Xi3 Corporation has announced that their “not a Steam Box” living room PC, the Piston, will officially launch in North America on November 29th for $999. As a bonus, those who pre-order the tiny gaming box will get it delivered two weeks earlier “on or before November 15th.”
There have been a few changes to the Piston’s specs over the last few months, so as part of this week’s re-reveal Xi3 detailed exactly what buyers will be getting for their money:
“The Piston is powered by a quad-core, 64-bit x86-based processor running at up to 3.2GHz, includes 384 programmable discrete-class graphics cores and is supported with 8GB of DDR3 RAM. As such, Piston can run the most popular operating systems, including Windows, Linux, UNIX and others, along with the games and applications written for those OSes. Piston comes standard with dual SSD connectors, one internal microSD card slot, and 128GB of solid-state SSD storage (upgradeable to 1TB), includes 3 display ports (miniDP, HDMI and DisplayPort connectors), 12 total USB ports (4 USB 3.0, 4 USB 2.0, and 4 eSATAp/USB 2.0 combo ports), digital audio ports and more, and supports up to 4K resolution (4096×2160 pixels).”
The little Piston made a big splash when it was first introduced by Valve and Xi3 at CES back in January 2013, however, Newell and company quickly distanced themselves from the machine shortly after the debut (which prompted a rather entertaining response from Xi3 CEO Jason Sullivan). Despite the public break up, Xi3 has restated that their box will be able to access and play games on Steam, and it “should” be able to run SteamOS when it launches.
It will be interesting to see how gamers react to Piston when it is released this November. The system’s high price tag, combined with its close proximity to the launch of the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, is going to make for an uphill battle. Hopefully, the little box will be able to carve out enough of a market before Valve unleashes their Steam Machines.