Valve distanced themselves from Xi3's Piston via a public statement that came after an announcement that the Steam-ready console would cost $1,000. Now, Xi3's CEO says Valve asked him to build the Piston and that Gabe Newell requested that he keep details to himself on the project.
According to Jason A. Sullivan, founder, president and CEO of Xi3 Corporation, in a statement given to Kotaku, Valve initiated the $1,000 console, invested in it, and showed it off at its booth at CES, this year.
Valve marketing head Doug Lombardi's statement from earlier today conflicts with the above information: "Valve began some exploratory work with Xi3 last year, but currently has no involvement in any product of theirs."
Maybe Lombardi forgot CES was this year? Or maybe, Valve is so desperately trying to give Xi3 the cold shoulder that they are being careless with the facts. Regardless, Sullivan tries to further separate the comparisons to Valve's official Steam Box and pitch it as console capable of much more than running Steam. Even at CES, Xi3 told Destructoid that it isn't a 'Steam Box'.
"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," Sullivan said. "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."
The Piston costs $1,000 at its base rate. It includes a 3.2 GHz quad-core processor, 8GB of RAM, and a 128GB solid state drive. The hard drive can be upgraded to 512GB for an additional $750. Xi3 is currently taking pre-orders for its holiday 2013 release.
"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," Sullivan said.
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