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.