In a press-release sent out from the Xi3 Corporation earlier today, a few statements may be of interest to both Valve and Valve fan’s regarding the “Xi3 PISTON Console” and the Xi3 corporation’s relationship with Valve Software.
After the Xi3 Piston was announced, it was reported that Valve stated it was not working on any current projects with the Piston creator Xi3. According to the website Eurogamer, Doug Lombardi from Valve stated that Valve only, “began some exploratory work with Xi3 last year, but currently has no involvement in any product of theirs.”
This goes against what Piston revealed, when announcing the STEAM supported PISTON console. Now Xi3 wants to set the record straight. In the release sent to us today, it stated:
“We reaffirm the fact that we received an investment from Valve Corporation (as we previously disclosed during the 2013 International CES trade show), and we did so with Valve’s written permission”, this was a statement said by Jason A. Sullivan , the founder and president and CEO of Xi3 Corporation. The response continued, “Second, we were asked to build a product specifically for Valve, and both companies showcased this product—the PISTON Console—in their respective booths at CES 2013”.
“Then, during a meeting with Valve at CES, Gabe Newell personally asked me that we not disclose additional information about our relationship with Valve. We have honored that request and will continue to do so. That said, there are other items we need to cover”.
“For example, the assumption of many in the media has been that PISTON is the ‘official’ Steam Box. We’ve never said that and neither has Valve. That hasn’t changed. But just because Valve may not ‘currently’ have any ‘involvement with any product of (ours)’ doesn’t mean that such involvement won’t exist in the future”.
“It’s also important to note that the PISTON Console will allow gamers to access Steam regardless of what our relationship is or isn’t with Valve. Additionally, PISTON will also support a raft of other Internet-based gaming and entertainment platforms, which is more than what Valve apparently has planned for its official Steam Box. In this way, the PISTON Console could be perceived as something more than just a Steam Box, which makes sense because at its core the PISTON Console is a Modular™ Computer that can run any operating system or application designed to run on an x86-based 64-bit computer”.
“To be clear, the PISTON Console will ship initially with a Windows operating system specifically because that’s where the vast bulk of game software and computer gamers are today. That said, the PISTON Console can also run Linux (and other operating systems), which means it can support the Linux-version of Steam”.
“Contrary to Valve’s vision, Xi3 believes that the way to take this to market today is to do so with a Windows OS at the core, coupled with the ability to not just get to one platform/store for games, but to get access to all game stores/platforms. Studios should have the option to go through Steam if they choose or to go direct to the end-user if they so choose. That will be the difference between PISTON and other Steam Boxes. You’ll be able to access Steam if you choose, but you’ll also be able to access other platforms as well—all through the PISTON Console”.
“We have opened PISTON Console pre-orders and have been amazed at the interest and amount of pre-orders we have received thus far. This just reaffirms to us our decision to open pre-orders, because we are seriously concerned we will not be able to meet the demand for PISTON Consoles for the 2013 Holiday Season”.
“In closing, what Valve does or doesn’t do with its Steam Box will be up to them. So Gabe, it’s up to you. The ball is in your court.”
Those were the closing comments in the press-release, which seems to stress that there was some disconnect between the two companies. In either case the Xi3 corporation is correct in that the PISTON console did generate quite a media frenzy when it was introduced this year. The idea of a PC console that will allow gamers to break free of the traditional console design seems to be a very big topic leading into 2013. We will update this post with any other official comments that are made.