Manufacturer Xi3 today revealed at SXSW the rather surprising price point for the Piston, currently given a pre-order price tag of $999.99. The mini device, which is intended to combine the power and modular capabilities of a PC with the "design and form factor" of a video game console, will feature 128 GB of internal SSD storage, 8GB RAM, and a 3.2 GHz quad-core AMD processor. Owners will be able to upgrade to a 256GB SSD for $340 or 512GB for $750, and the system is expected to release around the 2013 holiday season.
Egads. I've already gotten my hands on a $1000 Steam-capable, gaming box with comparable specs- I call it a custom-built PC. Given that the Piston is essentially a portable version of a gaming PC, I suppose that could be reason to set the price point at a grand. I don't know what the interest level in the Piston currently is from gamers, PC and console alike, but I'm guessing that when next-gen consoles make their debut at around the same time as the Piston, it won't be much competition, especially for those who already own a PC.
I can appreciate a quality SSD, but those upgrade prices nearly gave me a heart attack. The good news is, anyone who pre-orders the Piston before SXSW ends, by midnight of March 17, will get a whopping $100 discount on the system. I, for one, am very intrigued to see how this mini-PC will fare in the market this holiday season.
The Piston is now available for pre-order through Xi3's website.
Follow me on Twitter for the latest in gaming news.