Long rumoured device finally makes appearance at Las Vegas tech show

Steam Box debuts at CES

Valve’s highly anticipated device has finally been revealed at CES in Las Vegas.

The modular computer, which is being developed by hardware maker Xi3 and Valve, was revealed at the tech show with the codename "Piston".

The device is designed speciffically for use with Valve’s digital games distribution service Steam and its Big Picture mode, which is optimised for use with TVs and home entertainment setups as a console alternative.

Xi3 offered up an early demo version of the device on stage, which boasted an IO board with a single ethernet port, 1/8-inch audio in/out, SPDIF optical audio, four USB 3.0 ports, four USB 2.0 ports (with one dedicated to keyboard input), four eSATAp ports and two Mini Display Port ports and one DisplayPort/HDMI port.

The firm shed little light on the devices remaining hardware, however, US site Polygon reports that the firm’s chief marketing officer David Politis confirmed the Piston will offer up to 1TB of internal storage, whilst modular component upgrades will allow users to upgrade the system’s CPU and RAM.

Whilst pricing of the Piston has also yet to be revealed, its heavy comparisons to Xi3’s performance X7A range of PCs, which carry a price tag of $999, would offer an indication of pricing.

"Today marks the beginning of a new era for Xi3," Xi3 president and CEO Jason Sullivan stated.

"This new development stage product will allow users to take full-advantage of their large high-definition TV displays for an amazing computer game experience. As a result, this new system could provide access to thousands of gaming titles through an integrated system that exceeds the capabilities of leading game consoles, but can fit in the palm of your hand."

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