UPDATE – Preorders Open for Xi3’s PISTON Console; Valve Not Involved

Tuesday, March 12th, 2013

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Xi3 Piston

UPDATE: Eurogamer has reported that Valve does not have any major involvement with the PISTON system. Doug Lombardi, Valve’s VP of marketing, reportedly told Eurogamer that “Valve began some exploratory work with Xi3 last year, but currently has no involvement in any product of theirs.” The text below has been modified to reflect this information.


Exciting news!  If you had your eyes set on a PISTON console, your time has come. Xi3 Corporation announced at SXSW this week that they are taking pre-orders for the system as of March 8th. You’ll have the opportunity to order a PISTON of your own up until the end of SXSW at 11:59 PM on March 17, 2013. Orders should start shipping out around the 2013 holiday season; just in time to give the gift of a PISTON to your friends, your family, or yourself.

Now, for the less exciting news (at least for those on a budget): $999.99 is the sticker price right now. But there is a silver lining: preording before the end of SXSW will grant you a $100 discount. A standard PISTON will have a 128 GB solid state drive, 8 GB of RAM, and a 3.2Ghz Quad Core processsor. Add $340 to upgrade the SSD to 256 GB, or add $750 for 512 GB.

The system is Xi3’s answer to what they see as a growing demand for a middle ground in the gaming market between PC and console gaming. Jason A. Sullivan, the founder and CEO of Xi3, put it like this:

“Clearly, the computer/video gaming market is huge, both in the personal computer and traditional console markets. That being said, we believe there is a crying need for a machine that captures the best of both worlds, with the upgradeability of computer gaming rigs and the design and form factor of consoles. We believe our PISTON Consoles do exactly that—deliver the beauty and small size of consoles with the upgradeability of computers.”

Although the system has not seen release as of yet, it’s already garnered a lot of attention and even some awards. The PISTON nabbed several of the latter at CES back in January, including but not limited to the Popular Science Product of the Future Award and IGN.com’s Best of CES Award for Best PC. Despite the price, there’s no doubt that a lot of hype is going to keep surrounding this system right up until its release this winter.

You can preorder your PISTON console here.



o3/12/13: Article updated with information regarding Valve’s involvement with the system, and lines previously mentioning said involvement were removed from the article’s main text.

About Angela Hinck

Former Contributor: Content Manager- Situated in sunny Florida, Angela spends plenty of time watching anime and playing video games. RPGs and survival-horror are her go-to genres; but if it's weird or different, she's willing to give a shot. She graduated from the University of Central Florida with a BA in Creative Writing and now puts her skills to good use writing about the nerdier things in life, including news and game reviews for Operation Rainfall.

  • bob

    1000$ is way overpriced…. And those update prices for bigger SSDs are crazy.

    This will NOT take off.

    • madmofo145

      Yup, the CEO says he wants to capture the best of both the console and PC world with his box, but he doesn’t seem to understand what the best part of console ownership is. Small form factor is nice, but the important parts of console ownership are:

      A. The ability to play any game released for the hardware without the need to worry about needing upgrades, tweaking installation settings, failed installs, etc. Something no PC is ever likely to capture.

      B. Price point. While some consoles have been pricey, they have always been cheaper then a reasonably speced gaming PC, and the price only gets better as the console matures. This goes the opposite route, charging more then any similarly speced PC on the market. That’s not going to appeal to console owners.

      The only thing they managed to capture well from the current generation of consoles is Microsoft’s propensity to charge way above market price for memory expansions, and that’s certainly not going to be a selling point.

    • If you build it yourself, you can build a half decent gaming pc for the same price as ps3 or 360. But your right as new games come out, new hardware is a necessary evil LOL.

  • Ives

    i’d have to know alot more information before i can justify dishing out 999 dollars or more, i’ve seen the inside of it which is nice, but i would actually rather see it up and running, the user interface(which im sure is on the net somewhere) and whether it uses a controller or keyboard and mouse

    • madmofo145

      The custom UI looks to be primarily mouse and keyboard based from the one Video they show, but if you use Steam Big Box mode it would be controller oriented, Don’t forget, despite some custom software that is included, for better or for worse this is a Windows box, and it’s only real unique feature is it’s form factor.

  • Save yourself 990 dollars and stop by Target to grab a dvi to hidmi adapter.

    • Or just put a decent graphics card in your pc that has a hdmi port on it. Most of them do these days.

  • smacd

    I’d have considered a steam-box for $200, but for that price I can get a good gaming laptop and the cables I need to hook it up to a tv- and have an extra gaming quality laptop around as a second-screen (WiiU on steroids!). Hell, I could put together a decent dedicated PC for probably half that price.

  • I could definitely use one to put at my Dad’s house, but at that price i’m tempted to exercise caution.

  • this pc is worth it macs are the things that are not worth the 1grand since you’re paying 1grand for max osx and nothing else with this you’re actually getting something

  • The solid state drive is why this is so expensive. But even then, I have a pc that I spent 300 bucks on with better specs.
    Not worth the money.