Enter the Piston, Valve's gaming machine...

9 January 2013

The gaming scene could be ripe for a shake-up in the near future, with Valve (the people behind game-downloady market leaders Steam) looking to bring out a dedicated console. Well, we say console but it looks more like a machine at the moment.

As you probably know, Steam games run on PCs and Macs, but the ‘Piston’ (as it is being called) would be a dedicated gaming contraption and plug straight into your TV or monitor, with a HDMI-out hole and a load of USB holes for peripherals.

Helpfully, it’ll also be upgradeable, so as technology improves, you probably won’t have to scrap your Piston, but replace the components and carry on rocking your way through your library of games. Yes, that IS an acceptable phrase.



  • Kevin
    'you probably won’t have to scrap your Piston, but replace the components and carry on rocking your way through your library of games.' You can do that now. It's called a PC.
  • Chewbacca
    Right, so it plays PC games, and is essentially a PC but you can't upgrade it. Great. Still, the Valve fanboys will be creaming their pants.
  • SillyFrilly
    "HDMI-out hole and a load of USB holes" Holes.... really? Exceptional tech journalism right there.
  • kv
    there's talk of it costing up to £500, which is why I've gone for the OUYA instead
  • wow
    Piston Broke - great name for garage run by alcoholics
  • klingelton
    I'm prepared to reserve judgement until i see the pricepoint and what the actual spec and release titles are going to be like. also the control interface interests me massively - with most of the competition touting "multi touch" tech - will this be any different? i hope so!
  • ian
    But its already available for anyone with a ps3 controller, sixaxis and a smartphone with hdmi out ???
  • ian
    opps was reading up on the ouya... posted in the wrong thread... dumb ass...
  • Mary P.
    Valve basically gave different hardware companies the specs and told them to go away and build a box customers can use to play PC games through Steam. The Piston (Xi3 or something if I remember) is just the first of multiple potential Steam Boxes. I think the biggest problem with this little bad-boy in particular is going to be the inital cost (even if Valve sell at a subsidised price like Sony did with the PS3) it's still going to be £500+. But I dougbt they'll do that as Sony had a captive market for their games which Valve won't have. I'm not sure what market they are aiming for... PC gamers already have a PC. I suppose console gamers may be a target but next gen consoles are due this year aren't they and I suspect they'll be priced competitively. Anyway what's wrong with a small form PC or laptop ? On top of that because of its modular nature, it's very limited in any upgrade path. A change in GPU will involve the Motherboard module being replaced. SSD harddrives are still pretty pricey so then will you also need an external HDD. Suddenly the cute little box isn't looking so cute. Shiny, small, expensive paper weight.
  • Bert C.
    Gawd Blimey Mary Poppins !

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