CES 2013

Published on January 8th, 2013 | by Derek Strickland, Contributor

Valve & Xi3 Reveal The Steambox at CES 2013 & Call it ‘Piston’

Gamers have been throwing around rumors on a possible Valve console (aka the “Steambox”) for quite some time, and a few gamers out there who frequent Kickstarter might remember Xi3’s unsuccessful modular computer Kickstarter project that aimed to “usher in the post-PC era”.

While Xi3 might not have received adequate crowd-funding, it certainly didn’t fail: Valve swooped in and saved the day, funding the project and changing it into what you see above.

Valve’s Steambox, codenamed Piston, was unveiled at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show (CES 2013) yet Valve was tight-lipped on the actual deep specs of the upcoming modular computer.

Piston is still being developed and is not in it’s final stages, and the gaming website Polygon.com has written an informative article on the new device with plenty of pictures.


“Today marks the beginning of a new era for Xi3,” said Jason A. Sullivan, founder, President and 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.” — Official Xi3 Press Release

Piston is a computer game system that’s optimized for Steam Gameplay in Big Picture Mode, and the demo version at CES 2013 featured a multitude of ports and outlets: one IO board with an ethernet port for LAN and internet connectivity, audio in/out ports, four USB 3.0 ports and four USB 2.0 ports, four eSATAp ports, two Mini Display ports and a single Display/HDMI port.

Based on Polygon.com’s article Xi3 wouldn’t divulge information on Piston’s price range, yet Xi3 did comment that the Steambox is based on the company’s performance level X7A system which is valued at $999…but no actual confirmation has yet to be announced.

And, of course, no official release date has been revealed or announced yet. If anything, this device was just the beginning of the project and what Valve has in for store.

Piston fits perfectly with the recent introduction of Steam’s Big Picture mode, and it will be interesting to see how the device revolutionizes the way gamers play and enjoy the online marketplace’s multitude of titles without having to connect their computer tower or laptop via HDMI.


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About the Author

I'm an aspiring games journalist who writes articles focused on everything from Indie Games to next-gen titles. [Twitter] @Mr_Deeke [E-Mail] derek.s(at)gamingtruth(dot)com

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