Well, it was bound to happen: the oft rumoured Valve console has finally been made official. The unit will be a collaborative effort between software company Valve and hardware company Xi3. This is the first time that anything remotely official has been revealed about what has become affectionately dubbed the “Steam Box”.
Manufacturer Xi3 announced the console (codenamed Piston) as being in the developmental stages. The prototype will be on show at CES 2013 – the Las Vegas based Consumer Electronics Show, which kicks off today and runs through to Friday.
Alongside the announcement of Piston, Xi3 announced that Valve had now invested in the hardware manufacturer. As for Piston itself, very little is known and both parties are keeping quiet. We have no idea about specs, release dates or price, but what we do know is that it’s being designed to bring modular PC gaming to HDTVs via Steam’s Big Picture Mode.
Website Polygon has managed to check out the prototype build. The unit has an impressive array of inputs including USB 3.0 slots, optical out, four eSATAp ports, two Mini Display Ports and an HDMI port.
The prototype is based off Xi3’s high end X7A micro tower. Piston is being designed to offer modular upgrades, which will include options to upgrade memory and CPU. Expect to see around 1TB of storage space as well.
So, has Valve just thrown down the gauntlet? Microsoft, Sony and Nintendo just got a new competitor in the battle for the living room.