Steam powered Piston ahead! -UPDATED-

Xi3’s new prototype named Piston is out for pre-order, but the cost may just be too high a price.

UPDATE: As mentioned this is an Unofficial product, with Xi3 using its association and usage of Valve’s Big Picture mode on the Piston platform. In a direct quote from GamesIndustry.Biz “He [Xi3 CEO Jason A. Sullivan] said that while a meeting with Gabe Newell meant he couldn’t reveal too much about the companies’ relationship, he wanted to make it clear that the Piston wasn’t the “official” Steam box, but would allow access to the platform like any other computer.”

After a brief hiatus for the Angry Joe Show news center spent praising the grossly incandescent sun, we bring you the curious case of the Xi3 Piston, first prototype to launch using Valve’s Big Picture mode, and the price-tag might just make it too niche. The pre-order comes in at a whooping $1000, which places the Piston in an odd spot for the console market.

On the one hand the Piston’s starter price means its too expensive for console gamers, and due to its pricetag and power would make it too weak to persuade PC gamers to spend money on it rather then further upgrading their rig. One key thing to note in this is that the pricetag for the Piston is not representative of the cost for the official Steam Box and that the Piston is acting as a third party platform for Big Picture mode.

In an interview with The Verge, Valve’s main man Gabe Newell revealed the pricing model for the Steambox:

Newell also tipped Valve’s hand on target pricing for Steam Boxes built by partners, saying that the company sees three tiers of hardware specifications: “Good, Better,” and “Best.” He says the goal for a “Good” platform is a free device, but that one would probably start around $99 and eventually come down. Newell says a midrange device should cost around $300, and that the top-tier is only limited by how much someone is willing to spend.

With that pricing model in mind it seems Xi3 is taking this as an unofficial Big Picture mode console. As for Valve’s Offical Steam Box if we take Newell’s statements of the hardware getting cheaper later to heart it would make it the most inexpensive PC ever, even beating out the attempted $100 Laptop put forth for the One Laptop per Child Association. With such a low entry price, and the ability to scale with any new hardware to continue getting the latest games at the highest quality, Steam Box could give the console market a much needed shake-up even if competitors don’t think its a threat.

If you are curious as to what all comes with the Piston then follow the link here and see whats on offer!


The Verge

The Escapist