The first ‘unofficial’ TV-targeted Steambox will be on store shelves this Holiday season. The $1000 USD Steam-centric mini-rig is up for preorder right now, complete with an early bird discount.
For those not familiar, the Xi3 is ‘unofficial’ because Valve (Steam’s creators) are working on a so called Steambox of their own. That particular PC/console hybrid is expected to be in developers hands before too long- but the Xi3 Piston is ‘officially’ available now for preordering and is promised to be in stores by this coming Christmas.
The Piston will retail for $999 USD, but Xi3 is offering a $100 discount to anyone who gets a preorder (right here) in by March 17th (this Sunday) making it a little more attractive to prospective buyers.
Personally, I’m looking at that that 1k price tag as a pretty big stumbling block for Piston and any Steambox that follows. I don’ know why exactly, but I was expecting something a tad lower. One of the reasons consoles like the Xbox 360 can penetrate the market so well is that it sports a relatively low price tag when compared to a ‘gaming PC’. It’s not just the ability to easily run games on a television that makes a console so attractive to gamers- it’s that it’s low cost (comparatively).
If Valve really is serious about getting Steam into the living room, then they’re going to have to do a lot better than a thou as an entry level price point.