Piston arrives at CES 2013; its a Steam Box Demo Unit that is portable and beautiful

January 9, 2013, By Sanjeev Ramachandran

Codenamed ‘Piston’, the Steam Box Demo has arrived at the CES 2013 show. The new fist sized system is designed and optimized specifically to play Steam games and run the Big Picture Mode on big screen TVs in your living room.

A mini-PC is codenamed Piston and is on show at both Valve’s and Xi3’s booths at the CES 2013. Xi3 tried to get funding to help create a new range of small but powerful, modular computer systems via Kickstarter late last year but failed miserably, raising less than half of their targeted amount.

However, this small PC seems to have won admirers at Valve, as the Steam gaming company has been revealed as an investor that will let Xi3 take its full swing course.


According to Valve marketing director Doug Lombardi, Valve will be at CES 2013to meet with hardware and content developers in their booth space and they will be bringing multiple custom (hardware) prototypes as well as some off-the-shelf PCs to their CES meetings.

Lombardi said the prototypes are “low-cost, high-performance designs for the living room that are great candidates for Steam and Big Picture”, but held off revealing specifics. He also quoted that they will be sharing more information to the press and public in the coming months.


But Valve says ‘Piston’ is one of many so-called Steam Box prototypes it’s bringing to the CES expo. Piston is based on Xi3’s current “performance level” X7A.

That system runs for $999, though its entry-level X5A runs at $499.

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