Xi3 has announced the price of its interpretation of the Steam Box, dubbed the Piston. The system is set to be released during the holiday season of 2013 and its price starts at $1000 (approx. Rs 54,360). Pre-ordering it now gets you $100 off.
The Piston, which had originally made its debut at this year’s CES, is modelled on Xi3's X7a computers. The pricing could be a major turn off for gamers as a new Xbox 360 or a PlayStation 3 would end up being much less expensive than the Piston.
Even cutting the price by half would still keep it as expensive as the PlayStation 3 was when it first launched. It is possible that Valve would be heavily subsidising the cost of the consoles and would depend on introducing more gamers to its digital distribution platform Steam to make a profit instead.
The Piston is going to be pricey, but modular
According to Eurogamer, though, Valve has been quick to distance itself from Xi3. Valve's Doug Lombardi said that while the company had some dealings with Xi3, it doesn't anymore. “Valve began some exploratory work with Xi3 last year, but currently has no involvement in any product of theirs,” he said.
Earlier this month, Valve boss Gabe Newell revealed that the first Steam box prototypes would be making their way to some lucky customers in the next three-to-four months.
Newell describes the Steam box as a gaming console that has the power and flexibility of a PC. He says the developers are trying to make it as fast and quiet as they possibly can. However, the controller seems to be posing a hurdle. According to Newell, “The main thing that's holding us up… we have a couple of different controllers prototypes we're using.”
Newell also talked about gathering players' biometric data through the controllers and using that to make the gaming experience better. For instance, the controller would monitor a player's heart rate when they're playing a horror game and the game would adjust according to how scared you are. A biometric controller could be part of the Steam box and could also be released separately for PC gaming in general.
It wouldn't be too much of a stretch to assume that the new console generation, along with Valve’s Steam Box, could usher in a new Source Engine. While the company has a history of being very quiet about its projects, if you look closely, there are hints of a possible follow-up to the wildly popular Source Engine.
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