As if shelling out $900 this holiday to snag the two next-gen game consoles wasn't enough, Xi3's Piston modular gaming PC is arriving on November 29th for $1,000. Should money be no object to you, the adorable little box is available for pre-order right this minute, and that'll lock in an earlier arrival by two weeks. Included in today's news of the Piston's launch date is word that internal storage capacity was upped by another SSD connector; Xi3 says up to 1TB of SSD storage is now supported.
In a hilarious nod to Valve's Steam Machines news last week, Xi3 notes, "By adding a second SSD to their Pistons, users will be able to load a second operating system onto their machines, including the newly announced SteamOS." As previously reported, Xi3 is (at least in part) financially-backed by Valve, and the Piston is a bit of a "Steambox" (the previous name for Valve's Steam Machines effort) itself. SteamOS is said to be coming "soon," ahead of Steam Machines' official launch in 2014, and you'll see no surprise on our faces should SteamOS arrive ahead of Piston's November 15th pre-order availability.
On Xi3's homepage, the Piston is positioned with a wireless, Piston-branded gamepad (seen above). It's unclear if it ships with the system later this year, so we've reached out to Xi3 for more info.
Xi3 Taps "Black Friday" (Nov. 29, 2013) as General Availability Date for its PISTON Console;
Pre-ordered PISTONs will Arrive Two Weeks Earlier, On or Before November 15
Xi3 Founder, President & CEO Jason A. Sullivan claims "the bar has been raised" and
calls PISTON the "first step in what we believe will be a transformative technology
revolution for the Living Room." Xi3 also unveils new PISTON details, such as
doubled storage capacity, optimized gaming traffic and pack-in games.
SALT LAKE CITY - September 30, 2013 - Xi3Corporation today announced that its
PISTON™ Console will be available for purchase beginning on Black Friday: November 29, 2013.
Xi3 customers who pre-ordered a PISTON Console during or before the SXSW 2013 Gaming
Expo will receive their PISTON Consoles on or before November 15, 2013.
"The PISTON Console is just Xi3's first step in what we believe will be a transformative
technology revolution for the Living Room," said Jason A. Sullivan, Xi3's founder, president and
CEO. "Unfortunately, I can't tell you what I know is coming because it's not time to tell you. But I
will say this: the bar has been raised. PISTON is smaller, lighter, and will last longer, provide
more gaming options and be more powerful than any other gaming console on the planet. The
reason I feel confident in saying this is because we started with a clean slate, unlike competing
manufacturers. And that Tabula Rasa approach is what sets PISTON apart from other gaming
systems today and what will set us apart tomorrow.
"That's why I've decided we'll provide the first public preview of production PISTON Consoles at
the Interop New York trade show this week at the Jacob Javits Convention Center. Journalists
and Interop attendees are invited to come by booth #401 on either Wednesday or Thursday (Oct.
2-3) to try out PISTON for themselves."
PISTON Storage Capacity Doubled, Optimized Gaming Traffic & Pack-in Titles Coming
As part of today's PISTON General Availability announcement, Xi3 also revealed today additional
information about its PISTON Consoles. Specifically, storage capacity for PISTON Consoles has
been doubled; PISTON's Ethernet controller has been optimized for gameplay traffic, and
PISTONs will ship with pre-loaded "Pack-in" titles. Xi3 also released today a separate PISTON
Questions & Answers document to address other topics related to PISTON.
Previously, Xi3 announced that PISTON utilizes internal solid-state SSD storage and that PISTON
Consoles will ship standard with 128GB of SSD storage. Xi3 further revealed today that it has
been able to double the potential SSD storage capacity of the PISTON Console by adding a
second SSD connector within its PISTON design, as well as a separate, internal microSD slot.
This second SSD connector gives PISTONs the capability of more than 1TB of super-fast
(6Gbps) solid-state storage.
Xi3 also revealed today that it has designed the PISTON's Ethernet controller to recognize and
prioritize computer gaming data to the top of PISTON's network queue. Such data traffic
prioritization will further speed-up response times for PISTON gameplay. Additional details about
optimized gameplay data traffic will be revealed at a future date.
"With the latest and greatest games-whether played solo, against your buddy, or in online MMO titles-those extra milliseconds provided by PISTON's optimized gaming traffic can mean
the difference between victory or death," Sullivan explained. "PISTON's solid-state drives also
mean you'll be able to load games faster than ever before, making your overall experience even
better. In addition, by adding a second SSD to their PISTONs, users will be able to load a
second operating system onto their machines, including the newly announced SteamOS."
Xi3 also revealed today that the company will ship PISTON Consoles with "pack-in" gaming titles
pre-loaded onto its PISTONs. Details about publisher and developer partnerships, as well as a
list of pack-in titles, will be released before Black Friday.
"Our goal is to set a new standard for the gaming world with the PISTON Console," Sullivan said.
"It's so small and lightweight, it can easily fit in the palm of your hand. The PISTON has also
been designed to be modular from the ground up, which means we've built it so it can be easily
updated and upgraded-no other gaming console manufacturer has ever done that.
"Additionally, PISTON was built for super-fast gaming by utilizing SSD storage and prioritizing
gameplay traffic. PISTON also gives you 3 Ways to Play-at your desk, in your living room, or via
a Virtual Reality setup. And you can still play with a controller or via keyboard and mouse, you
decide. And naturally, we'll ship PISTONs pre-loaded with pack-in games. The bottom line is I
can't wait to get this into the hands of gamers everywhere 'cause I know they're gonna love it."
Built on the modular and patented Xi3 Computer Architecture, the PISTON Console is housed in
a grapefruit-sized, matte black aluminum chassis with chrome trim. The PISTON Console comes
equipped with a quad-core x86-based 64-bit processor integrated with 384 programmable
discrete class graphics cores capable of running the most popular games. PISTON further
supports up to 4K-resolution (4096x2160 pixels) and provides users with the ability to run three
high-definition monitors or displays simultaneously to provide a fully immersive gaming
PISTON Consoles are available for pre-order today at $999.00 at http://xi3.com/buy_nowpiston.php. Additional PISTON details will be released between now and Nov. 29.
About Xi3 Corporation
Formed in 2010 and headquartered in Salt Lake City, Utah, Xi3 Corporation utilizes "The Power
of X" to bring its building block approach to the world of computing and computer gaming, an
approach Xi3 applies internally and externally to hardware solutions and software applications.
# # #
The shape of the three-sided single piece casing, the end plate, and the overall shape of the
PISTON Console, as well as Xi3, PISTON, and "The Power of X" are trademarks and unique
trade dress of Xi3 Corporation.