Valve has clarified the status of their business relationship with Xi3, the company behind the Piston, revealing they are no longer working on any current projects with the company, and have no connection to Xi3’s upcoming PC console.
Speaking to Eurogamer, Valve’s Doug Lombardi confirmed that Valve had some dealings with Xi3 Corporation last year, however, there currently is no deal between the two companies. Lombardi’s exact statement reads:
“Valve began some exploratory work with Xi3 last year, but currently has no involvement in any product of theirs,”
The belief that Valve was involved with Xi3 on development of the Piston comes from the machine’s reveal earlier this year at CES. Xi3 Corporation clearly stated in their press release for the PC console that they had “received an investment from Valve Corporation”. Additionally, the Piston was “showcased in Valve’s booth… at CES 2013”.
At the time of the announcement it was initially believed that the Piston was the long-rumored Valve-developed Steam Box, however, Gabe Newell later clarified that this was not the case. According to Newell’s statements, Valve was working with several partners to develop other living room PC solutions (like the Piston) but they were also busy making their own Steam Box.
It is clear now that Valve is not involved with Xi3’s Piston — which makes sense, because they are currently developing their own competing hardware. With that said, it is interesting that Lombardi’s statement seems to contradict both the original Xi3 press release and Newell’s later clarification.
Xi3 has announced that pre-orders for their Steam-powered PC console, the Piston, are currently underway, and expected to ship this Holiday season. The list price for the system starts at $999.99 for the basic 128 gig solid-state drive model, with 8 gigs of RAM and a 3.2 Ghz quad-core processor. The console also includes the option to increase the solid-state drive to 512 gigs for an additional $750, bringing the total cost to $1,749.99.