PIIXL HAS ANNOUNCED an all-in-one entertainment hub combining a high-end gaming machine, NAS server and entertainment centre into a package designed to be mounted behind your flat screen TV.
We first interviewed Piixl founder Francois Xavier-Gardes in December 2013 when the company launched the Jetpack, the first UK Steam Machine and successor to the popular Piixl Edgecenter.
After Valve announced that Steam Machine would be delayed to 2015, the Piixl team went back to the drawing board and have used the same chassis and infrastructure to roll out the G-Pack, a Windows version of the original Jetpack, using Steam Big Picture to enable the functionality of a Steam Machine before native Steam OS devices become available next year.
Xavier-Gardes said, "We always had the idea of a Windows based machine anyway even though we'd focused on SteamOS first. Windows still has a few tricks up its sleeves notably with the future DirectX 12 and huge existing game library."
The Piixl G-Pack boasts impressive specifications including a Z97 Express chipset, support for processors up to the top of the line Intel Core i7 4790K, and M2 interfaced SSDs as standard up to 1TB.
The device is meant to address the myriad of boxes and interfaces that surround our televisions. Xavier-Gardes added, "It's just the opportunity to get rid of a maximum of boxes in our mind, get it out of the way yet next to the screen you'll want to stream to the most often."
However this is not the end of the road for the original Steam Machine Jetpack. He concluded, "We'll release the SteamOS version when it's ready to ship, we're talking with those guys now to be a part of the official Steam Machines lineup by then. I think our design concept and SteamOS is a match made in heaven."
Pricing will start at around $1,000 for a basic version, ranging up to $3,000 "for the most extreme versions" aimed at hardcore gamers with 60in LED televisions.
We've been invited to take a look at a production prototype for the G-Pack and will report back later this week. µ