There now seems to be a little bit of a dust up between game developer Valve and PC maker Xi3. This week, a statement from Valve said it "currently has no involvement in any product" from Xi3, despite Xi3 saying in January it had received an investment from Valve to build the PISTON gaming PC.
Today, Xi3 is doing some damage control. In a new press release today, the PC maker reaffirmed it had received an investment from Valve and that "we were asked to build a product specifically for Valve." That product was shown at both Valve's and Xi3's booths at CES 2013 in January.
Xi3 founder Jason A. Sullivan also said that Valve's founder Gabe Newell later asked him at CES 2013 not to disclose any more information about the Valve-Xi3 relationship. While Sullivan said that he will honor that request, he added that "... just because Valve may not 'currently' have any 'involvement with any product of (ours)' doesn't mean that such involvement won't exist in the future."
Xi3's PISTON PC is also not the official "Steam Box" hardware, according to Sullivan, nor has Xi3 or Valve made any such statements. That said, Sullivan did say that the PISTON PC will ship with a version of Microsoft's Windows OS when it launches in late 2013. While the PISTON can run any x86-based OS, Sullivan said that the company disagrees with Valve about Linux PCs as the future of the gaming PC. He said:
Contrary to Valve's vision, Xi3 believes that the way to take this to market today is to do so with a Windows OS at the core, coupled with the ability to not just get to one platform/store for games, but to get access to all game stores/platforms.
Sullivan claims that he has been "amazed at the interest and amount of pre-orders we have received thus far" for the PISTON PC, which it launched a few days ago. Prices for the PISTON normally start at $999 but Xi3 has cut the pre-order price by $100 from now until March 17.
Sullivan ended the press release with a rather interesting, and somewhat competitive, note: "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."