By Alexandra Burlacu email: email@example.com | Mar 10, 2013 11:00 AM EDT
Xi3's Piston is the first unofficial Steam Box console and is slated to launch this holiday season with a $999.99 starting price, according to the company.
Xi3's Piston comes as the first PC specifically designed to run games through Steam's Big Picture Mode, with Valve's help to fund the system. According to Valve's Gabe Newell, this is completely different from the Steam Box, which is set to launch later this year.
The company is putting the Piston up for pre-order and all pre-order sales made before March 18 will get a $100 discount from Xi3.
"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," Xi3 Corporation founder, president and CEO Jason A. Sullivan explains in the press release.
"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."
"Clearly, the computer/video gaming market is huge, both in the personal computer and traditional console markets," adds Sullivan. "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 the consoles."
Consequently, the Xi3 Piston is already available for pre-order from the company's website, and it comes in 128GB, 256GB and 512GB configurations with prices ranging from $1,000 to $1,750. Specs include 8GB of RAM and a 3.2GHz quad-core (R464) processor.
The Xi3 Piston Console was first unveiled at the 2013 International CES trade show back in January as a system designed for computer gameplay on large high-definition televisions. The announcement generated huge interest at the time, making quite some waves in the global computer/video game industry. Xi3 also won several notable awards and distinctions for its Piston efforts, even as a development stage system.
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