updated 07:58 am EDT, Wed March 13, 2013
Valve claims no involvement in Piston, despite investing
Valve Software has publicly disassociated itself with the Xi3 Piston, a device shown at CES as an example of the Steam Box game console concept. Comments by the game producer removing its involvement in the project were followed by a statement from Xi3 explaining how the Piston was initially made by the request of Valve itself.
Valve's comments were made shortly after Xi3 opened the $1,000 computer up for pre-order, with Doug Lombardi telling Eurogamer that Valve previously did work with Xi3 but does not anymore, saying "Valve began some exploratory work with Xi3 last year, but currently has no involvement in any product of theirs." A press release issued at that time saw Xi3 claim that it had received investment from Valve, and both the Valve and Xi3 booths at CES had the device on show.
It is suggested that the comments from Valve to distance themselves from Piston is an attempt to avoid giving it an unofficial "Steam Box" title, as Valve is still working on their own version of the hardware.
The founder and CEO of Xi3, Jason A. Sullivan, released a statement shortly after Lombardi's comments, partly explaining the relationship with Valve, as well as seemingly re-framing Piston as a general computer for the living room instead of a Steam-specific offering. On the general tone of media coverage suggesting it as the "official" Steam Box, Sullivan claimed "We've never said that and neither has Valve. That hasn't changed," before suggesting "just because Valve may not 'currently' have any 'involvement with any product of (ours)' doesn't mean that such involvement won't exist in the future." The reasons behind Valve's move away from the Piston are still unknown.
Piston itself will apparently ship with a Windows-based operating system, but will also be able to run other operating systems such as Linux, as it is a "Modular Computer that can run any operating system or application designed to run on an x86-based 64-bit computer." It will apparently provide a more rounded computing experience than a Steam Box, as it will allow other platforms to run through Windows on Piston, as well as supporting "a raft of other Internet-based gaming and entertainment platforms, which is more than what Valve apparently has planned for its official Steam Box," claimed Sullivan.
The demand for the Piston was welcomed by Sullivan, who stressed that Xi3 is "seriously concerned we will not be able to meet the demand for Piston Consoles for the 2013 Holiday Season."