In March 2013, we put up an extensive guide on how to build your own Steam Box for only $500. At the time, we expected to see the first off-the-shelf models hit the market later that year, but that didn’t happen. Now, we know that 2015 is the earliest we’ll see a release.This means that anyone who wants a Steam Box as soon as possible is best off going the do-it-yourself route. The broad strokes of our guide remain relevant, but there have been some new developments on the PC components front that change the particulars. Here’s the latest. A few hardware updatesLast year we recommended the following configuration for our home built Steam box. Processor: Intel Core i3-3220 ($130)Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-H61M-HD2 Micro-ATX ($55)RAM: Kingston Value 4GB DDR3 1066 Low-Profile ($30)Video Card: AMD Radeon HD 7770 1GHz Edition ($115)Hard Drive: Western Digital Blue 500GB 7200RPM ($60)Power Supply: Antec NEO ECO 400-Watt ($40)Case: Antec New Solution VSK-3000 … [Read more...] about Build your own Steam Box revisited: What a difference a year makes
Steam box specifications
Remember a few years ago when people were able to play Tetris on their cell phones and we all thought it was amazing? If so, feel free to dust off a few old photographs (those pieces of paper that have .jpegs physically printed on them), and go ahead and laugh at your poor, naïve past self.Earlier this year at CES, Xi3 went from being a small computer maker to making international news when it announced that its collaboration with Valve had produced a prototype of what has been called the “Steam Box” – a device made specifically to run Steam software on Linux. At least, that was the initial impression.Valve has since clarified its position, and claims that it is determined to manufacture its own hardware. But Valve remains deeply involved with Xi3, and the modular Piston, based on Xi3’s X7A models, is capable of filling the role. It also does a whole lot more.The computer is modular, meaning it is easily upgradable. That is one of Xi3’s core … [Read more...] about Xi3, maker of the Piston ‘Steam Box,’ introduces the future of portable virtual reality
The Piston, Xi3’s so-called “Steam Box” made with the backing of Valve, trotted out its odd little PC at the Consumer Electronics Show in January and promised the moon. It’s an upgradeable gaming PC that purports to be as simple to set up and enjoy as your average video game console, and be ready to run games on Steam’s “Big Picture” mode as soon as you plug it into the television. The tiny machine came one step closer to taking its place in the increasingly crowded living room gaming market over the weekend when Xi3 started taking preorders for the device. But there’s a catch. Xi3 started taking pre-orders for the Piston on its website over the weekend, and right now the machine is a lot more expensive than the average video game console. All three available Piston models come with 8GB of RAM and a 3.2Ghz Quad Core processor, but the base model with a 128GB hard drive costs $900. It will go up to $1000 on Mar. 17. The other models … [Read more...] about The Steam Box cometh, and it brings a hefty price tag with it
Valve’s revelation that it has invested money into the development of an Xi3 “Steam Box” piqued people’s interested in the Piston (what the computer was eventually named) when it was announced at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show (CES). Today, the company announced that the diminutive gaming PC that’s around the size of half a loaf of bread is now available for preorder – and for $100 less if you order on or before March 17. The catch is that $100 will barely make a dent in the price you have to pay, as each unit costs $1,000 – clearly not something most people would categorize as cheap. But if you’ve been planning to get Piston anyway, here’s your chance to be one of the first people to get one at a slightly cheaper price. When we did our hands-on review of the Piston at CES, its specifications were still shrouded in mystery. Now, we at least know that it runs on a 3.2GHz quad-core processor, has 8GB of RAM, and … [Read more...] about Pre-order the Xi3 Piston Steam Box for $100 off until March 17
Make sure to check out our Giveaway for a chance to win our Steam Box build.The Steam Box is now a tangible possibility. Though no release date or final design has been released, Xi3 touted its Piston reference platform at CES while other hardware was examined behind closed doors. Meanwhile, Valve is preparing Steam for an eventual hardware release with the new Big Picture interface and Linux support. All of the pieces are coming into place.Gamers itching for an innovative, open platform can hardly wait for release, yet details remain vague. Valve might launch tomorrow, next month, or next year. Details on specifications, price and capability remain unknown.We do know that Valve’s console will be built with PC hardware, use Steam to access games, and probably run Linux. So why wait? You can build your own Steam Box today for less than $500. Here’s how. The target buildWe’re not the first to publish a do-it-yourself Steam Box guide. Others have already explored the … [Read more...] about Make your own console: How we built a killer Steam Box for $500
Say goodbye to the Steam Box, and say hello to the “Steam Machines.” Instead of unveiling a singular piece of hardware, as many suspected was coming, Valve went one step further and announced an entire line of Steam-friendly devices running SteamOS, to be developed by multiple unnamed partners.“We want you to be able to choose the hardware that makes sense for you, so we are working with multiple partners to bring a variety of Steam gaming machines to market during 2014, all of them running SteamOS,” Valve’s announcement reads.It’s the second of three planned announcements this week from Valve. The first introduced us to the SteamOS, a Linux-based open source operating system that will be free to download and designed around gaming and multi-media playback. The new Steam Machines will all run this new SteamOS when they are released in 2014.Although Valve has not yet revealed its list of partners, it did indicate that there will be … [Read more...] about Forget the Steam Box, meet Valve’s ‘Steam Machines’
Next week we may finally hear some concrete news about the long rumored, but often discussed Linux-based Steam Box, Valve co-founder and managing director Gabe Newell stated during a keynote address at LinuxCon.LinuxCon is an event dedicated – as the name suggests – to the celebration of all things Linux. During his keynote, Newell reiterated his support of the open-source operating system, and praised its place in gaming. Steam recently adopted Linux, and began releasing games that support it. “It feels a little bit funny coming here and telling you guys that Linux and open source are the future of gaming,” Newell told the crowd. “It’s sort of like going to Rome and teaching Catholicism to the Pope.”For months now, if not years, there have been rumors of Valve releasing its own gaming machine, which has been dubbed the Steam Box. Despite there being a near total absence of facts other than Valve having at … [Read more...] about Could we finally learn about Valve’s Steam Box next week?
While this should come as no surprise to those that follow gaming and especially Valve, the long discussed “Steam Box” has been unveiled at CES in Las Vegas. Although the name “Steam Box” was not mentioned in the official release, the unveiling finally gives us a look at what Valve’s Gabe Newell confirmed back in December, and what many (including us) think could change PC gaming – and by extension the entire gaming industry – for good.The announcement today is the first step towards elevating the Steam Box beyond the realms of talk and design that it has firmly inhabited thus far. The name may change, and the specifics have yet to be discussed, but a prototype has been commissioned through the Salt Lake City-based Xi3. That coincides with the announcement that Valve has invested in the hardware manufacturer. Although still in the development stage, the device is being shown off at CES. It takes advantage of … [Read more...] about The Valve ‘Steam Box’ is finally unveiled, and nothing will ever be the same again
Piston, the Valve-funded gaming PC from Xi3, could be the big Steam Box-style break that the Big Picture was designed for.Xi3 is the designer of small form-factor "modular PCs" with a distinctive shape. And by small form factor, we mean it; the Xi3 basic chassis can be quite happily held in the palm of one hand. Valve, on the other hand, is the creator of Steam, the digital distribution platform for gaming that looks hell bent on world domination. It recently launched Big Picture, a version of Steam designed specifically for TV sets, working with a console-style controller as adeptly as a keyboard and mouse. It came out of beta recently. If there was only some way of bringing them together... Hinting back in December last year that PC hardware purpose built for Steam wasn't too far away, the deal was pretty much sealed at this year's Consumer Electronics Show … [Read more...] about Valve, Xi3 and the Steam Box: should consoles be scared?
Images from Call of Duty developer Infinity Ward shows a self-branded version of what appears to be the Xi3 Piston Steam Box.Back at the Consumer Electronics Show in January, modular PC manufacture Xi3 showed off the Piston, a small PC funded by Valve that was designed specifically to use Steam's Big Picture interface; a Steam Box by any other name. Now game developer Infinity Ward, creator of the popular Call of Duty series, has put two different images up — one on Facebook, another on Twitter — showing a small PC with the same appearance as the Piston, but with the Infinity Ward logo printed on it.Gaming forum NeoGaf seized on the images quickly, and speculation has run rife, with many people wondering what the significance of the unit is to Infinity Ward. While some commenters suggested that the unit might be a "dev kit", the concept behind Big Picture and the Steam Box is that it's just a normal PC with a smaller form factor and interface designed to make it easier to … [Read more...] about Has Infinity Ward shown off the Steam Box?