Unofficial 'Steam Box' Xi3 Piston price starts at $1000

Tiny PC packs 8GB of RAM and 3.2GHz Quad Core AMD A10 processor.

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The Xi3 Piston--the third-party "Steam Box" that Valve is helping finance--has been officially priced to start at $1,000.

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The ultra-small Piston is packing 8GB of RAM and a 3.2GHz Quad Core AMD A10 processor. The standard $999.99 model comes with a 128GB SSD hard drive, with 256GB and 512GB models costing $1,339.99 and $1,749.99 respectively. The device is intended to sit under your television and be used in conjunction with Steam's Big Picture mode.

Preorder the device before March 18, and Xi3 will offer a $100 discount and the promise that customers will receive the grapefruit-sized PC during the "2013 holiday season."

The Piston isn't Valve's own Steam Box, which is also in production. Gabe Newell said last week that prototypes of Valve's machine should be going out within the next few months.

"Clearly, the computer/video gaming market is huge, both in the personal computer and traditional console markets," said Xi3 CEO Jason Sullivan in a press release.

"That being said," Sullivan added, "we believe there is a crying need for a machine that captures the best of both worlds, with the upgradeability of computer gaming rigs and the design and form factor of consoles. We believe our Piston Consoles do exactly that--deliver the beauty and small size of consoles with the upgradeability of computers."

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