Valve have distanced themselves from Xi3's Piston, the small form modular PC that's now available for a pricey pre-order . Piston was originally revealed at the Consumer Electronics Show in January, where Xi3 announced that they had received an investment from Valve. But in a statement to Eurogamer , Doug Lombardi states they're no acting as the mini-PC's benefactor.
"Valve began some exploratory work with Xi3 last year, but currently has no involvement in any product of theirs," Lombardi said.
Valve's initial involvement with the Piston led many to speculate that it was the much-fabled "Steam Box". It wasn't - although, as a modular PC designed for living-room use, it does share some similarities with Valve's own hardware plans. Of course, even without Valve's endorsement, Piston will still run Steam's Big Picture mode. Admittedly the lack of an official connection does make the fact its called "Piston" seem infinitely more silly.
As for Valve's internally developed Steam Box, Gabe Newell recently stated that they plan to have prototypes of the device with customers in the next three to four months.