Although the Piston machine won't ship with a gamepad, Xi3 has teamed up with Scuf Gaming to design controllers optimized for the upcoming $999 PC-based "console" shipping next month. The announcement follows previous sightings of a prototype Piston gamepad that resembled Scuf Gaming's "Hybrid" controller for the Xbox 360. Seriously, the Piston is looking more like a Steam Machine with each announcement!
"We're experts in building the world's smallest and most powerful gaming systems, and when it came time to develop controllers customized for Piston, there was never any question about where we should look," said Jason A. Sullivan, Founder, President and CEO of Xi3 Corporation. "In their short history, Scuf Gaming has developed a very well-deserved reputation as one of the elite controller designers/manufacturers on the planet, and we're very pleased to be working with them."
Additional details regarding the controller plans weren't given, but if Xi3 follows the same "Hybrid" path, PC gamers may be looking at paying a starting price of $87.95. Scuf Gaming currently sells a number of "Hybrid" controllers, ranging from the "FPS" model to the colorfully vibrant "eSniping" version. These are actually customizable, and even provide "paddle" options underneath that can be mapped to the ABXY buttons.
"Innovative design coupled with customizability—these are two of the core principles applied at Scuf Gaming, qualities that are also very apparent with Xi3 and its Piston Console," said Duncan Ironmonger, CEO and Co-founder of Scuf Gaming. "The Piston Console has built incredible excitement in a very short time frame, and we're very excited to team up with Xi3 on this co-development effort."
The Scuf Gaming "Hybrid" controller is actually shown on the Piston website, or at least a similar version, sporting a black and white color scheme with the Piston label printed in white towards the bottom. The actual Piston Mini PC features a grapefruit-sized, matte black aluminum chassis with chrome trim, measuring 4 inches square. Packed inside is a processor card with a reported quad-core AMD R464L "Trinity" 35 watt APU with a base speed of 2.3 GHz and turbo up to 3.2 GHz. The chip's Radeon 7600G GPU cores are clocked at 496 MHz and turbo up to 685 MHz. The AMD R464L APU is similar to the A10-4600M APU, which is two generations old and supports dual channel system memory.
The Piston will also have 8 GB of RAM, an installed 128 GB SSD, a second SSD connector and two SD card slots. Xi3 will also ship the device with 256 GB and 512 GB capacity options. There's speculation that the mini PC gaming rig will ship with SteamOS, Valve's Linux-based operating system supported by Nvidia.
Xi3's Piston "Steam Machine" is slated to ship on November 29. To pre-purchase the device, head here.