Xi3 Piston PC arrives with next-gen consoles Nov. 29, supports SteamOS

Split with Valve won't stop operating system from jumping onboard

Piston

If you thought there wasn't enough hot, new gaming tech to buy this holiday season between the Xbox One and PS4, Xi3 has you covered.

The company just announced that its modular Piston gaming PC will arrive on Nov. 29. Those who pre-order the little box right now will receive the machine two weeks early, on or before Nov. 15.

Despite its small 4-inch stature, the PC packs much in its tiny frame. Truthfully, it better, what with its $999 (about £617, AU$1,069) price tag.

Rattling around inside are an x86-based AMD 3.2Ghz quad-core chip, 8GB of RAM and 128GB solid-state drive storage. The Piston packs 12 USB ports and can support up to three monitors through mini-DP, HDMI and DisplayPort at up to 4K resolution.

What's more, the Piston can support up to 1TB of SSD.

By all accounts, the system is a PC trapped in a console-sized body, except with the added bonus of modularity. It's this feature that lets users keep upgrading the Piston's hardware overtime, Xi3 touted.

Opting for a more compact motherboard architecture compared to a regular computer, the company plans to release its own upgraded boards and components that can be installed individually as PC technology improves.

A steamy relationship

When the device was first unveiled at CES 2013, the Piston was initially mistaken for the first Steam Box console. Although Valve praised the system, a few months later the digital gaming boutique distanced itself from Xi3 and Piston.

In a somewhat timely nod to Valve's own Steam Machines hardware beta and Steam Controller announcements, Xi3 mentioned today that Piston owners can purchase an additional SSD.

Big whoop you say, but it's on this solid-state drive that you can install your own operating system, including the SteamOS. Perhaps we can take this as a hint that the Steam operating system will be ready by mid-November?