We got our first look at Xi3′s Piston during CES in January. Since then Xi3 has made many improvements to it and it will be available just in time for the holidays! The Piston is an extremely compact PC system that is roughly the size of a softball (4.27×3.656×3.656-inches).
Getting down to the specifications the Piston is powered by a 3.2 GHz AMD Trinity Processor, Radeon 7000-Series GPU and 8GB DDR3 Gaming RAM. Being a PC and not a standalone console means this system can run Windows, Linux (SteamOS) and other operating systems. The Piston comes with dual SSD connectors, an internal microSD card slot and 128 GB of solid state storage (can be upgraded to 1 TB). Connections on the back of the unit include mini DisplayPort, DisplayPort, HDMI, 12 total USB ports (4 USB 3.0, 4 USB 2.0, 4 eSATA/USB 2.0), gigabit Ethernet, and digital audio.
The Piston is set to be available on November 29th 2013 (Black Friday) with a list price of $999. For those who had pre-ordered the Piston before SXSW 2013 they will receive their Piston on or before November 15th.
It does look like the Piston will come with some type of controller (see above photo) that looks a lot like the Xbox 360 controller. Of course being a PC the Piston can support any type of “made for PC” gaming peripherals.
Unlike traditional consoles the Piston is upgradeable, which means as games get more powerful you can upgrade the Piston to suit your needs.