So… If you’re not aware, I’m a co-host on the Stalking the Retro Podcast, and
we talked about Steam’s “Big Picture” and how I believed that Valve is making a console. One: because the “Big Picture” is controller friendly, and Two: Valve possess patents towards a unique Valve branded controller with interchangeable sticks and buttons.
Well… CES is here, and even a day or two before CES, there’s now more than one piece of kit that can get your Steam games on you TV without the need of building a Mini ITX PC.
First is the NVidia Shield.
|Sorry NVidia, this is fugly…
And then there’s the Xi3’s Piston.
|I swear there’s more ports on the back of this thing than my desktop PC! 😮
In short, the Piston is more of a PC crammed into a tiny box, more of an actual Steam Console, that’s really just a tiny gaming PC, and the NVidia Shield in essence is an XBox 360 controller sized portable with a flip up screen that runs android and features a Shield exclusive software that can stream the video from a PC running Steam and play PC games on the Shield’s screen, or output it to a TV via an HDMI output.
Seriously though, seeing pictures of the Xi3 Piston, and it looks awesome! I’m amazed how they crammed so much in it. And of course it’s built out of more than one board that builds up a complete motherboard with more than on board and shaped into a small cube. If this was a Mini ITX PC, it’ll be made of a Motherboard, a graphics card and a PSU, which would be A LOT bigger than this. Plus I would like to know what kind of graphics chips they use in this thing. The only downside of this little machine is that it’s price tag is estimated to be a whopping $999! Now, building your own Mini ITX gaming PC would be cheaper than this. However Xi3 have stated that they’re going to make the system upgradable and that you can take it apart and replace it’s 3 boards that come with more RAM and faster processors. But with it’s $999 price tag on it, yeah… I’ll leave this for people with more money thank you very much!
The NVidia Shield on the other hand is pretty much an Ouya crammed into a 360-like controller with a flip up screen, and features video streaming from PCs that have Steam running on them.
So it’s a two-in-one deal here, it’s a Tegra enabled Android tablet, so you can play your existing Android games on this, but with real buttons. Plus it has the function to stream Steam games onto either it’s 5 inch screen or out from it’s Micro HDMI output to a TV screen. There’s no price estimated for this, but I can’t see this costing the same price as the $999 Piston. I just hope they can change the design of it to make it look a bit more sleeker, I bet the designer was a huge fan of the original XBox!