Valve Distances Themselves From Xi3, Unofficial Steam Box Maker Responds Accordingly
“So Gabe, it’s up to you. The ball is in your court.”
As previously reported, the very first "Steam Box" is set to retail for $1,000. A price that seems so high that some felt that it was flat out ridiculous. Well, it would now seem that the company behind the Steam Box initiative in the first place feels the same exact way.
Yesterday morning came word that Valve was trying to distance themselves from Xi3, the hardware manufacturer that is the first to lead the charge of bringing Steam into the living room.
According to Eurogamer, Valve's Doug Lombardi states that his company had some dealings with Xi3 in the past, but that's currently not the case:
"Valve began some exploratory work with Xi3 last year, but currently has no involvement in any product of theirs."
Many viewed it as an outright sign of disapproval, even embarrassment, over the exorbitant price tag of Xi3's upcoming machine. Though the statement above also flies in the face of the facts that were laid out in January, at the Consumer Electronics Show, where the Xi3 produce console made its debut.
It was stated, and quite publicly, that Xi3 had received an investment from Valve. If what was said in the press release was indeed false, many are wondering why Valve didn't say anything about it back then.
When reaching out to Xi3 for some clarification, Kotaku was informed that not only was there indeed an investment from Valve, but they were also asked by them to make a the thing in the first place.
Here's a portion of the statement, from Jason A. Sullivan, founder, president and CEO of Xi3 Corporation:
"We reaffirm the fact that we received an investment from Valve Corporation (as we previously disclosed during the 2013 International CES trade show), and we did so with Valve's written permission… Second, we were asked to build a product specifically for Valve, and both companies showcased this product—the Piston Console—in their respective booths at CES 2013."
Sullivan also goes on to explain that his company's machine will be able to do more than just run steam, hence why him and his company does not consider it an official Steam console. It's a point that his firm, and Valve, has long stressed; members of the press are the ones who have been calling the Piston Console a Steam Box.
After explaining the core difference, that being the operating system, Sullivan says point blank:
"In closing, what Valve does or doesn't do with its Steam Box will be up to them. So Gabe, it's up to you. The ball is in your court."