STEAM BOX MAKER Xi3 has said that its Piston games console will ship with Microsoft's Windows 8 operating system preinstalled, and the firm distanced itself from Valve.
Xi3's Piston games console has been widely received as the Steam Box, given the firm's association with Valve - the company behind the Steam content delivery service. Given Valve's recent promotion of gaming on Linux, it was expected that the Piston gaming machine would run Linux, however Xi3 said that while the hardware can run Linux it will have Microsoft's Windows 8 preloaded.
Xi3 seemed to play down its association with Valve by saying that it never claimed that its Piston games console was the "official Steam Box". The firm said that the Piston games console will also have access to other content delivery systems along with Valve's Steam.
Founder, CEO and president of Xi3 Jason Sullivan said, "The assumption of many in the media has been that Piston is the 'official' Steam Box. We've never said that and neither has Valve."
Sullivan continued, "Piston will also support a raft of other Internet-based gaming and entertainment platforms, which is more than what Valve apparently has planned for its official Steam Box."
Sullivan's comments also suggested that Valve simply wants gamers to access only its own content distribution service.
He said, "Contrary to Valve's vision, Xi3 believes that the way to take this to market today is to do so with a Windows OS at the core, coupled with the ability to not just get to one platform/store for games, but to get access to all game stores/platforms.
"Studios should have the option to go through Steam if they choose or to go direct to the end-user if they so choose. That will be the difference between Piston and other Steam Boxes."
It seems that Sullivan wants his firm's Piston games console to be much more than just a conduit for delivering games over Steam and appeal to a wider range of games publishers.
The problem Sullivan might now face is that much of the support and enthusiasm the Piston games console received was precisely because gamers wanted a Steam Box supported by Valve to effectively make PC gaming as seamless as traditional console gaming but without the restrictions. µ