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

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According to Valve there will be 3 hardware tiers of Steamboxes,and each Steambox will make you know in which tier it is. They will be labeled,probably with a badge on the side,to make it easier to know the requirements of each game,and knowing if it will work on your machine,so you don't have to read long requirements lists and know technical stuff.
The tiers are Good,Better and Best. This machine doesn't seem to have a badge labeling its tier,and they don't even say anything about it in their site.

Except that,Gabe Newell recently said that they are still working on the form factor,and specifically try to find what kind of performance they can squeeze in the form factor,because the machine must be at the size of a console,and at the same time ultra silent and cold.
The first prototypes will be ready in June or July,so since there aren't even the prototypes ready,I really wonder how Xi3 already has the product ready...
Perhaps it isn't "Steambox" after all,but it's "Piston",as the guy says on the video Dexter111 posted.
After all,Valve said that they have many different prototypes of input devices (controllers) and they still haven't decided which will be the default one. We don't have any info yet on what Piston will come with. Will it come with generic keyboard and mouse ? Or a xbox360 controller ? Or with the Steambox's default controller ? We still don't know. Not even Valve knows yet what the default controller will be.

Note that there is absolutely not any kind of Steam or Valve logo/badge on the product,or in the product's webpage.

Yikes that's pricey. You could build a more than equivalent gaming pc for that money. I take it the Piston will be one of the high end steam boxes, I imagine Valve has some more competitively priced steam boxes ready for release as at the moment I don't think the price is going to win over any console converts or traditional pc gamers for that matter.

Anyone else curious how many ports they managed to fit on a PC the size of a grapefruit. I don't doubt it's sufficient, but I am still interested if they just went with USB everything or what?

At that price point I'd absolutely rather spend hundreds of dollars less and build my own rig.

I like the idea of making gaming PC's a more functional size, but don't they know they're demographic? We're for the most part broke 20 somethings :(

Legion:
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.

It's aiming for a niche market really, when someone needs/wants a small PC (and/or arguably a nicer looking one). Kind of like a console except more useful. I would guess it would usually be put out of the way or made to look nice next to the TV rather than a large tower. Also the average user is very IT illiterate, so this would appeal to them.

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

Surely the ideal solution is to have both, or possibly a hybrid? A boot drive for Windows and your most played games/programs, and a mechanical drive for storage. An SSD is pretty much the best upgrade you can give a modernish PC, in terms of load times and such. I run a Seagate Momentus Hybrid, so a cold boot only takes about 30 seconds to get onto Chrome. The price for a proper SSD is a sticking point though, which is why I went hybrid rather than buying an SSD and a mechanical.

What a waste of money. You would be much better off building a custom PC which would trash the Piston for the same price.

I don't quite understand all the people in this thread declaring that they could build a much better computer for $1000. No shit you can build a better computer for $1000 when you don't have to fit it into the palm of your hand. Was everyone really expecting the Piston to descend from the heavens and be smaller and draw almost no power while sitting on the bleeding edge of processing power for a lower price?

Lvl 64 Klutz:
Anyone else curious how many ports they managed to fit on a PC the size of a grapefruit. I don't doubt it's sufficient, but I am still interested if they just went with USB everything or what?

See my post on the previous page, it's an impressive amount

RicoADF:

Legion:
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.

It's aiming for a niche market really, when someone needs/wants a small PC (and/or arguably a nicer looking one). Kind of like a console except more useful. I would guess it would usually be put out of the way or made to look nice next to the TV rather than a large tower. Also the average user is very IT illiterate, so this would appeal to them.

A very good point.

What it will come down to, I think, is how much it costs to produce it. Most consoles run on a loss, so if it isn't too expensive to make then the high price tag combined with the niche market may work out for them.

I could get a very nice computer for a $1000. This is a joke.

I don't get this. Like, at all. I suppose it has some sort of an upside in being small, but what the fuck does that matter when it's going to be kept hooked to the TV the whole time?

Eh, I haven't been interested in this, or the Ouya whatever the fuck that is, for one second, so whatever.

WHY?

I expected it to be around $600, but it STARTS at quadruple digits? Are you joking? Who is in the market for this?? It has all the inflexibility of a console with less than half the usefulness of a PC and a 25% higher price? Who needs this?

If you already have a PC, you don't want or need it. If you are a console gamer, you probably don't want to spend $1000 on a console. You can put together a more powerful PC for less AND you would be able to upgrade it for some time. With this, all of the parts will be from the maker of the console and most certainly will be overpriced.

WHO. IS. THIS. FOR?

Stavros Dimou:

Perhaps it isn't "Steambox" after all,but it's "Piston",as the guy says on the video Dexter111 posted.

The press dubbed it the "steambox" after the readers. It was always "Piston" on the industry side.

So who is the target audience for this? Not PC gamers as they would rather spend the money on upgrading there rig. An its not console gamers who will just by the wiiu/PS4 or next box for there games. An its not for the non gamer, because they wont buy that thing either.

So yeah, this product is going to sink.

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

It's supposed to be as powerful as a modern gaming PC (we can't really know without the graphics card), and advantages such as modding and other form of customization. It also has the main advantage of a console - It's supposed to just boot up with Steam in big picture mode (Which is similar to the X-Box 360 interface) and games can be simply downloaded and played without having to go through installation/configuration wizards, which is how games on Steam usually work.

Basically, it's a gateway to PC gaming for those who think that it's too complicated.

OT: It would be very stupid to buy a gaming PC without knowing what graphics card it has. I wonder why they haven't revealed it yet.

Well, at least we know what it looks like because, as we've determined, that's the most important thing about a new hardware;s first info release.

Teah, it sounds like a nice beefy machine (puts my PC to shame) and the form factor is good.. but the price is terrible. With a little study, or just some question asking, you could buld a well specced machine on your own and still have money left of that price tag to buy a console too if that's what you wanted. It just wouldn't be as small.

Dryk:
I don't quite understand all the people in this thread declaring that they could build a much better computer for $1000. No shit you can build a better computer for $1000 when you don't have to fit it into the palm of your hand. Was everyone really expecting the Piston to descend from the heavens and be smaller and draw almost no power while sitting on the bleeding edge of processing power for a lower price?

Lvl 64 Klutz:
Anyone else curious how many ports they managed to fit on a PC the size of a grapefruit. I don't doubt it's sufficient, but I am still interested if they just went with USB everything or what?

See my post on the previous page, it's an impressive amount

Easy you use a mini itx board with a picoPSU and a CPU with onboard graphics. Admittedly because of the because the back plate the machine would be wider but lower but the overall volume is about the same.

A little pricey for my tastes, and for most people's tastes.
This won't end well for them.

Small and portable, good for people on the move a lot, if it's done right and doesn't suffer any long term heating issues(only thing I see potentially holding it back) then good on them, if you were someone who travels a lot for work or something like that would be a nice investment due to the size.

Most people seem to be saying a custom built PC is better, which I agree with, but the size is a pretty big factor on that price tag.

Finally, a system crossing the flexibility of PCs with the affordability of...what the fuck?

Really, I'd say the problem here boils down to this:

We believe our Piston consoles do exactly that-deliver the beauty and small size of consoles with the upgradeability of computers.

The CEO appears to think people buy consoles because they look pretty, rather than, you know, because they can afford them.

$1000, that's about 640. That is more then enough money for me to get a custom build desktop that will do everything that thing does and more.

This makes me really sad.

You won't be able to just "upgrade" this thing. Based on the size, they definitely don't have a dedicated video card in there, so you won't be able to buy a new one. The mobo/CPU is probably a special formfactor (that they may sell as their proprietary "upgrade module"). And if it boots into big picture mode on top of that...this does not offer the freedom and customization power of PCs. And I imagine that your mods are limited to the ones from Steam Workshop.

Considering the specs that's not awful. I initially thought "DA FUQ?" until I remembered we're dealing with dollars rather than pounds.

Steven Bogos:
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.

From everything I've heard, SSDs are much more likely to fail.
http://www.codinghorror.com/blog/2011/05/the-hot-crazy-solid-state-drive-scale.html

Here's my biggest problem, I have a 1.5TB mechanical drive almost full of steam games so even the largest SSD they offer won't hold half of them. Until they can offer larger capacities at the same price or cheaper than mechanical I'm sticking to mechanical drives.

Steven Bogos:
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

It's not the transfer-rates that make the speed of SSDs noticable. Think about it. If your HDD can provide you 120MB of data every second, your computer would fly. This is not the case though. Most of what we notice (programs open up faster, shorter boot-time,...) come from the greatly reduced access-time that SSDs have. HDDs have a much higher access-time and thus they have a much longer delay before they even start working at xMB/S.
The higher transfer-rates kick in when you work with large files, what (usually) doesn't happen that often.

I agree with you though. There is no way that his computer started faster with an HDD than a SSD (unless he did something wrong).

Xan Krieger:
Here's my biggest problem, I have a 1.5TB mechanical drive almost full of steam games so even the largest SSD they offer won't hold half of them. Until they can offer larger capacities at the same price or cheaper than mechanical I'm sticking to mechanical drives.

Steam games take little enough time to download that I can usually get away with rotating whatever 30-40 games I'm most likely to play at a given time. I'm not going to run into a situation where I urgently need to play a specific game, after all. Sure, it's a trade-off, but I've never really had a problem with it.

That said, not even providing the option of a mechanical drive is stupid, since not everyone is going to want to make that trade-off.

My tower has better specs than that and it cost around $700 to build. I really don't know who this is for. Is it for those PC gamers where graphics are important, but who are too lazy to build their own PC.

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

They also last roughly 4 times as long as an SSD drive as well. This should have both if it wants to properly take advantage of both worlds. As well being such large SSD's I can see where the price has taken a bit of a jump.

My biggest complaint with systems like this is heat. Cramming that kind of power into that little bit of space will murder the components over time. Almost everything about this is designed to have it burn itself out in roughly 5 years if not quicker.

For that kind of money I'll just build a PC with adequate cooling.

If I had $1000 to spare I sooner buy get a better pc and/or more games. I would only buy that steam box if I had so much money to burn that I did not know how to spend it.
I am sure a hell not part of there target audience.

I don't know how I feel about it. On the one hand it's quite exciting seeing a new console hit the market. On the other hand, that price tag is ridiculous. :/

a thousand bucks?
wow, this is pretty obviously evil for valve (when they usually specialize in the stealthy-evil stuff).

for HALF that you can get a pc that will outlive and outperform the upcoming console generation easily..this seems like a shitty deal.

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

Thats pretty much what I've said about this thing from it's inception, it lacks the benefits of a gaming PC whilst lacking the bang for buck offered by a home console, I said it would when the rumours started flying around. I also said that if it's powerful enough to be a mid-high end PC it's gonna come at a premium and PC gamers won't care because they'll be able to outperform it for less and console gamers won't care because it's (I actually predicted around 800/$800) $1000.

Rather sure I can build a rig with an 3770K and a pair of 660 ti's in SLI for cheaper...

Oh well, I'll stick with a couple of consoles and my custom desktop :3 Looks cool if nothing else I guess.

Kathinka:
wow, this is pretty obviously evil for valve (when they usually specialize in the stealthy-evil stuff).

This isn't made by Valve. It's made by Xi3. Valve's actual Steambox won't be out for some time.

Happiness Assassin:
My tower has better specs than that and it cost around $700 to build. I really don't know who this is for. Is it for those PC gamers where graphics are important, but who are too lazy to build their own PC.

Your local PC store can probably undercut the thing anyway if you're lazy...

The Plunk:
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.

IT's also shaped like a grapefruit, which is odd for portability. You also have to lug around a monitor and keyboard AT LEAST.

You're better off getting a gaming laptop. It actually comes with a screen, it's flat and easy to carry in a bag, comes with mouse/keyboard/speakers, and can often be found for cheaper.

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