The current unofficial Steam Box is launching this holiday season for a starting price of $1000. Xi3's Piston will begin pre-orders of the PC on March 18, with pre-order customers receiving a nice $100 discount off the system.
Xi3's Piston is the first PC designed specifically to run games through Steam's Big Picture Mode, with Valve helping finance the system. This is completely different to the Steam Box, which is coming later this year according to Valve hero Gabe Newell. Xi3 CEO, Jason Sullivan, said in a press release:
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.