Xi3 Piston isn’t a Steam Machine so it can play non-Steam games

Sunday, 12th January 2014 23:10 GMT By Brenna Hillier

Xi3 Piston, the first device revealed when Valve admitted it was getting into hardware, is not a Steam Machine – because “if you can play it on a computer you should be able to play it on a Piston”.

UPDATE: The team at Xi3 have contacted VG247 to state that the Piston is in fact an upgradable machine, stating: “by using three interconnected boards within the PISTON Console to replace the standard single-piece motherboard found in PCs and gaming consoles, each of these three miniaturized boards is designed to be replaced to upgrade the PISTON in the future.”

Original story: “We believe, and I think the market’s very clear about this, that the biggest concentration today is in the Windows marketplace,” Xi3 CMO David Politis told PC Gamer.

“We’re still friends. We still love Valve, we love Steam,” he added.

“We’ve gone separate directions today – that doesn’t mean we’re not supporting Valve. They’ve got 50+ million users on Steam. Why wouldn’t you support them?

“But the thing is, so does EA, with Origin. So we support Origin as well. In fact, we believe that if you can play it on a computer you should be able to play it on a Piston – and that’s our whole viewpoint.”

Xi3′s Piston was one of the first systems to be announced when Valve began making public forays into hardware at CES 2013, but the two companies parted ways just a few months later, even though Xi3 said Valve has specifically commissioned the system.

Xi3 forged on regardless, and the Piston was released in November for $999. It isn’t modular, so users can’t upgrade components, but it does allow for Linux installs as well as Windows and a custom environment.

When Valve’s hardware plans resurfaced, the company had distanced itself from the “SteamBox” name, opting for Steam Machines. Its new plan involved multiple manufacturers creating systems compatible with SteamOS, a custom, Linux-based operating system.

Thanks, Destructoid.



  1. Hcw87

    It’s just a PC-in-a-box like the Steam machines. Why? Because you can play PC games on it, and that’s it. People may say that XB1/PS4 are glorified PC’s in a box aswell, but you can play console exclusive games on them, ASWELL as multiplats also out on PC.

    That’s why the Steambox won’t challenge consoles in any way whatsoever, because hooking a PC up to your TV is something you can do today if you want. And that’s the selling point of the Steambox. Being able to play PC games in your living room. Why doesn’t do that allready?

    You’re better off buying a PC. And maybe running SteamOS on it, if it’s that great. You do not need a Steambox for anything.

    #1 12 months ago
  2. TheWulf

    What an utterly bizarre thing to say. You can play non-Steam games on a steam Machine, too. Did they not expect us to know that?

    #2 12 months ago
  3. Erthazus

    “People may say that XB1/PS4 are glorified PC’s in a box aswell, but you can play console exclusive games on them, ASWELL as multiplats also out on PC.”

    Until PC emulator.

    #3 12 months ago
  4. sebastien rivas

    Look, the Xi3 box by itself is pretty cool, cool, or superb.
    Though again 999 for its hardware… I mean I truly don’t know how to you guys will survive this.
    As for Steam and Origin.
    As a old game consumer, I can tell you straight out that Steam is the LEAST trying to milk our your wallet through lacks of or misuse of User Experience and Origin is one of the WORST for User Experience.
    I am not talking about ping, lag etc… Nope all I am talking about is or are game fucking description, I never know if I deal with an expansion or an original IP on Origin, I never do and it is always a fucking trial hit or miss. This never happened on Steam, they describe titles well.
    My point is you present me a Steam machine and an origin machine, I say fuck Origin just because of the horrific User Experience I always been through choosing a title on their PC application. Though I must say high and clear they did MILK me a couple of times already and I am not happy.
    So yes, Xi3 can go Origin all the way. It would just sound like a sentence using a double negative “ain’t no satisfied”.

    Agreed but so far it was never said by any hardware manufacturer out of Valve itself in an article months ago.

    @3 and your point is?

    #4 12 months ago
  5. Erthazus

    @4, That consoles are glorified PC’s in a box.


    #5 12 months ago

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