The surprises from CES seem to be non-stop this week! In a (not so) surprising turn of events, it turns out that Valve has invested heavily in a company called Xi3Corporation to develop PC hardware that runs Steam on the big screen. The official press release had this to say:
Xi3Corporation today announced a development stage system optimized for computer gameplay on large high-definition television monitors.
Housed in the uniquely shaped, grapefruit-size Xi3® Modular™ Computer chassis, this new development stage product is being showcased this week at the 2013 International CES trade show in Las Vegas, Nevada in booth #20425 in the Las Vegas Convention Center. Xi3's new development stage product is designed specifically to support both Steam® and its Big Picture™ mode for residential and LAN party computer gaming on larger high-def screens.
With more than 50 million subscribers around the world, Steam is the digital distribution, digital rights management, multiplayer and communications/community platform from Valve Corporation. Big Picture mode allows members to access and play games through Steam on any connected high-definition television display/monitor.
"Today marks the beginning of a new era for Xi3," said Jason A. Sullivan , founder, President and CEO of Xi3. "This new development stage product will allow users to take full-advantage of their large high-definition TV displays for an amazing computer game experience. As a result, this new system could provide access to thousands of gaming titles through an integrated system that exceeds the capabilities of leading game consoles, but can fit in the palm of your hand."
Xi3 also announced today it has received an investment from Valve Corporation. Xi3's new development stage computer game system is also being showcased in Valve's booth (#25730) at CES 2013. No additional details about Xi3's new system or Valve's investment in Xi3 will be released at this time.
Nothing else is known about this potentially game changing hardware, we just know that it will be shown off at CES some time this week. Keep any eye out for updates regarding this story, as it has could easily be the biggest story to come out of CES.
What are your thoughts about a "Steam" box? Would you purchase one over a standard console? Let me know by subscribing to me here and following me on twitter @NicholasGigante.