Xi3 Piston, The Original "Steam Box," Will Be Available November 29th

By Ishaan . September 30, 2013 . 1:33pm

Xi3’s modular PC, the Piston—which some may remember as the original “Steam Box” announcement—will be available on November 29th, the manufacturer announced today in a new update on its website.


The Piston will support up to three monitors, Xi3 say in their update, and also mention that the device will support keyboards, mice and controllers. They add, “In fact, if a virtual reality peripheral is your thing, then go right ahead. Since the Piston works in any setting, we’re going to give you a nice sampler of pre-loaded games to play.”


Just what these pre-loaded games will be remains to be seen. Xi3 say they’ll share further details on this front prior to this year’s Black Friday. Additionally, Xi3 have announced further details regarding storage solutions:


Previously, Xi3 announced that PISTON utilizes internal solid-state SSD storage and that PISTON Consoles will ship standard with 128GB of SSD storage. Xi3 further revealed today that it has been able to double the potential SSD storage capacity of the PISTON Console by adding a second SSD connector within its PISTON design, as well as a separate, internal microSD slot. This second SSD connector gives PISTONs the capability of more than 1TB of super-fast (6Gbps) solid-state storage.


The Xi3 Piston was originally announced as a product developed in partnership with Valve, but this partnership was later dissolved. Then, last week, Valve announced their own “Steam Box” strategy with Steam Machines and the SteamOS.


Whether or not the Piston will come loaded with SteamOS has not yet been announced. Back in March, Xi3 announced that the device would come with Windows on it. You can find further details regarding specifications and price here.

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  • TheExile285

    Need to see some prices before I get interested and that is assuming this thing runs Steam games and not something. Looks like a brick tbh

    • It was priced pretty high last I checked. Near the 1000 dollar mark.

      I don’t see it selling.

      • TheExile285

        Yeah that is way too high for me. If Valves Steam box is more than $500, I’m probably just gonna stick with dedicated systems.

    • SirTapTap

      Starts at $1000 for 128GB SSD, add significantly more than market rate for higher SSD storage. This thing’s an enthusiasts’ box at best, or a box for people who absolute must have small, not cheap or powerful (there’s no way that thing has a decent CPU, the actual box is smaller than a decent AMD/Nvidia card).

      • TheExile285

        If that price is confirmed, I’m gonna pass.

        • SirTapTap

          Yeah. I’m building a second gaming-worthy desktop so I’m no target market, but I think they’ll need a passable machine at ~$500 or less to thrive. I think this one is too focused on size.

          • I’d wonder WHAT you could build at 500 bucks. Most Intel i3 machines built standard with W7 hover around that price in retail…They’ll save 100 for the lack of Windows, so I guess you could get a graphics card of moderate value in there.

          • SirTapTap

            You can get a decent but not amazing graphics card for $100. Also if heat isn’t a problem you can get more performance per dollar with an AMD proc to keep price down a bit. But I expect heat will be an issue, since these are liable to end up in entertainment centers no open air.

          • Heat would DEFINITELY be an issue. Most AMD processors run hotter than their Intel kin and lose in the power to bang for buck ratio anymore. Maybe if you were talking some time back for AMD but certainly not right now.

            And I’ve got a 965 BE…and a few other assorted AMD things but I know where the power goes for the price in my other Intel stuffs. >.>

          • ARMs7777

            AMD will never be able to compete in power conssumption cause Intel has money and is always ahead in the silicon fabrications. AMD’s next CPU will be stuck in 28nm while intel’s next one will be 14nm. Intels will likely beat ARMs thanks to having superior silicon fabrication.

          • 324234

            Mine: $300 GTX 660TI, $115 i3-2100 CPU, $40 Mobo, $20 4GB ram, $30 housing. Total: $505 reusing my old power supply and HDD, otherwise go to ~$550.

          • Tatsuya1221

            Depends on what you want to get with it, and when you buy it, it’s quite easy to build a fairly powerful pc for around 500-550 if you do it around black friday for example if you didn’t need to buy windows(my first gaming pc cost me 485$), with windows add another 100$, one of the reasons i hope steam OS takes off.

          • I’d wonder WHAT you could build at 500 bucks. Most Intel i3 machines built standard with W7 hover around that price in retail…They’ll save 100 for the lack of Windows, so I guess you could get a graphics card of moderate value in there.

  • DesmaX

    Well, I don’t think I want to use a mice on this thing. A mouse, on the other hand…

    • Kai2591

      Oh you.

  • Ashilyn

    It’s a trap. It’s more or less confirmed that it runs two generation old APU technology, and they’re being dodgy on what kind of RAM it uses. There’s no way this thing is running games on 3 monitors or competing with the next gen, and it’d have trouble with this gen.


    Wait for the ACTUAL Steam Machines, not this overpriced coattail riding piece of crap.

    • mirumu

      Certainly if it’s not using one of the latest AMD “Volcanic Islands” GPUs then it won’t be able to support the new Mantle API. I’d expect SteamOS to be one of the first things to support Mantle given Valve would benefit the most from it.

    • Shady Shariest

      But the ACTUAL Steam Machines will most likely be even MORE overpriced -.-

      • Ashilyn

        Not likely. The goal is to get PC in the living room, attracting both PC gamers and console gamers with budget machines. The actual steam machines will probably also use newer APU tech in the lower end and dedicated GPUs in the higher end and start around $450-$500, just like a console or budget gaming PC. Now, that’s just my inference, that’s in no way official, but considering the price point of the tech likely going into those machines (as well as the fact that there’s no overhead cost for an OS), that’s a pretty reasonable expectation.

        It’ll still be cheaper to build your own PC, but if that’s how you do things you probably aren’t the target audience anyway. I built mine – also an APU based machine with 8GB of 1600mhz RAM – for $430. It runs all the current gen games as well or better than consoles, and that’s before sticking in a dedicated GPU. I imagine the Steam Machines will be along the same lines.

        • Shady Shariest

          “It’ll still be cheaper to build your own PC, but if that’s how you do things you probably aren’t the target audience anyway.”

          This part bugs me… Who are the legendary audience Valve keeps talking about?

          They have all ready informed us that the SteamBox is aimed towards people who have a PC-all ready…

          So SteamBox is more and more a niche product. For people who wan’t to play games on TV, and are willing to pay for a second PC while getting nothing new, instead of picking up a HDMI-cable.

          With a small audience the price goes higher inevitably,too. And 400-500$ all ready is overpriced -_-‘

  • Kaitsu

    Hopefully the price isn’t still the same from the last time we heard about it…

  • idofgrahf

    considering I bought a liquid cooled dual 690 rig second hand on craiglist for 1500, 1000 for a 128gb piece of grapefruit is way too much.

  • Aristides

    I’m confused… so what’s the price and who is this targeted towards?

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