Valve Video Game Console Announced: Piston Steam Box

8 January 2013
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Valve Video Game Console Piston Steam Box

Xi3 Corporation announced at the Consumer Electronics Show 2013 that they are working on a a development stage system optimized for computer gameplay on large high-definition television monitors. In other words, the world may soon see another Video Game Console tentatively titled the Piston or Steam Box if the Valve Software investment and cooperation turns out to be for this console.

Housed in the uniquely shaped, grapefruit-size Xi3 Modular Computer chassis, this new development stage product is being showcased this week at the 2013 International CES trade show in Las Vegas, Nevada in booth #20425 in the Las Vegas Convention Center. Xi3’s new development stage product is designed specifically to support both Steam and its Big Picture mode for residential and LAN party computer gaming on larger high-def screens.

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  • With more than 50 million subscribers around the world, Steam is the digital distribution, digital rights management, multiplayer and communications/community platform from Valve Corporation. Big Picture mode allows members to access and play games through Steam on any connected high-definition television display/monitor. So at least the Xi3 Modular Computer supports all Steam games using Big Picture mode.

    Is it the Steam Box or not? Here’s a Q&A with Xi3 at CES 2013:

    “Today marks the beginning of a new era for Xi3,” said Jason A. Sullivan, founder, President & CEO of Xi3. “This new development stage product will allow users to take full-advantage of their large high-definition TV displays for an amazing computer game experience. As a result, this new system could provide access to thousands of gaming titles through an integrated system that exceeds the capabilities of leading game consoles, but can fit in the palm of your hand.”

    Xi3 also announced today it has received an investment from Valve Corporation. Xi3’s new development stage computer game system is also being showcased in Valve’s booth (#25730) at CES 2013. No additional details about Xi3’s new system or Valve’s investment in Xi3 have been released at this time.

    Watch an introduction titled “Xi3: Ushering In the post PC Era”.

    Here’s a recap of the the Valve “Piston” Console details revealed so far.

    About Xi3 Corporation

    Formed in 2010 and headquartered in Salt Lake City, Utah, Xi3 Corporation utilizes “The Power of X” to bring its building block approach to the world of computing, an approach Xi3 applies internally and externally to hardware solutions and software applications. For more information on Xi3 Corporation (an ISYS TechnologiesSM company), please visit
    The shape of the three-sided single piece casing, the end plate, and the overall shape of the Xi3 Modular Computer, as well as Xi3, Modular, Xi3 Modular, “The Power of X” and ISYS Technologies are trademarks and unique trade dress of ISYS Technologies, Inc.

    Can the Xi3 Modular Computer withstand the weight of a Dodge Ram 3500 truck? Watch the video to find out!

    The big question of course is “What’s the Piston Steam Box’s price?” Let’s hope it’s not close to $1,000 as some rumors suggest. It has to be the same price as the Wii U/Xbox 720/PlayStation 4 to stay competitive or no one will buy it, since you might as well get a brand new PC at a high price.

    At what price would you buy Xi3 & Valve’s Piston Steam Box?


    Categories: News, PC News, Videos

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  • About the author

    Ferry Groenendijk By Ferry Groenendijk: He is the founder and editor of Video Games Blogger. He loved gaming from the moment he got a Nintendo with Super Mario Bros. on his 8th birthday. Learn more about him here and connect with him on Twitter, Facebook and at Google+.

    • Alex Mateiu

      so…how much is it going to cost?

    • @alexmateiu:disqus : To everyone’s “delight”, absolutely zero useful information has been announced. :-/

      In fact, despite calling it the Piston, Xi3 seem to mostly be promoting their own 7A model computer (which costs $999) and backtracking any Steam console rumors. So I’m guessing we’ll have to wait all year to get specs and any sort of pricing/release info about the Valve console. Even worse, a lot of these CES 2013 announcements never actually become available for sale. So it’s all up in the air at this point.

    • Alex Mateiu

      damn…thx for the info,it says here “It has to be the same price as the Wii U/Xbox 720/PlayStation 4″…sooo i’m hoping it won’t cost more then 500 euros…

    • Gabriel Zinato

      When I read the description of this console, I couldn’t help but think “hey…isn’t that just what Ouya was gonna do?”. Of course, this system will be more computer game and Steam related (and not Android stuff), but I think the Ouya team will be quite sad about this.

    • Yeah, exactly! If it’s more expensive people simply won’t buy it. I’m sure they know this.

    • Right, this is more like bringing PC gaming into the living room. But to be fair, a lot of new laptop PC’s, iOS devices and Android mobiles can nowadays output their screen to the TV, so the Valve software would have to bring something new to the table to make it worth picking up as a standalone.

      I have to admit, I still don’t see the point of having the Ouya, it basically runs Android mobile, browser games, and some indie PC games, which is what we have a mobile and computer for already! At least I imagine whoever’s reading this is accessing this page that way, so that means you can already play the same games on your mobile/computer screen, and a lot of these games are even on consoles. So Ouya seems more like the cool gadget of the moment. But that’s just personal opinion.

    • peterray

      If it doesn’t play snes, ps 1,2,3, mega drive and x box ,might as well wait for retro4.

    • Johnny

      Microsoft actually sells its Xbox consoles at a loss. Don’t know how much of a loss, but as a result they have to make most of their money off of live.
      There is no doubt in my mind that Valve could afford to do this. Console gamers would leap on Steam. I did. Plus, Valve’s good habit of treating their customers well causes their customers to respond with brand loyalty. Unlike EA, who is universally hated.

      I believe Valve could sell these units at an affordable price and cover its losses in time. It would be an investment, but I’m not sure how risky. Tell a console gamer that they can get all their games cheaply, digitally, on a cheap more powerful system, with interchangeable parts, and a modding community… and they should bite.

      Valve’s business model and approach should make selling the consoles at a loss profitable in the long term. I don’t feel worried about the price.

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