The Piston is equipped with a 3.2 AMD Trinity Processor, a Radeon 7000-Series GPU, 8GB of DDR 3 memory, a 128 GB solid state drive (upgradeable to 1 TB), three display ports (HDMI, DisplayPort and miniDP), and an assortment of USB 2.0 and 3.0 ports, adding up to total of 12. The Xi3 site also says the Piston supports the more popular operating systems, such as Windows and Linux, rather than using its own operating system like the consoles. As for whether the Piston would be compatible with SteamOS, Xi3 was optimistic but didn't want to get ahead of itself.
"SteamOS should be able to run on PISTON Consoles (PCs) as well, but we'll have to wait until SteamOS is available to confirm this," the company said.
Xi3 also says the Piston will run the same peripherals your PC runs, including controllers, keyboards, mice, and printers, along with the usual TVs and monitors. Basically, if it works on your regular PC, it probably works on the Piston.
The timing of this announcement feels like anything but a coincidence, given that Valve released a slew of announcements last week, including SteamOS , Steam Machines , and an odd-looking Steam Controller , while unveiling its plan to take over your living room. After all, Xi3's Piston made headlines back in March when people speculated it was the rumored Steam Box, though that turned out to be false. Xi3 released a Q&A in which it denies calling the Piston a Steam Box, but then proceeds to call the Piston a Steam Box.
“Xi3 has never described its PISTON Console (PC) as the Steam box or a Steam Box, especially since it appears that Steam Box is a term created by journalists and not by Valve,” the Q&A reads. “To be clear, however, PISTON Console owners will be able to access and play games on/through Steam since it is a Web-based platform open to anyone with an Internet connection and a Steam account, either on a Windows- or a Linux-based system. So in this regard, PISTON could be considered the first commercially available Steam Box.”