A little background info on the Xi3 and Valve modular computers project
in September of last year Xi3 launched their Kickstarter campaign for a “modular computer”, which is explained in more detail in the above video taken from their Kickstarter project.
The basic idea behind their project was to take some of the more archaic principles behind PC hardware and update them by way of breaking down the component’s of the PC, such as the motherboard into further smaller parts (to be presumably sold from the Xi3 store and other specialist outlets). This would then allow the user to both the upgrade and swap around parts for the computer as they see fit to better suit the purpose of use for a given occasion.
The Kickstarter campaign didn’t manage to reach its goal but it did manage to grab the attention of Valve Corp who would go onto provide substantial backing for Xi3, while Xi3 would go on to make a specific line of their modular computers for Valve - enter the Piston.
Now in early 2013, we’re seeing the early footage of the Piston already as the basic idea and manufacturing plans behind the project were already set up but we’re given some momentum with the aid of Valve.
So how much will it cost?
There seem to be single figure sums floating around the Internet but if you were to check out the Xi3 site as well as watch their Kickstarter video, you’d understand that this is still very much in essence a PC - just restructured in such a way to make it both more practical for consumer use as well as give it more longevity due its ability to upgrade (7-10 years lifespan supposedly).
The price if anything, should end up varying on what specs the customers themselves wish to have on their SteamBox as well as ongoing upgrades and components throughout the lifetime of the product.
Currently whats known about the product is that it will be optimized to run Steam and its Big Picture mode - suggesting it would have some weight behind its graphics capabilities, whilst running on a quad core processor and its unique component based motherboard all inside a heat resistant aluminum case. It’s also touted to run on a super low 40W. What’s more is that Piston is highly suitable name for a “steam powered” machine.
So while the price may vary, it’s still probably going to be more on the pricey side of things due to the nature of its hardware but in return we should hopefully get a lot out of it too.
That’s what I’ve been able to make of this so far, but like everyone else I’ll be keeping a very close eye on this for further updates.