If you want a PC as your gaming console, you’re gonna need a bigger wallet.
PC manufacturer Xi3 revealed that the base Piston will start at $1,000. It features a 3.2 GHz AMD quad-core processor with 8GB RAM and 128GB SSD — but no dedicated graphics card. At $1,339.99 and $1749.99, you get 256GB and 512GB of storage, respectively. Customers who preorder before March 18 will get $100 off the aforementioned prices, and Xi3 guarantees those gamers will receive it before the end of 2013.
“Clearly, the computer/video gaming market is huge, both in the personal computer and traditional console markets,” Xi3 chief executive officer Jason Sullivan said in a statement. “That being said, we believe there is a crying need for a machine that captures the best of both worlds, with the upgradeability of computer gaming rigs and the design and form factor of consoles. We believe our Piston Consoles do exactly that — deliver the beauty and small size of consoles with the upgradeability of computers.”
In January, Xi3 revealed that Valve invested in the project and was performing some “exploratory work” for the eventual Steam Box. Valve is still working on its own Steam Box, which brings the company’s Steam PC gaming experience to the television, but it will continue to work with partners who wish to release their own takes on the concept.
This will create a whole category of Steam Boxes, and the Piston is the first in that category.
Sony, Nintendo, and Microsoft have owned gaming on the television for a number of years, and now Ouya and GameStick are attempting to bring Android gaming to the big screen. Valve chief executive Gabe Newell claims he isn’t worried about any of those companies as much as he is Apple, but then Sony and Microsoft probably aren’t too worried about a $1,000 PC gaming console, either.