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Xi3 and Valve’s Series of Recent Press Releases Raises a Serious Question!



/ 4 years ago

Hardware manufacturer Xi3 have pushed against Valve’s claims to stay away from Piston PC/console type device that is said to cost $1,000. This started a debate where one will ask “What’s a Steam Box supposed to be anyways?”

Xi3 unveiled the Piston during CES in January. The company highlighted that the system was designed to play Steam Games on High Defination TV and larger-sized monitors with the help of Steam’s “Big Picture” interface. For the time, it looked good as Xi3 started taking pre-orders for the unit. But Valve did put up a statement saying that ‘…began some exploratory work with Xi3 last year, but currently has no involvement in any product of theirs.”

In its defense (as anyone would expect), Xi3 released their own statement defending that Piston was a product that Valve has asked to build. But a statement did acknowledge that Valve isn’t currently/ directly/ officially involved in the development of the Piston unit, the company said that “just because Valve may not ‘currently’ have any ‘involvement with any product of ours doesn’t mean that such involvement won’t exist in the future. In this way, the Piston Console could be perceived as something more than just a Steam Box…”

Between the conversation via press release between 2 companies, it raises a question what is “Steam Box” supposed to be in the first place. In general, Valve’s idea was that Steam Box is a concept where the hardware is designed in a wa that it can be used comfortably in one’s living room using Steam’s Big Picture. But if one wants to do that, they can do so with their existing gaming desktop system. All one needs is to hook up their system on their larger panels and switch to Steam’s Big Picture.

But it also brings another point that the Steam Box is meant to be a small and simple device with a very small form factor meant to be emphasizing on gameplay using wireless handheld controllers rather than keyboard and mouse. If one looks that way, Xi3’s Piston on paper qualifies as “Steam Box” that Valve is aiming for since the beginning of its concept design. However, it shouldn’t be confused for “The” Steam box where Valve is currently working on and even said that they are preparing to show the prototype during the coming months.

One also implies that Xi3’s Piston could be somewhat better than Valve’s “official” Steam box as it will also support non-steam games and apps.

Xi3 made a closing statement where one would be confused who stands where: “In closing, what Valve does or doesn’t do with its Steam Box will be up to them. So Gabe, it’s up to you. The ball is in your court.”

What do you guys think? You decide!


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