The oft-rumored “Steam Box” has finally been confirmed: today Valve announced that they have partnered with hardware manufacturer Xi3 to create a specialized gaming PC designed to take advantage of Steam’s “Big Picture” mode.
The so-called Steam Box doesn’t have an official name yet, but the modular PC is currently codenamed “Piston” and will feature a similar design and hardware specs to Xi3’s existing X7A computers.
Valve has always been dedicated to making PC gaming as painless and accessible as possible, and while the Piston doesn’t seem like the Valve dedicated “console” that earlier rumors suggested that it would be, but at the very least, it seems like a good way to get PC-phobic console gamers to give some previously PC-exclusive titles a try.
Price might be an issue for the Piston: the X7A PC that it’s based off of sells for $999, which is a good deal more expensive than your average console. Xi3 does offer a cheaper, Linux equipped PC for $499, and I wouldn’t be surprised if Piston used Linux as well: Valve has spent the last few months encouraging PC developers to port their games over to Linux instead of supporting Windows 8.
Valve and Xi3 are still being characteristically tight lipped about any further details regarding Piston, but we’ll update you on any information regarding the Piston as it develops.