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Xi3's Piston "Steam Box" to Arrive Nov. 29 with Games

By - Source: Xi3 Corporation | B 30 comments

The Piston Mini PC launches on Black Friday.

Xi3's big announcement first teased on Friday is that the Piston Mini PC will be made available on November 29, 2013. The company originally opened the doors for pre-purchasing back in March, asking PC gamers to sink $999 into the easily modifiable system. Currently there's no mention of this device serving as an official Steam Machine, but the company said Piston will ship with a bundle of pre-installed games.

On Monday the company said that in addition to the installed 128 GB SSD, a second SSD connector has been added to the original Piston specs, allowing owners to cram up to 1 TB of SATA 3 (6 Gbps) storage inside the little gaming rig. The Piston also now includes a second SD card slot for even more storage, and an Ethernet controller that can recognize and prioritize PC gaming to help speed up response times. Xi3 said additional details will be provided soon.

The Piston Mini PC features a grapefruit-sized, matte black aluminum chassis with chrome trim, measuring 4 inches square. What's interesting here is that the announcement not only arrives after Valve revealed its Steam Machines initiative all last week, but AMD's own "Hawaii" GPU announcement and the Mantle API. The processor card that ships with Piston includes a quad-core AMD "Trinity" chip clocked at 3.2 GHz and a Radeon Series GPU, indicating that this Piston box will play into AMD's big scheme of connecting PC gamers and console gamers.

The AMD tech also means Piston will be capable of resolutions up to 4096 x 2160, and displaying content on three simultaneous displays. As previously stated, Piston has a modular design providing not only the processor card, but two I/O cards. That means owners can simply pull out one of the cards when it's time to upgrade rather than wait another seven years for a complete hardware set.

"Some games just play better under certain circumstances," reads the new product page. "We get it. That’s why the PISTON Console gives you three ways to play. Kick back on your couch with a controller if you want. Immerse yourself in the game with a mouse and keyboard at the desk if that’s more your style. In fact, if a virtual reality peripheral is your thing, then go right ahead. Since the PISTON works in any setting, we’re going to give you a nice sampler of pre-loaded games to play. The PISTON Console is the only console on the market that caters to any gamer’s preference."

As to whether Piston is an actual Steam Machine, the company's official FAQ provides this statement: "Xi3 has never described its PISTON Console (PC) as the Steam box or a Steam Box, especially since it appears that Steam Box is a term created by journalists and not by Valve. To be clear, however, PISTON Console owners will be able to access and play games on/through Steam since it is a Web-based platform open to anyone with an Internet connection and a Steam account, either on a Windows- or a Linux-based system. So in this regard, PISTON could be considered the first commercially available Steam Box."

Alright, so if Piston comes with pre-installed games, what OS will be shipped on Black Friday? "It’s a bit premature to answer this question, especially since few details have been disclosed about the SteamOS," the FAQ states. "However, according to the SteamOS announcement page, the SteamOS will '. . . run on any living room machine'. Therefore, SteamOS should be able to run on PISTON Consoles (PCs) as well, but we’ll have to wait until SteamOS is available to confirm this."

The new product page for Piston can be found here. The page to pre-purchase Piston for $999 will be available here when xi3 gets it up and running again (it's down for the moment). Additional Piston details will be released between now and Nov. 29. Meanwhile, Xi3 customers who pre-ordered a Piston mini-rig during or before the SXSW 2013 Gaming Expo will receive their device on or before November 15, 2013.

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  • 7 Hide
    rocknrollz , September 30, 2013 12:54 PM
    I love idea of the steam box, it really is a great way to spread steam to more people. But I am NOT going to drop a thousand dollars on it.
  • 1 Hide
    blubbey , September 30, 2013 1:07 PM
    BAHAHAHAHAHAHA! They want you to pay hundreds, if not $1k+ for form factor? Lmao. Btw, $750 for a 512GB SSD, a few hundred more than for an 840 Pro iirc. Oh and $200 for an APU overclockon the X7A. These things are terrible.
  • 4 Hide
    back_by_demand , September 30, 2013 1:29 PM
    Pay a third of that, build a slim HTPC case that fits well in a home entertainment centre and the spend the money you saved on a bitching sound system, amp and a copy of Windows so you can play the other 90% of your Steam games collection as well including all the AAA titles you would otherwise not have
  • Display all 30 comments.
  • 2 Hide
    Pallimud , September 30, 2013 1:37 PM
    I'd purchase the 16GB model then buy an SSD on the side and replace it. The price is too high for extra storage when it's modular and you can buy your own SSD drive.
  • 0 Hide
    irish_adam , September 30, 2013 1:51 PM
    Yeah i already have a powerful PC and as steamOS lets me stream games from it i'm just going to build a low budget HTPC, I dont see the need to go all out on something like this, my main computer is pretty much always on and Its wired to the router so no lag over wifi
  • 7 Hide
    slomo4sho , September 30, 2013 2:04 PM
    They are asking $1000 for a build with an AMD A8-5500 Trinity APU without discrete graphics...
  • 1 Hide
    jwcalla , September 30, 2013 2:26 PM
    So it doesn't have SteamOS and doesn't meet Valve's hardware certification to be called a Steam Machine... so yeah, definitely not a Steam Box or the like. It'd be nice if people stayed away from using other companies' trademarks to promote these products.
  • 1 Hide
    slomo4sho , September 30, 2013 2:51 PM
    Quote:
    So it doesn't have SteamOS and doesn't meet Valve's hardware certification to be called a Steam Machine... so yeah, definitely not a Steam Box or the like. It'd be nice if people stayed away from using other companies' trademarks to promote these products.


    Kevin's publications are mainly advertisements disguised as news articles...
  • 2 Hide
    dark_lord69 , September 30, 2013 2:52 PM
    *FACEPALM*
  • 2 Hide
    back_by_demand , September 30, 2013 3:13 PM
    Quote:
    It'd be nice if people stayed away from using other companies' trademarks to promote these products.

    As per the actual story, Steam Box was coined by the press, not Valve, so nobody's trademark is being used

  • 0 Hide
    chulex67 , September 30, 2013 3:45 PM
    Same Hardware but get an Antec Isk 100 case. Enough said
  • 0 Hide
    lpedraja2002 , September 30, 2013 3:45 PM
    Interesting fact about the steam box being a media creation and not valve's official name which is steam machine. Is the Piston a steam box? Yeah, that's what the media called it. Is the Piston a Steam Machine? Hell no! That cube is so weak that it belongs next to normal consumer laptops in the $500 range.

    They're now pushing this as a console, really? I remember seeing an interview done by Gamespot and the representative clearly did not have any technical knowledge and was just saying stuff that sounded off from a brochure. He was using sketchy salesman tactics to evade answers and it clearly shows this product is a bad idea overall, at that price anyway.
  • 1 Hide
    bustapr , September 30, 2013 4:06 PM
    im just really glad Valve dumped their asses before bigger problems occured. They are already riding that small wave of press that they got from Valves involvement. they are definitely a sketchy bunch. One day Gabe Newell was talking about price points, the very next day this thing goes up on preorder at a ridiculous price, a few hours later Gabe announces they are done. this thing definitely isnt worth $1000. this thing is basically a laptop without windows, without a monitor, without a keyboard, and without a battery.

    Id place it at $500 because of originality and R&D that went into making the mobo, but its just a very naked laptop crammed into a cube.
  • 0 Hide
    jwcalla , September 30, 2013 5:43 PM
    Quote:

    As per the actual story, Steam Box was coined by the press, not Valve, so nobody's trademark is being used


    Yeah but Steam is a trademark.
  • -2 Hide
    antilycus , September 30, 2013 7:03 PM
    or just be smart and get this http://www.amazon.com/Universal-Mini-ITX-enclosure-PicoPSU-compatible/dp/B003DXI288/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1380592282&sr=8-1&keywords=micro+atx+case+pico ($35)
    +
    http://www.amazon.com/ASUS-MicroATX-Motherboards-F2A85-M-CSM/dp/B009F1DTZI/ref=sr_1_5?ie=UTF8&qid=1380592378&sr=8-5&keywords=asus+micro+atx+apu ($100)
    +
    http://www.amazon.com/AMD-A10-5800K-3-8Ghz-Processor-AD580KWOHJBOX/dp/B0095VP8D4/ref=pd_bxgy_pc_text_y ($125)
    +
    http://www.amazon.com/Kingston-Modules-1600MHz-Non-ECC-Desktop/dp/B0057Q4ADU/ref=sr_1_6?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1380592494&sr=1-6&keywords=8gb+ddr3+2400 ($75)
    +
    http://www.amazon.com/Samsung-Electronics-2-5-Inch-Internal-MZ-7TE500BW/dp/B00E3W19MO/ref=sr_1_3?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1380592556&sr=1-3&keywords=512GB+ssd ($345)
    +
    http://www.amazon.com/PicoPSU-160-XT-150W-adapter-Cyncronix-mini-ITX/dp/B006MZGLEQ/ref=sr_1_2?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1380592912&sr=1-2&keywords=pico+psu+power+supply+200w ($70)


    that will take you to 750 and you can run any APU....It's Xi3 actually isn't a bad deal at all
  • 1 Hide
    teh_chem , September 30, 2013 9:18 PM
    I would never spend $1000 on that thing. With SteamOS (claiming) to be able to run on pretty much any hardware, this thing is not much to consider. And saying things like this just adds to the humor of the situation:

    "Xi3 has never described its PISTON Console (PC) as the Steam box or a Steam Box...snip...So in this regard, PISTON could be considered the first commercially available Steam Box."

    'Xi3 has never described this to be tje Steam Box. But we COULD describe it to be the Steam Box.' ROFL
  • 0 Hide
    clonazepam , September 30, 2013 10:44 PM
    Sorry antilycus, even at $750 = sore butt - look at the $350 build they did. That $350 ssd isn't going to do jack for your living room.
  • 1 Hide
    frozentundra123456 , October 1, 2013 5:30 AM
    1000.00 for an APU at only 3.2ghz, no thanks.
  • 2 Hide
    chumly , October 1, 2013 7:42 AM
    $1000?!?! I better get a lapdance, a bj, a cigarette afterwards, some dessert with hot fudge topping, 3-4 hours of cuddling, an awkward morning, a hangover, and a phone call 9 months later, because it sounds like I'm getting screwed if I buy this.
  • 0 Hide
    antilycus , October 1, 2013 9:12 AM
    @clonezepam - yay after I typed all that work I really thought the SSD was overkill, which would put ya in the 400-500 USD range depending on what drive ya went with.
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