Little is known of Valve’s own “Steambox,” which is currently in development, but another company releasing a similar product with Valve’s support is the Xi3 Corporation. They’re working on something called the “Piston”.
Xi3 revealed 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. While the image above doesn’t show it, the Piston is “grapefruit-sized” according to Xi3, and now we know how much it’s going to cost.
The Piston is available for pre-order from Xi3’s website (thanks, Polygon) and comes in three configurations—a standard model with a 128GB SSD internal hard drive, a second model with a 256GB SSD internal hard drive, and a third with a 512GB SSD internal hard drive. Here’s how the three models are priced:
Standard: Internal 128GB SSD – $1,000
Add $340: Internal 256GB SSD – $1,340
Add $750: Internal 512GB SSD – $1,750
Storage aside, the configuration Xi3 have listed for the Prison on their website specifies:
3.2Ghz Quad Core (R464)
No mention has been made of the device’s graphics processing unit thus far, but Xi3 have opened their store up to pre-orders, and say that pre-ordering any one of the three Piston configurations by March 17th will knock $100 off the price. More details on the device will be revealed at the SXSW Gaming Expo later today.
“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.”
Update: Quote about upgradeability added.