Cryptic Infinity Ward Messages Show Off Branded Steam Box Prototype

Call of Duty makers Infinity Ward posted two telling photos to Facebook and Twitter this week, showing off what appears to be an Xi3 Piston PC, one of Valve's adorable prototype Steam Box devices, with the company's logo plastered on it. It's also got another device (maybe a hard drive?) attached on the bottom. The photo on Twitter came with the message "What's this?" while the one on Facebook said simply "Game development."

Talk about cryptic.

This could mean a lot of things. Maybe Infinity Ward has partnered with Xi3 or even Valve to launch the next Call of Duty game when Steam Boxes start rolling out. Or maybe something much less predictable is going on.

Either way, I think that tiny Piston is kind of cute. I could see it (or something similar) sitting beneath my TV.

What's this? (phone for scale reference) [Twitter via neoGAF]

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Comments

    If these things can play BF4, it's goodbye consoles for me ...

      a normal pc can play bf4. Also technically this is also a console.

        NO it is still a fully open platform in the same regard as a PC. It will run Linix but you can still install windows and change the hardware how you like.
        A console is a closed platform with set configuration as far as core components go ie CPU, GPU etc.

        Steam does not believe that closed platforms are the future.

        Completely agree...I've had it with being dicked around by Sony this generation!

      I Dont mind, BF4 is either going to be a PC or PS4 game for me, just depends on if the PS4 ver has the same amount of players...

    It will certainly appeal to anyone like me with a steam account but I am wondering about the controls? in front of a TV I would assume you will play with a Gamepad. Thinking about it, these modular computers could be a great way to finally enjoy platforms and fighting games on PC as they are quite awkward to play on a keyboard and Mouse ( example: Tomb raider is always better to play with a Gamepad)

      Gamepads have been available for the PC for nearly as long as PC's have had games on them. Where have you been?

        Shhhh, don't let him know about the Gravis Gamepad.

          Or the fact most PC games natively support 360 controllers and there are small apps like Xpadder to let you use controllers in really old games/any game.
          Shhhhhhh.

        I have been playing my PC with a keyboard and mouse as using a gamepad is against my religion on a PC. When holding a gamepad i want to be sitting in my couch relaxed, starring at my 42 inch and not sitting on a chair with a small screen in front of my nose.

          you.. you know you can plug regular PC's into TV's right? it's pretty good for watching movies too

            yes you can do that indeed but all depends how big is the place your live in and if you fancy living among cables and honestly playing PC games on a TV that only support 1080P, what the point?
            A PC need a Monitor and a Console needs a TV . it's just like Nvidia says: " the way it's meant to be played"

      http://store.steampowered.com/bigpicture/ <--- They already thought of that and did something about it. Also, almost EVERY game now of days has control support. Even CoD BO2 has it even though Mouse and Keyboard is better. Still allows you to do it.

      I've been using my PS3 controller on PC for years. It's even easier to use a wired 360 pad.

    I think I'll be sticking with pc and my wireless Xbox controller linked to the tv unless this can complement the pc in some way.

    Last edited 04/03/13 9:16 am

    I already have a PC. I don't look forward to a pseudo-standard PC that you regularly part-upgrade and fragment a fragmented market even more.

      I think it'll be great to get people into 'PC gaming' when they might have otherwise been put off by hardware complications.

      The more people playing games on PC, the more we'll see games get released for it instead of it being skipped completely or having delayed releases.

    That box is tiny. How do they fit all that stuff in there?

    I'm happy with my PC hooked up to the TV with a wired 360 controller. My case may be enormous but I like everything to have room to breathe so I can get some airflow in there.

    That design is a complete SGI Tezro rip-off, albeit in a much smaller size. I used to use one at work between 2004 - 2008.

    ...imagine for a moment the possibilities if the next Call of Duty is exclusive to the Steambox/Steam...unlikely, yes, but still, that'd be a huge leg-up for Valve and would instantly give it a very large percentage of console gamers, who would no doubt be quite happy to continue with the platform once they discover what they've been missing out on with Steam, as long as the console experience is as smooth as they have become accustomed to.

    Last edited 04/03/13 11:19 am

    What does steam offer exactly? e.g. games on demand (digtal downloads), sales specials on those games, bundle deals, downloadable movies/tv shows, Indie games, game demos, game videos, YouTube, Facebook, web browsing

    If you're going to promote Steam at least tell me what is different about Steam over my Xbox and Xbox Live please. I can't say I know of any differences at all.

    Further if I own a console already why would I buy a Steambox to go alongside my existing console? For that matter why would I buy a Steambox when I already have a gaming PC too?

    Last edited 04/03/13 12:31 pm

      Steam has better service, cheaper games, mod support with Workshop, and indie games with Greenlight.

      And it's free.

      No on going yearly membership to play online, you can have more than 100 friends on your friends list (this is a big issue for some people, may not be for you), more indie devs on Steam and they're able to get on it easier with the Greenlight project, more games are adapting and using Steam Cloud for save files, game mods.

      Edit: Oh and i've always found Steam easier to navigate than I have ever found the XBL Dashboard.

      Not sure if you can purchase games from the XBL website, but you can do that with Steam if you find that easier than using the interface with a controller if that's your preferred method or cannot access the Steam application and there is a good sale on that is only on for a few hours.

      Also you can easily transfer data and make backups of games, where as it's a pain in the arse with the 360.

      Last edited 04/03/13 4:54 pm

        That and you get your games cheaper (much cheaper during Steam sales) that look better than console. Always backwards compatible with fan made patches and things that are crappy get modded by geeks to make the game better ie Skyrim!

        You mean Steam and PC is cheaper than console but a better experience. What madness is this?

      If you already have a gaming PC - no reason at all to get a steambox.
      Unless you really want to play your PC games on your TV and have no practical way of connecting the two.
      And if you are already a PC gamer, having a steambox replace your ageing console as a media player + game player might be a more attractive option than buying into the next gen of consoles?

      I'm happy just gaming on my PC and not having a console at all. Different strokes for different folks.

        That is a very mature way to look at it.

        I personally have been putting off making a media centre and when Steam big pic mode rolled out the first thing I thought was, "hey, now I have another excuse to make a media center also making it an console". I love my gaming PC more than my consoles but I still buy consoles.
        The way valve is going with linux and having your pc do the work and stream to you living room etc has pretty much made me decide to go only PC.
        I may get a PS4 for Metal Gear and Gran Turismo though but def no Wii U and next Xbox.

    Did infinity ward actually say anything that would connect them to steam? While there has been speculation about Xi3 being involved in a steam box, the box on top is one of their existing models (http://xi3.com/x7a-modular-computer.php). As for the box on the bottom, that's another existing Xi3 product (http://xi3.com/slid3-storage-solutions.php).

    So the story is that there's an infinity ward branded Xi3 box. This does lend it self to a theory that they have one for testing against their specs.

    Kotaku, do some research instead of writing what sounds good.

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