During this year’s edition of the currently-on-the-go CES technology showcase event in Las Vegas, Valve and Xi3 revealed the ‘Piston’ mini-PC, a box of technology designed specifically to take advantage of and access the vast library of games available over digital distribution service, Steam.
A ‘Steam Box,’ if you will.
‘Piston’ will feature a range of inputs including a host of USB ports (four USB 3.0 ports and four USB 2.0 ports), an ethernet port, two Mini Display Port ports, a single HDMI port, /8” audio in/out, support for SPDIF optical audio and four eSATAp ports – you can see the lot in the image below. The modular nature of Piston will allow consumers to upgrade the CPU and memory of the device, while up to 1 terrabyte of storage space will be available.
In a statement to Polygon, founder, president and CEO of Xi3 Jason A. Sullivan said of ‘Piston:’
“Today marks the beginning of a new era for 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.”
What about the price of such a device? Polygon reports that the Piston will be based on Xi3’s previously released mini-PC, the X7A, which goes for $999. If you take a step down in Xi3’s offerings, you can find the X5A which goes for $499.
Importantly, the supposed ‘Steam Box’ will support Steam’s Big Picture mode, allowing consumers to hook the device up to a TV and play Steam games from the comfort of their couch using a standard PC gamepad or PC compatible Xbox 360 controller, which makes it an interesting solution for a dedicated gaming device in your living room, essentially acting as a next-gen console.
Would you consider getting Valve and Xi3’s ‘Piston’ or are you happy with your consoles as is? Would you consider building a gaming rig for use in your living room to get a taste of the next generation of gaming on your TV, now?