updated 10:59 pm EST, Mon January 7, 2013
CES showcase for hardware; Valve heavy investor in project
At least partially confirming the rumors from last year, game developer and digital distribution house Valve and hardware manufacturer Xi3 have teamed up to announce a de facto Steam Box. The hardware, codenamed "Piston," is being previewed at the Consumer Electronics Show in both Xi3's booth and the Valve presence at the Las Vegas show.
According to Polygon, the device is modeled after the existing X7A line of miniature computers. Few details are available on the currently installed hardware, but reports have surfaced of up to 1TB of internal storage, with options available to purchasers such as faster CPU availability and RAM upgrades.
The existing X7A computer is aimed at "Power users, gamers and engineers" and includes four eSATAp ports, four USB 3.0 ports, four USB 2.0 ports, Gigabit Ethernet, one full-sized DisplayPort and two Mini-DisplayPorts. The same port configuration exists on the unit on display at the CES, and include TOSLINK optical audio. The Steam console seems to be similar, at least in the configuration brought to the expo.
Existing options available for the chassis on display at the show include universal mounting brackets, a VESA mount, and external hard drive enclosures tailored to fit the bevel on the underside of the case. Xi3 representatives have made no comment on pricing or configuration of the Steam Box.