While Xi3's Piston may only be a Steambox through its software optimization, that still leaves us with a milestone on our hands now that the system is available for pre-orders: it's the first Valve-blessed PC on sale. If you're willing to set aside just under $1,000 ($900 during SXSW), you can claim a Big Picture-friendly mini PC with an embedded, 3.2GHz version of AMD's quad-core A10 in addition to 8GB of RAM and a 128GB solid-state drive. There's no mention of the conventional spinning storage referenced at CES. Expansion is limited to larger-capacity SSDs, although that's not surprising when the entire computer is smaller than a GeForce GTX Titan. The real jolt will be the launch timing. Xi3 won't have Pistons shipping until around the holidays, which could leave some of us hunting for less-than-official (if considerably larger) substitutes for the full Steam experience.
NEWS RELEASE: With Demand Growing, Xi3 Corporation Opens Pre-Orders for its PISTON Console (PC)
Xi3 Corporation also plans to disclose additional details about its forthcoming PISTON Console at the Gaming Expo held March 8-10 during the 2013 South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas
SALT LAKE CITY and AUSTIN, Texas - March 8, 2013 - Xi3 Corporation today announced it will begin accepting pre-orders for its PISTON™ Console (PC) at the Gaming Expo held today, tomorrow and Sunday during the South by Southwest (SXSW) festival in Austin, Texas.
The list price of Xi3's PISTON Console starts at $999.99. Any PISTON Console pre-order placed between now and the end of SXSW 2013 (11:59 p.m. CST, Sunday, March 17, 2013), will receive a $100 discount off the list price, with pre-ordered PISTON Consoles shipped in time for the 2013 Holiday Season. (The special PISTON Console pre-order page is found at http://xi3.com/buy_now-piston.php.)
"Given the amount of awards, media attention and gamer interest the PISTON Console has generated since it was unveiled at CES 2013 in January, we've become seriously concerned that we will not be able to meet the demand for PISTON Consoles this year," said Jason A. Sullivan, founder, president and CEO of Xi3 Corporation. "That's why we have decided to begin accepting pre-orders on our PISTON Console, beginning today with the start of the SXSW Gaming Expo. Gaming Expo attendees will also get the benefit of being the first to see the PISTON Console in action."
Additional PISTON Console Details Forthcoming
Xi3 will showcase "live" gameplay on alpha versions of its PISTON Console at the 2013 SXSW Gaming Expo in Xi3's booth (#400). Additionally, Xi3 is slated to deliver a "live" on-stage presentation at the Gaming Expo on Saturday, March 9 beginning at 7 p.m.
"Clearly, the computer/video gaming market is huge, both in the personal computer and traditional console markets," Sullivan stated. "That being said, we believe there is a crying need for a machine that captures the best of both worlds, with the upgradeability of computer gaming rigs and the design and form factor of consoles. We believe our PISTON Consoles do exactly that-deliver the beauty and small size of consoles with the upgradeability of computers."
The grapefruit-sized Xi3 PISTON Console was announced at the 2013 International CES trade show in January as a "development stage system optimized for computer gameplay on large high-definition television monitors." This January announcement generated massive interest in the worldwide computer/video game industry, and Xi3 garnered several notable awards and honors for its PISTON efforts, even as a development stage product.
The PISTON Console is derived from the forthcoming X7A Modular™ Computer, Xi3's first power user computer. Xi3 will reveal additional product details about the PISTON Console and its plans for formally entering the game marketplace at the 2013 SXSW Gaming Expo.
NOTE: The 2013 SXSW Gaming Expo is being held March 8-10, 2013 in the Palmer Event Center at 900 Barton Springs Road in Austin, Texas. The hours for the Gaming Expo are as follows:
Friday, March 8: 3-9 p.m.
Saturday, March 9: 12 Noon-8 p.m.
Sunday, March 10: 12 Noon-8 p.m.