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FOLLOW UP: Valve Software: Xi3 Piston Is Just One Game System, More Incoming.

Xi3 Corp. has announced a development stage system optimized for computer gameplay on large high-definition television monitors. The device will be the corner stone of what will eventually become the so-called Steam Box, an affordable gaming PC specifically designed to run titles from Valve’s popular distribution service. Xi3 Piston will become available at a yet undisclosed date.

Housed in the uniquely shaped, grapefruit-size Xi3 Modular Computer chassis, this new development stage product is being showcased this week at the Consumer Electronics Show by Xi3 and Valve. Xi3's new development stage product is designed specifically to support both Steam and its Big Picture mode for residential and LAN party computer gaming on larger high-def screens.

While the details are scarce, it is widely believed that the device is powered by AMD’s A-series Fusion “Trinity” or “Richland” accelerated processing unit and can be equipped with up to 1TB hard drive. Since the unit is a pre-production one, eventually it may gain A-series Kaveri APU with more advanced AMD Radeon HD 7000-series graphics core and up to four AMD Steamroller x86 cores. The Piston system features Ethernet connectivity as well as digital video and audio outputs.

Xi3 has also announced it had received an investment from Valve Corporation.

With more than 50 million subscribers around the world, Steam is the digital distribution, digital rights management, multiplayer and communications/community platform from Valve Corp. Big Picture mode allows members to access and play games through Steam on any connected high-definition television display/monitor.

"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," said Jason A. Sullivan, founder, president and chief exec of Xi3.

Tags: Xi3, Steam, Valve, Valve Software, Piston, AMD, Fusion, Trinity, Richland, Kaveri, Piledriver, Steamroller, Radeon

Discussion

Comments currently: 3
Discussion started: 01/08/13 07:59:30 PM
Latest comment: 01/09/13 03:45:26 AM

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1. 
very well thought out and neat
3 0 [Posted by: tedstoy  | Date: 01/08/13 08:00:05 PM]
Reply

2. 
An informed guess would be that the initial model uses A10-4600M with 3.2GHz CPU at Turbo and 384 GPU shaders at 35W TDP. What we are looking at is a low-mid range laptop hardware packed in a small box.

As the device runs on Linux, initially the best supported games will be the ones using natively ported Source engine. We are probably looking at 720p with medium details in games like Portal 2, higher in older source titles.

It needs to gain a foothold in the market to encourage other publishers to specifically optimize and/or set performance targets for this hardware like they do for consoles (which is a moot point if there is going to be hardware fragmentation for steambox but it is not certain yet).

With that, it all comes down to the price. IMO, if it debuts at 400USD with some bundled steam games it will be moderately successful. 500USD would see limited adoption. Anything more and it flops.

Seeing how Xi3 initially priced the unit at 999USD in their Kickstarter project, I am very skeptical.
1 0 [Posted by: thevoiceofreason  | Date: 01/09/13 03:24:48 AM]
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3. 
I've seen this Xi3 before. It think it's wonderful. And even better when it packs an AMD APU . I think that in the home DIY media centre space, using the mini-itx and nano-itx boards is so old hat now. It's hard to beat the new generation of small form factor PCs for pure density of components and power - thanks to AMD APU graphics you can also do games. It was never possible with VIA, of course.
2 0 [Posted by: linuxlowdown  | Date: 01/09/13 03:45:26 AM]
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