Valve-Backed PC Hardware Will Be Shown Off This Week

Valve-Backed PC Hardware Will Be Shown Off This Week

Let the Steam Box speculation begin. Valve is investing in computer hardware, and it is showing it off this week.

A company called Xi3Corporation is developing the hardware, which is said to be designed to play Steam games on big-screen TVs. Xi3Corporation says it has received an investment from Valve and that the machine will be shown off at both Xi3 and Valve’s booths this week at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.

Here’s the press release:

Xi3Corporation today announced a development stage system optimised for computer gameplay on large high-definition television monitors.

Housed in the uniquely shaped, grapefruit-size Xi3® Modular™ Computer chassis, this new development stage product is being showcased this week at the 2013 International CES trade show in Las Vegas, Nevada in booth #20425 in the Las Vegas Convention centre. Xi3’s new development stage product is designed specifically to support both Steam® and its Big Picture™ mode for residential and LAN party computer gaming on larger high-def screens.

With more than 50 million subscribers around the world, Steam is the digital distribution, digital rights management, multiplayer and communications/community platform from Valve Corporation. Big Picture mode allows members to access and play games through Steam on any connected high-definition television display/monitor.

“Today marks the beginning of a new era for Xi3,” said Jason A. Sullivan , founder, President and CEO of Xi3. “This new development stage product will allow users to take full-advantage of their large high-definition TV displays for an amazing computer game experience. As a result, this new system could provide access to thousands of gaming titles through an integrated system that exceeds the capabilities of leading game consoles, but can fit in the palm of your hand.”

Xi3 also announced today it has received an investment from Valve Corporation. Xi3’s new development stage computer game system is also being showcased in Valve’s booth (#25730) at CES 2013. No additional details about Xi3’s new system or Valve’s investment in Xi3 will be released at this time.

A few weeks ago, Valve boss Gabe Newell told me that living-room-friendly PC packages sold by both Valve and third-party companies will be available in 2013.


  • The biggest question for me is how much they’ll cost. If they can play all steam games at slightly better than console graphics and cost less than $500 then they’ve got me but any more and I’d feel better off just building a computer from scratch. Also the next Xbox is just around the corner and I’d feel perfectly comfortable getting that knowing it’ll be somewhere in the <450 range.

    • Xi3Corporation has a website
      You can already buy their i3 i5 i7 core machines.
      Basically those are just normal PCs with the motherboard specifically designed to fit in a small box. It’s supposed to be all special and modular, but really all PCs are modular, all this is doing is moving away from the standardisation in the PC industry over the last 15 years.
      In any case the steambox would probably be custom specs and subsidised by Valve but the $500 mark sounds right.
      Honestly my Home theatre PC does everything including running XBMC and steam with a blu-ray drive, TV tuner and lots of space for upgrades. I don’t think this kind of thing is for me because I already made my own.

  • Not entirely sure this sudden glut of new consoles (and console like things) being announced recently is a good thing…

    • I actually like the idea of the Nvidia machine. Not that I play a lot of PC games with a controller, but for things like nfs, it would be great to shift it to the tv. (I can technically do it now, but the logistics are shit). The one thing I think it’s missing though, is for that screen to be a detachable touch screen for play on the move (without having to carry around the clunky controller).
      Until I found out it linked with your pc, it seemed a bit of a daft idea, but if you can do that sort of stuff, then depending on price, it could be a winner.

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