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

Steven Bogos

The Taco Man
Jan 17, 2013
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Update: Xi3 Opens "Piston" Steam Box Pre-Orders


Little is known of Valve's own Steam Box, but Xi3's "Piston" is something similar, and is being developed with Valve's support.

Xi3 unveiled the "Piston" Xi3's website, [http://www.escapistmagazine.com/news/view/121396-Xi3-Unveils-Valve-Backed-Piston-Gaming-PC] with the cheapest model coming in at $1,000 USD.

The Piston will come in three different configurations. The cheapest, standard model comes with a 128GB SSD internal hard drive, the middle model comes with a 256GB SSD internal hard drive, and the third, most expensive model comes with a 512GB SSD internal hard drive. The prices for the three configurations are as follows:

Standard: Internal 128GB SSD - $1,000

Add $340: Internal 256GB SSD - $1,340

Add $750: Internal 512GB SSD - $1,750

Some of the Piston's specifications have been revealed, with Xi3's website stating it will have 8 GB of RAM and a 3.2Ghz Quad Core processor. All other specs, including what graphics processor it will use, have not yet been announced. Pre-ordering any one of the three Piston configurations by March 17th will knock $100 off the price (which is why you will see cheaper prices than those listed here on Xi3's pre-order website). Xi3 says the Piston is "grapefruit-sized" and treads the line between console and PC.

"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."

The Piston is backed, at least indirectly, by Valve, which has invested in its developer Xi3. Valve's own Steam Box is expected to enter the prototype stage in the coming months. [http://www.escapistmagazine.com/news/view/122524-Valve-Steam-Box-Prototypes-Are-Almost-Here]

Source: Siliconera [http://www.siliconera.com/2013/03/09/xi3s-piston-steambox-prices-start-at-1000/]

Update: Valve has distanced itself from the Xi3 Piston, calling it an "unofficial Steam Box." Valve director of marketing Doug Lombardi has stated that while Valve did have some dealings with Xi3 Corporation in the past, it had nothing to do with the Piston.

"Valve began some exploratory work with Xi3 last year, but currently has no involvement in any product of theirs," he said.

Source (update): Eurogamer [http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/2013-03-11-valve-backed-xi3-piston-console-starts-at-USD1000]

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Legion

Were it so easy
Oct 2, 2008
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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.
 

Vault101

I'm in your mind fuzz
Sep 26, 2010
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I dont really get it...it seems ot have neither of the advantages and both the disadvantages of a console/PC
 

Latinidiot

New member
Feb 19, 2009
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1000 Euro's for what is practically a (albeit quite powerful) console? Yeah, fat chance.
 

Lord_Gremlin

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Apr 10, 2009
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Both PS4 and a custom PC are better choices. Then again, if you have so much spare money you burn them casually...
 

Evil Smurf

Admin of Catoholics Anonymous
Nov 11, 2011
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I'm actually a fan of mechanical hard drives. The're cheaper and have larger storage. Like terabytes large.
 

Reynaert

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Jan 30, 2011
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We will probably have to wait for more specs to know exactly how well it does in bringing games to the television compared to the PS4 for example. It is a pretty hefty price, even for the low tier model, but considering steam's price policy, this might be worth it for some people. I think I'll just wait and see how the gaming market developes from the side line for the time being.
 

mdqp

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Oct 21, 2011
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You can pre-order it now... And yet not all of the specifications have been revealed? Isn't that a bit odd? And isn't that just a PC? Will it come with an OS included? Will it be linux-based, as the "steam-box" is supposed to be?
 

Prof.Beany

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Apr 22, 2011
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Evil Smurf said:
I'm actually a fan of mechanical hard drives. The're cheaper and have larger storage. Like terabytes large.
For the purpose of the console though its a much, MUCH better idea to use SSDs.
Theyre faster so loading game assets is faster, have a much longer lifespan, are infinitely more quiet (no moving parts) and of course, much much smaller.
Personally Im just glad they're not using cheap flash memory, not that I actually plan on buying one...
 

Steven Bogos

The Taco Man
Jan 17, 2013
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Evil Smurf said:
I'm actually a fan of mechanical hard drives. The're cheaper and have larger storage. Like terabytes large.
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.
 

Joos

Golden pantaloon.
Dec 19, 2007
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If that's the price with Linux on it, it seems a bit steep. It all depends on what sort of gpu they put in it though.
 

MrPeanut

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Jun 18, 2011
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Steven Bogos said:
Evil Smurf said:
I'm actually a fan of mechanical hard drives. The're cheaper and have larger storage. Like terabytes large.
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.
Funny, I got an SSD, timed it in comparison to my mechanical drive.

Games are all the same, windows actually loads faster from a mechanical drive.

And I can assure you it was not a faulty drive :)
 

Smooth Operator

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Oct 5, 2010
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Well that is a horribly high entry point, honestly at this point it's a collectors item to show your friends.
Without the custom "console like" OS this is just an overpriced PC with all the hassle that comes with it and only benefit being size.
 

InterrogationBear

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Mar 6, 2013
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Reynaert said:
We will probably have to wait for more specs to know exactly how well it does in bringing games to the television compared to the PS4 for example.
You don't have to wait. The CPU is a AMD A10-4600M. There is no dedicated graphics card and the SSD upgrade is totally overpriced. It's hardware for 300 Euros, tops.
 

VanQ

Casual Plebeian
Oct 23, 2009
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No thanks. My PC and PS3 are both just fine. And for $1700 I could build a much, much, much better machine than the Piston. SSD and all. I don't care if it's in a little box rather than a big box. I can't imagine the size would be a big selling point anywhere outside of Japan.
 

Steven Bogos

The Taco Man
Jan 17, 2013
9,354
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MrPeanut said:
Steven Bogos said:
Evil Smurf said:
I'm actually a fan of mechanical hard drives. The're cheaper and have larger storage. Like terabytes large.
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.
Funny, I got an SSD, timed it in comparison to my mechanical drive.

Games are all the same, windows actually loads faster from a mechanical drive.

And I can assure you it was not a faulty drive :)
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
 

Asuka Soryu

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Jun 11, 2010
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I imagine if this falls on its face, it'll make for a nice thing to talk about in the future under console/pc failures.

But, since when has a device at 1000$ or up ever failed.
 

VladG

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Aug 24, 2010
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I wouldn't pre-order anything of the sort without knowing full specs. And it's a 1000$+ machine. Do they really expect ANYONE to pre-order such a thing without knowing, well, anything about it, really.

Quad-Core processor gives us nothing, it could be a low-end AMD, it could be a good Intel. 8gb of RAM is the LEAST you could expect from such an expensive machine (considering how cheap RAM is) and no info on what is probably the most important component, the graphics card... yeah.
 

Asuka Soryu

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Jun 11, 2010
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VladG said:
I wouldn't pre-order anything of the sort without knowing full specs. And it's a 1000$+ machine. Do they really expect ANYONE to pre-order such a thing without knowing, well, anything about it, really.

Quad-Core processor gives us nothing, it could be a low-end AMD, it could be a good Intel. 8gb of RAM is the LEAST you could expect from such an expensive machine (considering how cheap RAM is) and no info on what is probably the most important component, the graphics card... yeah.
Well, people have spent more for stupider things with less knowledge going in, never underestimate a fool and his money.