Valve’s revelation that it has invested money into the development of an Xi3 “Steam Box” piqued people’s interested in the Piston (what the computer was eventually named) when it was announced at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show (CES). Today, the company announced that the diminutive gaming PC that’s around the size of half a loaf of bread is now available for preorder – and for $100 less if you order on or before March 17. The catch is that $100 will barely make a dent in the price you have to pay, as each unit costs $1,000 – clearly not something most people would categorize as cheap. But if you’ve been planning to get Piston anyway, here’s your chance to be one of the first people to get one at a slightly cheaper price.
When we did our hands-on review of the Piston at CES, its specifications were still shrouded in mystery. Now, we at least know that it runs on a 3.2GHz quad-core processor, has 8GB of RAM, and that its basic configuration comes with a 128GB SSD. For $340 more ($440 after the preorder period ends), you can swap the 128GB with a 256GB SSD – $750 ($850 after March 17) more will net you a 512GB internal SSD. Despite Valve’s initial endorsement, Steam isn’t the only software Piston can run – like other gaming PCs, it can also be used for the usual PC tasks, including streaming music and movies, and can access other gaming services like EA’s Origin store.
If getting a $100 discount isn’t enough to convince you to get a Piston right now, you can wait until the end of the year when the devices start shipping. You can also get your DIY on and challenge yourself to build your own Steam Box for $500 if you’re on a budget.