Xi3's Piston modular PC runs a custom UI on top of Windows, we go eyes-on (video)

DNP Xi3's Piston modular PC runs a custom UI on top of Windows, we go eyeson video

There isn't much mystery left surrounding Xi3's modular gaming PC: we know it'll run Windows 7 Embedded, and we know it'll go on sale November 29th for $1,000. But there's one lingering detail that's continued to confuse us: what's the user interface like? So far, we've only gotten a brief look at some custom UI running on top of Windows, and even that wasn't final software. Finally, though, we caught up with the Xi3 team and had a chance to see the still-unnamed UI in action.

By default, the Piston boots straight into this custom interface, as opposed to Windows. As promised, it hooks into various web services like Netflix and iTunes (to name just two examples), so if you click on "Hulu" or something like that, you'll just need to enter your login credentials to run the "app," as it were. Additionally, you can pin your favorite games to the main menu so that you can get at them with one click, without having to dig deeper into the menus. Conversely, you can remove items from the menu entirely if they're not relevant to you, as well as reorder them. Oh, and if you're ever using Windows and want to get back into the custom-UI side, you can just double-tap the Start button on your keyboard. It's very simple, really (the whole point is to stay focused on gaming), but you know what they say: a picture says a thousand words. Check out our demo video below if you want a better feel for how the whole thing works.

Edgar Alvarez contributed to this report.