So after much seeming speculation it looks like Valve turned up at CES with their chosen hardware to fill the shoes of their "Steam machine" in a bid to bring PC gaming into the living room space and onto the big screen. More likely to be the case that this was the result of valve reportedly throwing down lots of money as one of several investors to help boost the Xi3 profile and move the hardware along from last year. But no doubt this heavy investment will potentially result in a "Steam machine". Details of solid specs for the Steam "Piston" are scant to say the least, however the only thing that seems to be consistent between sources is the reckoning that it will have 1TB of storage and some kind of quad-core chip. There's also the picture just below to give you a taster of what the final product might also have.

 

Whatever the case I reckon the custom X7A system that’s being developed and stuffed into the Xi3  will probably more than have sufficient clout for running current and future releases of full blown gaming rig standards given the concept and purpose of being a flagship Steam gaming machine. I'd throw you the link, but it looks like the Xi3 site is also down. In the meantime here's a general none yet set in stone outline of the specs from September that showed up again at CES along with the snapped physical specimen:

- Quad-core 64-bit, x86-based 32nm processor running at up to 3.2GHz (with 4MB of Level2 Cache)
- An integrated graphics processor (GPU) containing up to 384 programmable graphics cores (or shaders)
- 4GB-8GB of DDR3 RAM
- 64GB-1TB of internal solid-state SSD storage (with up to 12Gbps throughput speeds)
- Three display ports providing maximum resolution of 4096x2160 (including one DisplayPort v1.2 and * 2 Mini-DisplayPorts v1.2)
- Four eSATAp 3.0 ports
- Four USB 3.0 ports
- Four USB 2.0 ports
- 1Gb Ethernet port
- Three audio ports (1 input and 2 outputs: 1 copper and 1 optical)
- It will run Windows 8, Linux and Unix.


At an expected $1000 according to a press release back in September, its not going to be cheap that's for sure, and I'm not surprised given the specs and hardware that'll could potentially be put to pure gaming use in such a small package.