The “unofficial” version of Valve’s Steam Box, a mini-PC called the Piston, is now available for pre-order.
By the look of the pre-order page on manufacturer Xi3’s website initial pre-orders for the PC, which is designed to play Steam games on a TV in the same manner as a traditional home console (using the digital distribution platform’s Big Picture mode), will be limited to the US but that may not be such a bad thing considering its pricing.
The standard model of the Piston will be shipping with a 128GB SSD, 3.2GHz quad-core AMD processor and 8GB of RAM and will cost buyers $899 (R8,200) provided it is ordered before 18 March. The usual price is $999 (R9,100) but there are options for expanding the onboard storage with up to an additional 512GB – also an SSD – that can raise the price to $1649 (R15,150 or so) and that is without shipping included.
The Piston mini-PC is set to launch towards the end of the year in the States but the pricing for the little device may make waiting for Valve to reveal the official Steam Box (or just dropping R15K on a dedicated TV-connected gaming rig) a more attractive proposition in the meantime.