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XI3 Responds to Valve “The Piston Is More Than Just a Steam Box”


Xi3, the makers of the Piston mini-computer, have issued a response to Valve’s recent public statement distancing themselves from the company. CEO of Xi3, Jason A. Sullivan, says that the piston will be something more than Valve’s Steam Box and that Xi3’s vision is contrary to Valve’s as they wish to offer compatibility for several gaming platforms.

“We reaffirm the fact that we received an investment from Valve Corporation (as we previously disclosed during the 2013 International CES trade show), and we did so with Valve’s written permission,” Suillvan said (via Joystiq). “Second, we were asked to build a product specifically for Valve, and both companies showcased this product – the Piston console – in their respective booths at CES 2013.” However, Valve’s Gabe Newell apparently personally asked Sullivan to not divulge specifics about the relationship between Xi3 and Valve.

Sullivan confirmed that the Piston will still be compatible with Steam, regardless of the current state of Xi3 and Valve’s business relationship. It will also offer other platforms such as Origin or GOG.

“Additionally, Piston will also support a raft of other Internet-based gaming and entertainment platforms, which is more than what Valve apparently has planned for its official Steam Box,” Sullivan said. “In this way, the Piston console could be perceived as something more than just a Steam Box, which makes sense because at its core the Piston console is a Modular Computer that can run any operating system or application designed to run on an x86-based 64-bit computer.”

The Steam Box will supposedly run a Linux-based version of Steam, but Sullivan said that the Piston team believes any gaming PC should have Windows at its core. Flexibility seems to be the most important quality of the Piston for Xi3. Of course, it’s this same flexibility that tends to turn people off from PC gaming in the first place.

One might think that Valve and XI3 is experiencing some sort of friction considering these distancing statements, but apparently the path to a business relationship is still open.

“Just because Valve may not ‘currently have any involvement with any product of (ours),’” Sullivan continued, “doesn’t mean that such involvement won’t exist in the future.”

What do you think of the Piston? Would you want it to support more platforms or would you prefer it to be specialized as a Steam Box? Let us know!

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