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September 30th 2013 2:54 pm

Can the Xi3 Piston compete against home consoles with a price of $999?

Ars Technica is reporting (arstechnica.com­/gaming­/2013­/09­/xi3­-opens­-up­-pre­-or...) that Xi3 has opened up pre-orders for its Piston gaming PC designed specifically for Steam.

Available November 29th, the Piston has "an x86-based AMD 3.2Ghz quad-core chip with 384 'programmable discrete-class graphics cores'; 8GB of RAM and 128GB of solid-state storage; 12 USB ports; and support for up to three monitors (mini-DP, HDMI and DisplayPort) at up to 4K resolution."

Unfortunately, the nicely designed (and quite small!) box is debuting at $999, significantly more than next-gen consoles.

What's your perspective on a device like this? Would you consider buying one at this price point compared to a PS4 or Xbox One? Does it seem like too little, too late given that Valve announced its own Steam Machines program just last week?

To me, a device like this can't survive at $999 when there are console alternatives at less than half that price. I think Valve knows this, and we'll likely see its "first-party" Steam Machines come in at lower, or tiered prices.

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No, it cannot compete. Versatility is not important in the game console world. Availability, simplicity and game library are the most important.

1. Availability- $999, double next gen systems, this stops 95% of people

2. Simplicity- what controller is supposed to be used? How fast and how many steps does it take to get from booting up to gaming? Minimal is optimal.

3. Game library- this is where desire is created. People don't care about specs, they care about how the game looks, plays and the overall experience. People want to play GTA, CoD, AC, Madden, etc. and the hardware involved should enhance that experience, not get in the way. If this thing plays popular games in an obvious way (not pirating, accessible by gamestop, bestbuy, etc) then it has a chance to compete on a small level for now.

Video game fans are not a tough sell for spending money, but are fickle, nostalgic and need constant stimulation. There's a reason that Sony has been running at a loss or near loss for a long time.
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I think one thing that will work against it is that at the end of the day it's just a PC. You can find really small pcs, not as small as this, for far less.

Even if this is coming pre-loaded with SteamOS, you can probably find something comparable for a bit less and just run steam on it.
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There is no chance, whatsoever for piston to compete with anything at that price. According to the tech specs you gave out, ps4 already tops piston by just a little. It uses 8 gb GDRR5 RAM, which is superior to any other system. Ps4 currently is one of the best systems out there, and it's price is astonishingly low. The reason being, is that sony gets money from every single game that players buy. Xbox One is not as cutting edge as ps4- as far as hardware goes- and I've yet to see the next gen version of valve's steam machines, so currently the playstation 4 is the best system out there. 1000 dollars is WAY to much to be charging for the piston.
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