said here.
  • 0 Hide
    simon12 , March 12, 2013 5:54 PM
    If its running Linux it will only play indie type games only and if its running Windows it will game about as well as a PS3 and its got to compete with the PS4 at 3-4 times the price. I has fairly high hopes for a steam box but this may just kill it altogether.
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