Statement Made After Valve Backs Away From Xi3 Piston
It turns out that the Xi3 Piston isn’t officially or unofficially a Steambox at all. Yesterday, Valve’s Doug Lombardi told Eurogamer that they weren’t in cahoots with Xi3 to make the console/computer.
“Valve began some exploratory work with Xi3 last year, but currently has no involvement in any product of theirs,” he said.
This came as a bit of a surprise to those of us who just assumed the connection made sense. Apparently we weren’t the only ones who thought that. Jason A. Sullivan, founder, president and CEO of Xi3 Corporation wasted no time responding to what might be considered a slap in the face from Lombardi.
“We reaffirm the fact that we received an investment from Valve Corporation (as we previously disclosed during the 2013 International CES trade show), and we did so with Valve’s written permission…. Second, we were asked to build a product specifically for Valve, and both companies showcased this product – the Piston Console – in their respective booths at CES 2013.”
It’s true. Valve did show the Xi3 Piston at the Consumer Electronics Association last January. What could have possibly changed in less than three months?
It was just a few days ago that the price of the Xi3 Piston was announced. You can get your hands on this little machine for $999.99.
One Thousand US Dollars For a Gaming Device
While that certainly makes me feel better about getting a smart phone solely for the apps, a thousand bucks is a thousand bucks. Is it possible that Valve took one look at the price tag and wanted to distance itself from the Xi3 Piston or did they just now decide to shift gears to promoting their own Steambox? Will Valve be able to make a modular computer any cheaper?
I got my hands on the Xi3 Piston at SXSW this past weekend. Let me tell you, it is tiny. It’s also pretty. And for someone that needs a powerful machine, it will work pretty well. One of the big selling points is the lack of planned obsolescence. Users will be able to easily switch out parts for upgrades as the years go by. I do wonder about the parts though. Xi3 has a bunch of international patents on what really is genius technology. This means that we will pretty much have to buy the upgrades from Xi3, and you can bet they won’t be cheap.
The Xi3 Piston is a modular computer and gaming device that will look great in even the fanciest of living rooms. It will ship with Windows, but can run on any operating system. No matter what happens between Valve and Xi3, Steam games will run on the Piston just fine.
“Just because Valve may not ‘currently’ have any ‘involvement with any product of (ours)’ doesn’t mean that such involvement won’t exist in the future…what Valve does or doesn’t do with its Steam Box will be up to them. So Gabe, it’s up to you. The ball is in your court.”
It is a system that has me drooling, but the price has got me wondering if I am an abnormal Steam user. It seems odd to buy an expensive machine when all I do is search for sales and cheapo indie games.