Steambox Finally Announced By Valve And Xi3 Corporation

By Ishaan . January 7, 2013 . 5:37pm

Valve and a company named Xi3 Corporation are teaming up to release a “Computer Game System,” (not the final name, obviously) which they announced today.


What’s the Xi3 Computer Game System? The easiest way to describe it is to call it the “Steambox” that everyone has been expecting for some time now. It’s a gaming platform optimized to support Steam and its Big Picture mode interface for “residential and LAN party computer gaming on larger high-def screens.”


As part of the collaboration, the two companies have also announced an investment in Xi3 Corporation from Valve, although the particulars of this investment have not been shared.


“Today marks the beginning of a new era for Xi3,” said Jason A. Sullivan, founder, President and CEO of Xi3. “This new development stage product will allow users to take full-advantage of their large high-definition TV displays for an amazing computer game experience. As a result, this new system could provide access to thousands of gaming titles through an integrated system that exceeds the capabilities of leading game consoles, but can fit in the palm of your hand.”


No further details about the Xi3 and Valve’s Computer Game System have been announced yet, other than that it will be housed in Xi3’s grapefruit-size Xi3 Modular Computer chassis. The device is currently in the development stages.


Note: Image above of the Xi3 Modular Computer chassis, not a final representation of this product.

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  • DesmaX

    Now this is some great news. Steam Big Picture is definely the best “Console” dashboard, and moving this seems a lot more easier than picking the whole computer for the TV.

  • SirRichard

    I would hope it’s not the final chassis, because it’s kind of goofy, really.

    Still, it’s great seeing Valve taking strides to expand the PC market and make it a less scary place for people who believe all that “£2000 for a good gaming PC” nonsense. As long as the price is right and the components are good enough, I can see this being a popular alternative to the consoles.

  • malek86

    Thousands of gaming titles… power exceeding that of game consoles… fitting in the palm of your hand.

    Dunno about you guys, but I’m starting to think it might be a streaming solution.

    • gamefreak86

      If it is, which I believe it is, it’ll be a flop. Unless you have google internet, streaming games will be utter shit. Especially big AAA titles.

  • Happy Gamer

    if this can resolve the whole “PC gaming is too expensive” thing, PC gaming in general can totally collapse. I mean in the sense of building expensive machines. even the cheapest PC you can build cost more than a console and usually consoles, albeit becoming outdated has a pretty long life cycle vs a PC (this is IF you want to always play your games “optimized”)

    If this can sort of “gap” the bridge between the console and PC gaming market, it could create a whole new beast of games. Cross platform gaming would be more common (although not sure if it will due to programming or pure company politics).

    On the other hand, this could collapse the console market as well (although highly unlikely due to exclusives on each company’s platform). In this generation, almost all games that were released on the console have been on the PC as well. In fact, most games were optimized for the console THEN PC in many cases.

    If a “one machine to play it all” can exist, it would be pretty awesome in perspective of the consumer.

    The next generation will be a very different beast vs the current. There was a radical shift in business from the previous to current gen of gaming, but with the upcoming OUYA and this, I am pretty curious of how gaming will progress from now.

    • Keyanf

      False: You can build a pretty powerful gaming PC for roughly $500 most of the time (in between the launch prices of the 360 and PS3, with the 360’s being artificially deflated by the expensive and proprietary add ons it requires. Before you ask: The price would go even lower if you wanted to build with 6 year old parts). It’s just people are too stupid to assemble such a machine (despite the requirements being fairly low)

      • Spirit Macardi

        This comes across as really mean-spirited and elitist, and I say this as a PC gamer myself.

        Just because someone doesn’t want to build his own computer doesn’t mean he’s stupid. Often it’s fear or a simple lack of understanding. It’s intimidating assembling something so complex and delicate, and even if you put everything together correctly sometimes parts are simply incompatible or refuse to work together.

        Meanwhile you have a game console which only requires you to plug in it and hook it up to a TV to perform its intended functions. It’s not hard to see why many would prefer a less powerful but more easy to use box vs. a more powerful but far more intricate tower.

        • Guest

          I’m 16 years old and I understand some things in my PC but only what has to do with backup and whatnot although I still need to always ask my sisters for help because they’re so good with working on it. But to this day I don’t even understand what goes on inside a computer so I would never want to build something in which I would be so ignorant about. With that said, i am kind of scared of messing things up.. “Meanwhile you have a game console which only requires you to plug in it and hook it up to a TV to perform its intended functions.” Sounds like me, lol.

        • It’s not that complex to assemble a PC together. You don’t have to be a Computer wizard or an Engineer to assemble a computer. People just tend to be lazy on doing some little bit of research.

          • M’iau M’iaut

            The point has been made. For some folks building is an option, an option that isn’t for everyone. Please keep the personal asides out of these discussions.

          • MogCakes

            Do you not see how elitist you sound? People shouldn’t -have- to ‘do the research’ when it comes to building an entertainment box if they don’t want to, just to play video games. That’s the whole reason consoles came to exist in the first place. Your opinion sounds like ‘well if you don’t want to build your own computer like me, then no game for you, and I’m better!’

      • Nemesis_Dawn

        And this attitude is why so many people will never play PC games.

        • gamefreak86

          Actually with that money I’ve previously bought a laptop I3 duo core 4gb ram and 1gb hd Radeon 4350 card, way above specs for current gen and most games ran like shit, I laughed when I had 10-15 fps for Gw2 on lowest settings and had ps2 graphics. even tf2 ran like shit with constant screen tearing. only thing it ran nicely was wow. I’m sorry but even my pc doesn’t run things like a console. I prefer console because of exclusives, less maintenance and issues overall, and local co op.

      • Xerain

        Sure I could, but in order to get it down to that price I’d have to put it in some low quality finger slashing case. It’s certainly not something I’d taking every single freaking place I go, as I certainly would if I had one of these.

        • Keyanf

          You can get good cases for ~30. Just check Tom’s Hardware’s quarterly builds for basic guidelines.

      • You need to be very lucky to get roughly $500 on a pretty powerful gaming PC… Oh, you are also forgetting to include an OS(Windows) in it which cost around $100 more… I dare you to run that $500 PC with high settings on….

        Sure, I got a decent $800 PC running today’s games with no problems but it’s a bitch to clean out all those dust inside… Oh, I tried…

        People ain’t stupid… They find it troublesome to deal with common problems like corrupted files, errors, updates, drivers, etc…. Also need to mention during assembling, anything can happen, Electrical discharge that could fry your parts to nothing, careless handling, wrong assembling can cause fatal damage to the parts, etc…. Nowadays, people would go for Factory-built PCs than Self-built PCs…

        • $500 is pretty enough for a gaming PC to play high-settings if your the one who assembled it. I assembled one myself and I play every single game on high to ultra settings with some amount of anti-aliasing without any problem. I’ll give you my PC specs and prices for the parts I’ve just got if you want proof. People just tend to be lazy by doing some little research which such simple problems.

          • To someone who lives in a country where prices are marked twice compared to US, that doesn’t say much… Even if you import, there’s expensive shipping costs to worry about…

            Every single game? Try playing Battlefield 3 or Metro 2033 with high settings and 1080p on a $500 PC then…. Go try Sleeping Dogs on high settings then since my PC can’t run it well…

          • I played BF3 on high settings just a month ago and Sleeping dogs after a month that it’s been released. And judging from your statement, I guess you’ve bought a pre-built PC and expected some performance out of it.

          • Nah, I built my own with a HD7770…I’m just lucky to build something with parts that cost around x2 more than the ones in the US(Prices: US < Elsewhere)… Ain't much but it gets the job done… Btw, what I meant by "can't run it well", I mean getting more than 30FPS smoothly…

            Edit: Also, did you cranked your screen resolution in BF3 to 1920×1080? You didn't mention this…

          • Yes, I bought my HD 7850 1GB 3 months ago since it’s pretty much affordable than the 2GB version at newegg.

            Edit: I’m really sorry if I offended you in someway on my first statement.

          • No apology needed…. :)

            Edit: HD7850? You lucky little… I would have gone with that instead but that cost $70 more than what I bought my HD7770 with… Beyond my planned budget…. :(

          • Keyanf

            $500 was in USD, not the “dollar” of wherever you are from.

          • Where I am uses AUD… Doesn’t change your point much when you look at the parts here even though AUD is even with USD in currency conversion….

            If you bought a PC with $500 in the US, then a PC bought with the exact same parts in here would be around $800 or more….

          • Monsley

            “People just tend to be lazy by doing some little research”

            Uhm, yeah, that’s actually my case.

            I currently have absolutely no idea how to build a PC, but I think I might be able to do that after doing an extensive (not “some little”, sorry) research, if somebody who understands more than I do about this stuff is willing to help.

            The point is, I don’t want to. I play games for enjoyment and the idea of having to do something as frustrating (for me) as building my own gaming machine does not bring me joy.
            I don’t care for mods or high end graphics either, which as far as I’m concerned are the only positive aspects of PC gaming, and all I want to do when I finally find some time to play videogames is slap a disc/cartridge in my console, relax on my couch and play my game without having to worry about anything else. I’m just “lazy” like that.

            Besides, even if I could actually build a gaming PC with only $500 (good luck doing that – I can’t imagine spending less than $800/$900 to build a decent gaming PC over here), that would still be too expensive for me, since I’d still want consoles to play exclusives (most of my gaming library currently consists of console exclusives) and I need the mobility of a laptop to study/work.

      • You Are Tonga

        You just give pc gamer looks bad, i am disappointed you =(

        • Keyanf

          I said you could build one cheep pretty easily.

          I actually own a PC, Wii, PS3, 3DS and a bunch of legacy stuff.

    • CirnoLakes

      “even the cheapest PC you can build cost more than a console”

      • That is if you use it for general purposes or something… The reason why I got a cheap one for VNs and all….

  • FetusZero

    It is a good idea for people who enjoy Big Picture, but for myself, as far as gaming with a controller goes, I’ll stick to my other consoles and keep Steam for my PC primarily… unless of course they sell the Steambox for 50 bucks.

  • FitzpatrickPhillips

    Honestly I don’t really get what this is, even after reading the article and past info. Its made to run every game on steam? So its basically a steam console?

    • That’s what it sounds like. Details are very scarce right now. However, they do call it a “Computer” and Gabe Newell said a while back that the Steam PC solution would be a less flexible computer.

  • ShawnOtakuSomething

    steam console?

  • Jason A

    I’ll buy it. Valve ftw.

  • anarchy_panty

    There better be a model that comes in the shape of Gabe’s beautiful head, or I’m going to be sorely disappointed.

  • Nemesis_Dawn

    I’ll stick with consoles, thank you very much.

    • LJR

      The Steambox is a console.

  • SetzerGabbiani

    For all the talk of consoles being on their way out, it seems that a few companies are trying to get in. This, Ouya, Project Shield…interesting times we’re living in.

  • Now I’ll have the chance to play games on Steam outside of shmups. Really, I have the most awkward PC hardware setup. I try upgrading the thing, but I need to build one from scratch.

  • Göran Isacson

    A grapefruit-sized console that can play my Steam library?… Well, I’ve heard of worse deals. Could be a neat idea to maybe save my money for this, as I have little confidence I can build a computer on my own or know what parts go well together.

  • …Holy crap, This decade is gonna be just like the 70s and 90s, in that we’ll have at least SIX (Nintendo, Sony, MS, Valve, Nvidia and Ouya) companies vying for a piece of the console and handheld market. To me, that’s insane.

    • LynxAmali

      Somebody’s gonna up like Sega and the Dreamcast.

      Calling it.

    • Elvick

      I hardly consider Ouya anywhere near the others. Wouldn’t really count Nvidia either.

      The only one I think has any chance of actually gaining some mass appeal is this one.

      And hopefully, this will push Nintendo (especially), Sony and Microsoft to do better with their digital front. The sales they have pale in comparison to Valve.

      And hopefully they loosen up their patching requirements. (Sony/MS… not sure how/if Nintendo does it)

  • SuperSailorV

    Steam games only?

    Does this news matter to someone who already has a capable gaming PC?

    • Elvick

      Probably not.

    • tridus

      If you already have a capable gaming PC, you’re not the target market. This is for people who don’t have that, but might want to play some games without having to worry about getting the right hardware.

      Get this thing, and you know it works. Could be a nice compliment to the trend that’s starting to appear of PC-less houses that just use tablets & phones.

  • TheRealMalek

    Really strange, i have a 1983 video game crisis feeling from all those announce, hoping i’m wrong…

  • Kai2591

    That’s crazy small…so crazy.

  • Tails the Foxhound

    I wanna call this a game changer if for no other reason than that people seem to love Valve (not that I would know, exclusive console owner here), but isn’t this just a weak-ish PC? I don’t know, I’m bad at predictions but I’d hate to see Valve overreach and destroy their business model. :/

    • CirnoLakes

      “but isn’t this just a weak-ish PC?”
      Most likely. But isn’t that what consoles are to begin with?

      • Tails the Foxhound

        Yeah, that’s my point. Why would anyone who normally buys a PC for games essentially downgrade?

        • CirnoLakes

          Because I think this is for people who normally buy a console.

          This is an attempt at selling PC gaming to console gamers.

          • Tails the Foxhound

            Do you think that market (those who want to play PC, but can’t/won’t shell out) is sufficient? Further, why not just make everything for consoles now as well? If this console hits the baseline of power I think it will, there’s no longer much of a reason to not produce for traditional consoles, even needing a keyboard or mouse/pointer of some sort is no longer a barrier for consoles (the Wii U wouldn’t even need either, the PS3 only needing a keyboard).

          • CirnoLakes

            “but can’t/won’t shell out”
            It isn’t a matter of that so much as different demographics. PC gaming isn’t more expensive than console gaming.

            Many gaming demographics are used to thinking in terms of console gaming as can be seen from the arguments against PC gaming or the lack of interest displayed by several users here.

            It isn’t that console gamers can’t afford PC gaming. It’s that many console gamers haven’t given PC gaming much of a look. And dismiss the entire platform as a convoluted mess and a waste of time. So the trick is to make the a system, if even a PC-console fusion, that appeals to what most console gamers want.

            Which I personally think that what the console has that console gamers have gotten used to, is a sense of package. All consoles have a certain theme and many gamers are in a tradition of buying gaming consoles to play video games. Particularly based upon a theme of package they want out of it. Part of that package and part of the appeal of consoles in general, being things like exclusive titles.

            Consoles attempt to sell an out of the box gaming experience with a certain theme. I’m sure that a PC-console hybrid of sorts would be able to do much the same.

            To me, one of the problems I had with PC gaming was the lack of central force. Microsoft never really officially did much to support gaming before the XBOX other than things like DirectX. The PC didn’t have its own Nintendo. Valve with Steam though is starting to fill that gap. And is adding thematically to the PC as a gaming device.

  • CirnoLakes

    Now they need to have major retailers carry it.

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