Preorder “Piston” for Anywhere from $1,000 – $1,750

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For those of you waiting on Valve’s official Steam Box, the similar “Piston” made by Xi3 with development backing from Valve looks set to tide you over.

Xi3 officially revealed the “Piston” earlier this year, previewing it as “a computer game system that’s optimized to support Steam and its Big Picture mode interface for high-definition televisions”, setting the computing world ablaze with what looked like a prototype to Valve’s own heavily awaited box of tricks. Now, a few months later, we finally have the chance to get the system on release and how much we have to shell out for it.

According to the website, the “Piston” will be available at three different levels. For those wanting the basics, the standard model comes built with a 128GB SSD internal hard drive and will set you back $1,000. For those looking at the mid-range, the middle model comes with a 256GB SSD internal hard drive and is set to cost you $1,340. However, for those of you looking to really bulk up your “Piston” power, the most expensive model comes with a 512GB SSD internal hard drive and will cost you the grand total of $1,750.

Aside from the size of hard drive, from what has been revealed on Xi3′s website, the “Piston” will certainly pack a punch and will come built with 8 GB of RAM and a 3.2Ghz Quad Core processor. All other details, including the type of graphics processor, have not yet been specified. Those of you desperately interested in getting your hands on the box also have quite the deal hovering over you if you end up pre-ordering any one of the three Piston configurations by this Sunday, the 17th of March, as it will knock $100 off the price.

Xi3 founder and CEO, Jason A. Sullivan, clearly has an idea in mind for the “Piston” and wants to appeal to both sides of the PC/Console debate.

“Clearly, the computer/video gaming market is huge, both in the personal computer and traditional console markets. 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.”

Valve’s own Steam Box is expected to enter the prototype stage in the coming months. But, until then, the proof of concept that is the “Piston” may be the start of the technological development for the gaming age that we have been waiting for. What are your thoughts? Are you interested enough to buy or will you wait for Valve’s own chess piece to enter the board?

Xi3′s “Piston” Trailer