The first Steam Box is going to cost ya

2 min read


Well, technically speaking, the Xi3 Piston isn’t the official Steam Box that Valve is supposedly tinkering away on, but it sure does fill many of the requirements for said vapour-PC-console. The Piston has just been announced as having a launch date towards the end of the year, and that pint-sized box is going to arrive with a hefty price tag.

Prepare to spit your tea/coffee/morning vodka out with enough force to money-shot the face of anyone opposite you, because you’ll be paying a $1000 for the Piston when it arrives in time for your thirteenth cheque.

In current Rand terms, that amounts to R9096. That’s the price for the Standard Piston, which includes a SSD of 128 GB (Less after virtual memory tax, amirite?), 8GB of RAM and a 3.2Ghz Quad Core (R464) thingamajig.

On the plus side, pre-order before March 18, and you’ll shave a hundred Washingtons off of the final price, or just over R900. "Clearly, the computer/video gaming market is huge, both in the personal computer and traditional console markets," Xi3 CEO Jason Sullivan said in the obligatory press release.

That being said, 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.

I won’t deny that you’re mostly likely going to get your money’s worth when you plonk down a $1000 for that device in the visual department, but man, that is pretty costly at the end of the day.

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Although for that price tag, what kind of PC could you build?

Last Updated: March 11, 2013

Darryn Bonthuys

Something wrong gentlemen? You come here prepared to read the words of a madman, and instead found a lunatic obsessed with comics, Batman and Raul Julia’s M Bison performance in the 1994 Street Fighter movie? Fine! Keep your bio! In fact, now might be a good time to pray to it!

  • Admiral Chief Erwin

    Even before I read the price the header sort of gave it away XD

  • Admiral Chief Erwin

    You could get a proper PC for that price, and the best thing is that the PC is upgradeable afterwards.

    But what does the other Pistons cost?

    • Skyblue

      It states that the Steambox can be upgraded.

      • Admiral Chief Erwin

        Ah, missed that part. But still, what KY inducing price will those components cost?

        • GTO

          It is the size of it. It is tiny, that costs a lot of money.

  • Admiral Chief Erwin

    Last bit out of me on this, it seems like we all know what activities Darryn got up to over the weekend with all the KY and moneyshot references…

    • Major Commodore 64 Darryn B


      • Admiral Chief Erwin

        Orange Sherbet type of Waggle or the CanYouSmellWhatTheRockIsCooking waggle type?

      • Sir Rants-a-Lot Llew

        Don’t waggle those things at us. It’s creepy. Put it away!

  • Sir Rants-a-Lot Llew

    They must be smoking their own socks. Or eachother’s socks. Gym socks nogals.

    Ag nee man. Do you know what a hefty PC machine you can buy for that price?

    If you already have a chassis KB, mouse and screen, that price would buy you a machine that can max everything out on the gaming market currently.

    • Admiral Chief Erwin

      Ek stem saam

    • Tarisma

      I spent 6k on my PC’s guts and I play everything on full at 1080, I have to turn the AA down slightly sometimes but still great visuals

      • Sir Rants-a-Lot Llew

        I spent R11k on a PC year and a half back. Full PC. New chassis, the works. And it could play all max. If I had to exclude all the extras like chassis, PSU etc I would be able to build a monster with R9k

    • with that money, the steam box will be dead befor you have to drop the AA down to 4x

  • Hillbillygamer

    While… R10 000 +/- rand the prince tag required to build PC Gaming ring, that can run any game graphic setting on high or very high, and my math should be right because my brother build one 3 mouths back.

  • Skyblue

    That’s insane! This is why a new console will never make it to the market as companies like M$ and $ony sell their consoles at a loss at the start of every new console cycle.

    Also, you might not be able to build a better PC than the Steambox at that price depending on the video card, quality of RAM, etc. I am also assuming that the Steambox will include all peripherals such as controllers, etc. Not defending it, I have all the Steam I need on my PC.

    • Admiral Chief Erwin


  • Deon Steyn

    I think the Piston/Steam Box is full of “hot air”

  • ElNicko

    is it Aprils fools day already ?? this is a sick joke……..10 Grand could buy something Very scary PC-wise

  • Andre Odendaal

    I’m expecting this to replace my old mid-range gaming rig which also cost R10 000 a couple of years ago so I’m happy with the price

  • Sir Rants-a-Lot Llew

    How was everyone’s reaction to this price?

    Dead Squirrel!

  • GTO

    About what I would expect, seriously, making things small costs a lot of money.

  • 10k for an unmodifiable/upgradable piece of kit? Um. How bout Computer says no? You can build a fairly FAT PC for that $$. And still probably outperform it as is. I mean jirrrrre.

  • Red Worked

    If this thing’s going to be upgradeable, how can they guarantee that any game is going to work properly with any possible configuration? You’ll end up needing PC-grade knowledge to troubleshoot issues. I don’t see it ever bridging the gap it plans to unless its a sealed unit with standard parts.

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