Xi3 now accepting pre-orders for Piston 'Steam Box' Console

By on March 11, 2013, 8:30 AM

Xi3 Corporation is now accepting pre-orders for their Piston Console, a cube-shaped PC built using modular construction. Perhaps more importantly, however, it’s the same system that Value’s upcoming Steam Box is based on. The company has set a pre-order price of $999 on the console although if you order between now and the end of SXSW on March 17, Xi3 will knock $100 off the price tag.

Update (3/12): On a recent statement to Eurogamer, Valve's Doug Lombardi said his company and Xi3 are no actively working on the upcoming Steam Box, but that they did work last year on a preliminary basis: "Valve began some exploratory work with Xi3 last year, but currently has no involvement in any product of theirs."

Founder, president and CEO of Xi3 Corporation Jason A. Sullivan said that given the amount of awards, media attention and gamer interest that the Piston Console has garnered since it was unveiled at CES 2013, his company is seriously becoming concerned that they might not be able to meet demand for the system this year. As such, they decided to begin accepting pre-orders at the start of the SXSW Gaming Expo.

As an aside, the Piston Console was on display at SXSW this past weekend. If you happened to be in the Austin, Texas area, you could have stopped by the event to be one of the first to see the system in action.

So, what exactly do you get for your investment? At this point, we know the Piston Console includes a 3.2GHz quad-core processor, 8GB of RAM and a 128GB. Other key specifications like the GPU have not yet been revealed – perhaps a tough sell if you aren’t willing to disclose the system’s full specs. We are told that users can upgrade to a 256GB SSD for $340 more or a 512GB drive for an extra $750.




User Comments: 23

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1 person liked this | fimbles fimbles said:

Prices = roll eyes and drop dead from shock..

1 person liked this | Guest said:
TS-56336 TS-56336 said:

They're asking an awful lot for a setup without a discrete GPU. Not sure who they're trying to appeal to with that price. Someone like Main Gear or Digital Storm could offer a much better product with off the shelf parts in a Mini ITX form factor.

The modular drop in "back plane" is pretty cool.

misor misor said:

At that price rate, the steam box "piston" will be like the current state of nba team "Detroit piston", unremarkable.

Fbarnett Fbarnett said:

How can crap that has not even been released yet win awards?

For $1000.00 you can buy a nice pc I just don't know where this is going to go

1 person liked this | Skidmarksdeluxe Skidmarksdeluxe said:

A grand for a game console??? They're hallucinating. I can build a decent gaming rig for that price which does a lot more than just play games. I hope they'll forgive them if I pass on this most generous offer.

cmbjive said:

My custom PC setup cost me about $1200. I can play most games and surf the web. This company wants me to pay $1000 for a box and add more money for a larger capacity hard drive. A 512 GB SSD can be had for as low as $400. This company is smoking a lot of weed if they think that casual gamers are going to drop a GRAND for a PC and then more money to get an upgraded hard drive.

Apparently this company has not learned the lesson of what happened to SNK when it wanted gamers to pay $700 for a console and $400 per game.

1 person liked this | mevans336 mevans336 said:

...his company is seriously becoming concerned that they might not be able to meet demand for the system this year.

I want the drugs they're on. No one will buy this thing for $1k. Especially since (I believe) it has an AMD APU in it. $340 to upgrade to a 256GB SSD? You can buy one for that, so where's the credit for the 128GB SSD? They're essentially charging you $450 for a 256GB SSD.

Guest said:

With all the love comments the Steam Box is getting, it is going to be a great hit!

Guest said:

A grand for a game console??? They're hallucinating. I can build a decent gaming rig for that price which does a lot more than just play games. I hope they'll forgive them if I pass on this most generous offer.[/QOTE]

Guess you missed the part where this is a custom form factor PC, not a console....

Trillionsin Trillionsin said:

The point here is size and it's modular design guys.

Now, I agree... for $1000 bucks, you can build yourself a pretty nice desktop PC. Takes up.. oh I dont know. roughly 6 square feet or something around that (full size tower.)

Or, you can go to Dell or HP and design a nice laptop with some pretty good graphics in it... with decent portability options.

Now this Piston box, it's just not small enough for me. I know the modular design is helping them become smaller, but for this price, it's just not small enough. They are going to have to completely redo all the components, and have them specifically made to be smaller and fit into maybe 1/3 to a 1/2 the size this thing currently is... THEN, I could understand this price. Otherwise I'd only be interested in this little pc box for HALF the price they are asking.

I'm sure prices will drop after they are released.

Trillionsin Trillionsin said:

...his company is seriously becoming concerned that they might not be able to meet demand for the system this year.

I want the drugs they're on. No one will buy this thing for $1k. Especially since (I believe) it has an AMD APU in it. $340 to upgrade to a 256GB SSD? You can buy one for that, so where's the credit for the 128GB SSD? They're essentially charging you $450 for a 256GB SSD.

Yea... I see that too. Are the SSDs a special design? or are they still laptop form factor? This could make the difference....

Trillionsin Trillionsin said:

Lets all email them and give them our opinions. I bet they would like that

For volume pricing please call or email us at sales@xi3.com

...no, not really. Dont do that. lol

Mavrickx888 Mavrickx888 said:

Possible typo of "Valve's"?:

"Perhaps more importantly, however, it's the same system that Value's upcoming Steam Box is based on."

I think a lot of us are misinterpreting what this product actually is. It is not Valve's actual "Steam Box". It is, however, a custom PC "designed specifically to support Valve's Steam and its Big Picture mode". Trillionsin said it right, it's all about the form factor. The target demographic is probably for those that want to have something small that can easily fit next to the TV without the need to worry about all the trouble that goes along with setting up a PC to work as a dedicated home theater/game console device. I'm sure 90% of us here don't actually fit into that demographic, but I digress.

Anyway, this probably isn't going to be anywhere near the price point of the actual "Steam Box" when it comes out. Valve will (hopefully) find a way to subsidize the internals to make it more affordable for the average consumer. Valve is smart; they know if they want to compete for the T.V. (And effectively, the console space) they will have to make their product affordable for the average Joe.

Vrmithrax Vrmithrax, TechSpot Paladin, said:

I guess I'm the only one not surprised by the pricing... I'm not pleased, but not shocked. It's the early adopter premium that happens on every new electronic gadget and/or special hardware launch. As quantities go up (and competition arrives), price will drop, but the early birds always have to choke down that bitterly expensive worm. Thing is, those early birds do exist in decent quantities - just look at how well Razer's relatively high priced gaming systems (Blade and Edge) are selling.

I do know (from previous tidbits about the Xi3) that they are using an AMD APU as the processing core, and the board configurations are completely unique and custom engineered. Not shocking at all, considering the new gen PS4 is going with an AMD solution as well. Whether or not the Piston pairs up a discrete AMD GPU in there as well (and gets the associated potential hybrid CrossFire boost), remains to be seen. And, considering how tight the packaging is, I'm sure there are a wide variety of cooling considerations involved in general hardware - maybe that accounts for some of the higher SSD costs? Hard to say until actual hardware is out and specs are available.

likedamaster said:

Overpriced, no thank you. A shame this is how they're going out. So much potential to outsell the upcoming consoles, just not at this price.

1 person liked this | A9821 A9821 said:

Look at all this misinformation. This is NOT the "Steam Box" pre-order! This is simply just Xi3's own product that they are releasing separate from Valve's vision of the Steam Box.

Zeromus said:

1000 dollars, wow. Who do they think they are? Apple?

Skidmarksdeluxe Skidmarksdeluxe said:

I want the drugs they're on. No one will buy this thing for $1k. Especially since (I believe) it has an AMD APU in it. $340 to upgrade to a 256GB SSD? You can buy one for that, so where's the credit for the 128GB SSD? They're essentially charging you $450 for a 256GB SSD.

Yeah. These guys should be wearing ski masks.

Skidmarksdeluxe Skidmarksdeluxe said:

Bah. In the greater scheme of things it is still just a gaming console. If you have a grand burning a hole in your pocket far be it from me to tell you what to with it.

spencer spencer said:

I can think of one person that could ever want this, unfortunately that person is very decadent and would probably rage, after getting his ass kicked in cs:go. As what everyone else is saying who is going to buy this?

Guest said:

With inflation upone us. 1000 will be the worth of $10 so that way this price is preaty cheap. But money has not degraded like in italy where a piece of bread cost like a million lires.

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