Xi3's Piston Steambox Available to Pre-order, Starts at $900 - HotHardware
Xi3's Piston Steambox Available to Pre-order, Starts at $900

Xi3's Piston Steambox Available to Pre-order, Starts at $900

It's not a question of if there's a Steambox on the horizon, but when and for how much. How does right now and under $1,000 float your boat? Xi3 Corporation is now accepting pre-orders for its "Piston Console" PC, otherwise known as the Steambox, or at least one version of it (with Valve playing it coy, it's entirely possible other PC makers might build their own versions of the Steambox).

The Piston starts at $1,000 though there's a $100 discount for anyone who places a pre-order between now and the end of SXSW 2013, which concludes on Sunday, March 17th. Xi3 is expecting these things to sell like hotcakes.

Xi3 Piston

"Given the amount of awards, media attention and gamer interest the Piston Console has generated since it was unveiled at CES 2013 in January, we’ve become seriously concerned that we will not be able to meet the demand for Piston Consoles this year," said Jason A. Sullivan, founder, president and CEO of Xi3 Corporation. "That’s why we have decided to begin accepting pre-orders on our Piston Console, beginning today with the start of the SXSW Gaming Expo. Gaming Expo attendees will also get the benefit of being the first to see the Piston Console in action."

The $1,000 model ($900 on pre-order) comes with a 3.2GHz quad-core processor, 8GB of RAM, and 128GB solid state drive. Other specs, including the graphics chip, have not yet been revealed, though we know the system is derived from the X7A Modular (that system boasts a Radeon 7000 Series GPU). In terms of storage options, you can bump up to a 256GB SSD for an additional $340 or 512GB for $750.

So, anyone planning to pick up a Piston?
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It's probably confusing to consumers to call this a "Steambox". The Xi3 press release does not use the term Steam Box, and Gabe has already clarified that this is just a partner product and Valve would be releasing "The Steam Box" themselves (or via another partner).

I would not recommend that anyone buy this; wait for Valve to unveil the *official* Steam Box. The reason is simple: Xi3 created this separately, with concentration on form factor and no regard to purpose - so it is not the optimum platform for gaming, or even running Linux.

The "buy now" page at Xi3 is woefully short of detailed specs. But, one would assume it's running Linux. However, it's not going to be running it optimally, as the Linux Radeon performance is lacking when compared to similarly priced Nvidia hardware. You could build a much better platform for Linux Steam with less money right now, configure it to boot directly into big picture mode (don't have it load a desktop, just start an X session that's running Steam), and get a much better experience.

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Price point is going to be a concern at this point. Not without full specs.

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WOW thats rather expensive for what you get.... I;ll pass.

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Probley going to be an intel pos embedded. If it was amd the price point is way over. I just built a monster amd setup with7950s and is at that price point I seriously dought this is any good

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