Here’s What Happened With Valve And Xi3 And The Piston

By Ishaan . March 13, 2013 . 4:00pm

Back when the Xi3 Corporation revealed their Steam-optimized “Piston” modular PC/console hybrid, they also revealed that they had received an investment from Valve Corporation, the company that owns and runs the Steam service.

 

Then, Valve’s Doug Lombardi recently stated to Eurogamer: “Valve began some exploratory work with Xi3 last year, but currently has no involvement in any product of theirs.”

 

Today, Xi3 Corporation released an official statement of their own, which sheds further light on the former and current relationship between the two companies.

 

“We reaffirm the fact that we received an investment from Valve Corporation (as we previously disclosed during the 2013 International CES trade show), and we did so with Valve’s written permission,” Xi3 founder and CEO, Jason A. Sullivan, said in a written statement today.

 

“Second, we were asked to build a product specifically for Valve, and both companies showcased this product—the Piston Console—in their respective booths at CES 2013.”

 

Sullivan continued: “Then, during a meeting with Valve at CES, [Valve founder] Gabe Newell personally asked me that we not disclose additional information about our relationship with Valve. We have honored that request and will continue to do so.”

 

Sullivan goes on to mention that there’s been some confusion as to whether the Piston is the official “Steambox” or not. As previously reported, it isn’t, and Valve are currently preparing their own version of a Steambox-type device that will run on Linux, as opposed to the Piston, which will use Windows.

 

“Contrary to Valve’s vision, Xi3 believes that the way to take this to market today is to do so with a Windows OS at the core, coupled with the ability to not just get to one platform/store for games, but to get access to all game stores/platforms,” Sullivan explains.

 

“Studios should have the option to go through Steam if they choose or to go direct to the end-user if they so choose. That will be the difference between Piston and other Steam Boxes. You’ll be able to access Steam if you choose, but you’ll also be able to access other platforms as well—all through the Piston Console.”

 

Finally, Sullivan mentions that Xi3 are “amazed” at the interest and amount of pre-orders the company has received for the Piston so far. “This just reaffirms to us our decision to open pre-orders, because we are seriously concerned we will not be able to meet the demand for Piston Consoles for the 2013 Holiday Season,” he says. “"In closing, what Valve does or doesn’t do with its Steam Box will be up to them. So Gabe, it’s up to you. The ball is in your court.”

 


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  • sunK1D

    *Grabs popcorn*

    • Testsubject909

      Want butter?

  • http://twitter.com/Vietgeta VietGeta

    >Xi3
    >we are seriously concerned we will not be able to meet the demand for Piston Consoles for the 2013 Holiday Season
    >3
    >Gabe

    Yeah, sounds about right.

  • Ephidiel

    IMO that whole thing doesn’t make sense.
    Its just a miniature high powered PC right?

    • http://twitter.com/Vietgeta VietGeta

      Pretty much, but it’s supposed to compete with consoles….only except, it’s priced like a PC(or even more). Which is where it doesn’t make sense.

    • Kevadu

      Except without the “high powered” part…

    • Ruby Doobie

      you’re better off buying a pc and hooking it up to your tv tbh

  • MaskMask

    Wow, it’s sad that he would lie just to sell this hunk of junk. I’m expecting Valve to sue his ass into oblivion.

    • http://www.destructoid.com/blogs/Omegas2 Omegas^2

      What do you believe he’s lying about that would allow Valve to sue them?
      Everything except the information about preorders is correct public knowledge, Sullivan probably just felt that he needed to verify and clarify that information before more people became confused/angry.

  • TheDarkEmpress

    Accessibility seems to be a big deal huh? They’re supposedly able to access plenty with this thing, too bad my wallet isn’t one of them.

    • Testsubject909

      Considering the price tag they revealed is enough for me to get a PS4 pre-order and a new PC of my own that could run just about anything well enough.

      Yeah…

  • Lazulis

    It’s because of the 3, right?!

  • Nicholas Gatewood

    -
    “Contrary to Valve’s vision, Xi3 believes that the way to take this to market today is to do so with a Windows OS at the core, coupled with the ability to not just get to one platform/store for games, but to get access to all game stores/platforms,” Sullivan explains.
    -

    This is one of the reasons the Steambox will fail, it’ll be a closed platform. Add to that the fact that it won’t allow direct or even low-level hardware access, developers won’t have much incentive to optimize for that one set of hardware, Valve won’t take a monetary hit on these things(like real console manufacturers) and the fact that Valve surely won’t promote the Steambox even a tenth as much as Sony or Microsoft and you have a clear picture of why the Steambox isn’t going anywhere. It doesn’t offer any of the benefits of consoles to consumers and it doesn’t offer any real benefits to PC gamers(since it’s apparently a closed box).

    Valve has a lot of nerve to attack Microsoft for promoting their new software store through Windows 8(acting as if that’s anticompetitive when Steam has a monopoly on the PC gaming market) and then working on a closed platform for their system. People act like Valve are gods, but I call into question their competence and benevolence. They’ve made DRM the standard in the PC sector of the industry through Steamworks, that’s literally the reason I quit PC gaming a little over a year ago.

    • Testsubject909

      GoG, Humble Bundle and indie games in general?

      I wouldn’t quit PC gaming. If I were you I’d just not use Steam. Actually I’m one of the few in my group of friends, maybe the only one, who doesn’t use Steam. Mainly for technical reasons (I used to run Linux and Steam was incompatible, then my laptop crashed so even though it’s now Linux compatible, the netbook I’m on is not powerful enough to run steam in any way shape or form, making it impossible for me to go check out games via steam anyways).

      Though, seriously, humble bundle is pretty awesome.

  • gamerdude

    It seems like Valve set them up to test the market before they iterate on their product with their own offering and as things were set in motion they let go so that they wouldn’t be held responsible if it tanked.

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