Update: Xi3 Opens "Piston" Steam Box Pre-Orders

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Update: Xi3 Opens "Piston" Steam Box Pre-Orders

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Little is known of Valve's own Steam Box, but Xi3's "Piston" is something similar, and is being developed with Valve's support.

Xi3 unveiled the "Piston" earlier in the year, describing it as "a computer game system that's optimized to support Steam and its Big Picture mode interface for high-definition televisions." At the time, no price point was mentioned. We now know how much the first "Steam Box" will cost, as the Piston is now available for pre-order from Xi3's website, with the cheapest model coming in at $1,000 USD.

The Piston will come in three different configurations. The cheapest, standard model comes with a 128GB SSD internal hard drive, the middle model comes with a 256GB SSD internal hard drive, and the third, most expensive model comes with a 512GB SSD internal hard drive. The prices for the three configurations are as follows:

Standard: Internal 128GB SSD - $1,000

Add $340: Internal 256GB SSD - $1,340

Add $750: Internal 512GB SSD - $1,750

Some of the Piston's specifications have been revealed, with Xi3's website stating it will have 8 GB of RAM and a 3.2Ghz Quad Core processor. All other specs, including what graphics processor it will use, have not yet been announced. Pre-ordering any one of the three Piston configurations by March 17th will knock $100 off the price (which is why you will see cheaper prices than those listed here on Xi3's pre-order website). Xi3 says the Piston is "grapefruit-sized" and treads the line between console and PC.

"Clearly, the computer/video gaming market is huge, both in the personal computer and traditional console markets," said Xi3 founder and CEO, Jason A. Sullivan. "That being said, we believe there is a crying need for a machine that captures the best of both worlds, with the upgradeability of computer gaming rigs and the design and form factor of consoles. We believe our Piston consoles do exactly that-deliver the beauty and small size of consoles with the upgradeability of computers."

The Piston is backed, at least indirectly, by Valve, which has invested in its developer Xi3. Valve's own Steam Box is expected to enter the prototype stage in the coming months.

Source: Siliconera

Update: Valve has distanced itself from the Xi3 Piston, calling it an "unofficial Steam Box." Valve director of marketing Doug Lombardi has stated that while Valve did have some dealings with Xi3 Corporation in the past, it had nothing to do with the Piston.

"Valve began some exploratory work with Xi3 last year, but currently has no involvement in any product of theirs," he said.

Source (update): Eurogamer

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I'm not an expert or anything but that seems ridiculously expensive. Considering you could get a pretty decent PC for the same price, and it'd have all of the other functions of a computer as well.

I dont really get it...it seems ot have neither of the advantages and both the disadvantages of a console/PC

1000 Euro's for what is practically a (albeit quite powerful) console? Yeah, fat chance.

Both PS4 and a custom PC are better choices. Then again, if you have so much spare money you burn them casually...

I'm actually a fan of mechanical hard drives. The're cheaper and have larger storage. Like terabytes large.

We will probably have to wait for more specs to know exactly how well it does in bringing games to the television compared to the PS4 for example. It is a pretty hefty price, even for the low tier model, but considering steam's price policy, this might be worth it for some people. I think I'll just wait and see how the gaming market developes from the side line for the time being.

You can pre-order it now... And yet not all of the specifications have been revealed? Isn't that a bit odd? And isn't that just a PC? Will it come with an OS included? Will it be linux-based, as the "steam-box" is supposed to be?

Evil Smurf:
I'm actually a fan of mechanical hard drives. The're cheaper and have larger storage. Like terabytes large.

For the purpose of the console though its a much, MUCH better idea to use SSDs.
Theyre faster so loading game assets is faster, have a much longer lifespan, are infinitely more quiet (no moving parts) and of course, much much smaller.
Personally Im just glad they're not using cheap flash memory, not that I actually plan on buying one...

Evil Smurf:
I'm actually a fan of mechanical hard drives. The're cheaper and have larger storage. Like terabytes large.

The tradeoff is that SSD's are MUCH faster and much less likely to fail. The update to SSD is probably one of the best upgrades people can make. You only really need the drive that you have windows and your games on to be an SSD, mechanical drives are fine for files. I made the switch to SSD last year and I'll never look back. Windows loads in about 15 seconds and my games load in moments, making 'level loads' almost a thing of the past. It also speeds up your overall performance.

If that's the price with Linux on it, it seems a bit steep. It all depends on what sort of gpu they put in it though.

Steven Bogos:

Evil Smurf:
I'm actually a fan of mechanical hard drives. The're cheaper and have larger storage. Like terabytes large.

The tradeoff is that SSD's are MUCH faster and much less likely to fail. The update to SSD is probably one of the best upgrades people can make. You only really need the drive that you have windows and your games on to be an SSD, mechanical drives are fine for files. I made the switch to SSD last year and I'll never look back. Windows loads in about 15 seconds and my games load in moments, making 'level loads' almost a thing of the past. It also speeds up your overall performance.

Funny, I got an SSD, timed it in comparison to my mechanical drive.

Games are all the same, windows actually loads faster from a mechanical drive.

And I can assure you it was not a faulty drive :)

Well that is a horribly high entry point, honestly at this point it's a collectors item to show your friends.
Without the custom "console like" OS this is just an overpriced PC with all the hassle that comes with it and only benefit being size.

Reynaert:
We will probably have to wait for more specs to know exactly how well it does in bringing games to the television compared to the PS4 for example.

You don't have to wait. The CPU is a AMD A10-4600M. There is no dedicated graphics card and the SSD upgrade is totally overpriced. It's hardware for 300 Euros, tops.

No thanks. My PC and PS3 are both just fine. And for $1700 I could build a much, much, much better machine than the Piston. SSD and all. I don't care if it's in a little box rather than a big box. I can't imagine the size would be a big selling point anywhere outside of Japan.

MrPeanut:

Steven Bogos:

Evil Smurf:
I'm actually a fan of mechanical hard drives. The're cheaper and have larger storage. Like terabytes large.

The tradeoff is that SSD's are MUCH faster and much less likely to fail. The update to SSD is probably one of the best upgrades people can make. You only really need the drive that you have windows and your games on to be an SSD, mechanical drives are fine for files. I made the switch to SSD last year and I'll never look back. Windows loads in about 15 seconds and my games load in moments, making 'level loads' almost a thing of the past. It also speeds up your overall performance.

Funny, I got an SSD, timed it in comparison to my mechanical drive.

Games are all the same, windows actually loads faster from a mechanical drive.

And I can assure you it was not a faulty drive :)

I'm not calling you a liar but I find this very hard to believe. Overwhelming evidence supports SSD's being considerably faster than mechanical drives. Even the best mechanical drive caps out at 120 MB/S while modest SSD's are around 300 MB/s. That's a huge difference. There is most likely some kind of fault somewhere in your system. There is no way your windows is loading faster on a mechanical drive than an SSD

I imagine if this falls on its face, it'll make for a nice thing to talk about in the future under console/pc failures.

But, since when has a device at 1000$ or up ever failed.

I wouldn't pre-order anything of the sort without knowing full specs. And it's a 1000$+ machine. Do they really expect ANYONE to pre-order such a thing without knowing, well, anything about it, really.

Quad-Core processor gives us nothing, it could be a low-end AMD, it could be a good Intel. 8gb of RAM is the LEAST you could expect from such an expensive machine (considering how cheap RAM is) and no info on what is probably the most important component, the graphics card... yeah.

VladG:
I wouldn't pre-order anything of the sort without knowing full specs. And it's a 1000$+ machine. Do they really expect ANYONE to pre-order such a thing without knowing, well, anything about it, really.

Quad-Core processor gives us nothing, it could be a low-end AMD, it could be a good Intel. 8gb of RAM is the LEAST you could expect from such an expensive machine (considering how cheap RAM is) and no info on what is probably the most important component, the graphics card... yeah.

Well, people have spent more for stupider things with less knowledge going in, never underestimate a fool and his money.

Steven Bogos:

MrPeanut:

Steven Bogos:
-snip-

-snip

-snip-

Sounds like a classic case of plugging your SSD in to a SATA 2 port.
Although it should still be a wee bit faster than a mechanical drive...

MrPeanut:

Steven Bogos:

Evil Smurf:
I'm actually a fan of mechanical hard drives. The're cheaper and have larger storage. Like terabytes large.

The tradeoff is that SSD's are MUCH faster and much less likely to fail. The update to SSD is probably one of the best upgrades people can make. You only really need the drive that you have windows and your games on to be an SSD, mechanical drives are fine for files. I made the switch to SSD last year and I'll never look back. Windows loads in about 15 seconds and my games load in moments, making 'level loads' almost a thing of the past. It also speeds up your overall performance.

Funny, I got an SSD, timed it in comparison to my mechanical drive.

Games are all the same, windows actually loads faster from a mechanical drive.

And I can assure you it was not a faulty drive :)

There is a problem somewhere. It's impossible for a mechanical drive to be faster than an SSD. Unless we're talking one of those old 15000+ RPM models, and even then the SSD should win.

Asuka Soryu:

VladG:
I wouldn't pre-order anything of the sort without knowing full specs. And it's a 1000$+ machine. Do they really expect ANYONE to pre-order such a thing without knowing, well, anything about it, really.

Quad-Core processor gives us nothing, it could be a low-end AMD, it could be a good Intel. 8gb of RAM is the LEAST you could expect from such an expensive machine (considering how cheap RAM is) and no info on what is probably the most important component, the graphics card... yeah.

Well, people have spent more for stupider things with less knowledge going in, never underestimate a fool and his money.

I guess, but they can't honestly expect to make a profit on the handful of people who will pre-order this just because they must have the latest gadget.

Though if one of the above posts is to be believed, and it's an A10 APU with NO dedicated video card it's so horrendously overpriced they might just...

CPU: 3570K 220$
Mobo: Z77MA-G45 116$
GPU: Gigabyte HD 7950 300$
HD: WD Blue 1TB 80$
SSD: Samsung Pro 840 128GB 134$
RAM: Corsair Low Profile 8GB 1600mhz 59$
CASE: HAF 912 PLUS 70$

979$

Until they can beat this, I'll stick to custom building, thank you :)

Doesn't this kind of defeat the point of the accessible, cheap Steambox? I thought the whole ethos of the Steambox was to create something affordable that could compete with a console price point. By effectively being at least twice the price of what we can probably expect a PS4 to be for the lowest entry model then they've just shot themselves in the foot.

Vault101:
I dont really get it...it seems ot have neither of the advantages and both the disadvantages of a console/PC

The advantage is that you get a no-fuss device to play PC games on. We're not talking difficult to figure out, here.

Zachary Amaranth:

The advantage is that you get a no-fuss device to play PC games on. We're not talking difficult to figure out, here.

all PC games? or just the ones through steam?

does it work like a regular PC in that you can have a monitor/mouse/keyboard set up? or s it a pure console?

jebbo:
Doesn't this kind of defeat the point of the accessible, cheap Steambox? I thought the whole ethos of the Steambox was to create something affordable that could compete with a console price point. By effectively being at least twice the price of what we can probably expect a PS4 to be for the lowest entry model then they've just shot themselves in the foot.

Are you sure you're not mixing it up with Ouya?

Not implying you're wrong though, I know that's the goal of Ouya but up until today I thought Piston and Steambox are the same... Is SB really supposed to be super cheap too? 'Cause I'll definitely get one then.

Vault101:

does it work like a regular PC in that you can have a monitor/mouse/keyboard set up? or s it a pure console?

It's a fully functional PC

This isn't the "Steambox", stop being intentionally misleading.

Even the people involved literally couldn't say it after being pressured on it for a while:

It's only one of over a dozen or so prototypes presented at the last CES to push "TV-connected PCs" into the market: http://www.engadget.com/2013/01/09/eyes-on-with-valves-steambox-prototypes/

Lots of "SteamBoxes", just because Valve invested some money into some companies so they can make a few prototypes doesn't mean much. Only thing that will qualify will be the hardware that Valve comes up with themselves and will likely launch in 2014.
As Gabe said the official "Steam Box" will begin testing in a few months: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-21677119

Xi3 just used all the attention and buzz to get some free PR for their company.

That price is a bit steep, isn't it? I don't see how the hardware can justify it.

It may be pricey, but it's also the SIZE OF A GODDAMN GRAPEFRUIT.

This is probably the most portable gaming machine outside of handhelds and smartphones. Probably a lot more powerful too. If the specs are as good (or better) than a high-end gaming laptop, I can see this being well worth the money for people that travel a lot.

Dexter111:
This isn't the "Steambox", stop being intentionally misleading.

I apologize. "Steam Box" has come to be a general term for a PC built specifically to run Steam's big picture mode like a console. I never said it was "the" Steam Box, just that it was "a" Steam Box.

Vault101:

all PC games? or just the ones through steam?

I really can't tell if you're being serious anymore.

Steven Bogos:

Dexter111:
This isn't the "Steambox", stop being intentionally misleading.

I apologize. "Steam Box" has come to be a general term for a PC built specifically to run Steam's big picture mode like a console. I never said it was "the" Steam Box, just that it was "a" Steam Box.

Unless the title has been changed from another title, I don't think there was any deception here in the first place. It looks, at first blush, like exactly what it says on the tin.

Of course, I lack a time machine.

Soo err... a grand eh? Good luck with that.

Unless that GPU has the numbers 7950 or 660ti that's an absurd amount of money, the processor better be an i5 or better for that much too. That's almost double what I paid for a PC with an i5 3570k and a 7850 in it!

MrPeanut:
Funny, I got an SSD, timed it in comparison to my mechanical drive.

Something's definitely off there.

Even the SATA II SSD in my computer is massively faster than the SATA III storage drive. Battlefield 3 loads in about a third of the time from the SSD whilst boot is roughly half except for POST.

What size/brand/model is the SSD? What format is it? How full is it? It really, really should be faster than the mechanical drive.

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