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Piston console maker promises new details on its 'Steam Box' next week

Michael McWhertor is a journalist with more than 17 years of experience covering video games, technology, movies, TV, and entertainment.

One of the first hardware manufacturers to hitch its wagon to Valve's "Steam Box" hardware plans, computer maker Xi3, promises to release new details on its Piston console early next week. "The wait is over," Xi3 says of its planned Sept. 30 reveal.

Xi3 was one of the first PC hardware manufacturer's to align itself with Valve's initiative to bring Steam to the living room with the platform's Big Picture mode. In January, Valve's Gabe Newell confirmed it was working with third-party vendors to develop PC hardware tailored for a living room experience. Xi3 was quick to go public with its mini PC offering, unveiling an early prototype under the name Piston.

At the time, Xi3 said its "development stage product will allow users to take full-advantage of their large high-definition TV displays for an amazing computer game experience." The company also said it had "received an investment from Valve Corporation" to help develop Piston.

Valve later distanced itself from Xi3's messaging, saying it "began some exploratory work with Xi3 [in 2012], but currently has no involvement in any product of theirs." The two parties appeared to disagree on which operating system to support and endorse at the core of their living room-focused PC products.

Earlier this week, Valve made three key announcements about its living room plans for Steam, unveiling a new Linux-based operating system called SteamOS, a beta testing program for prototype hardware coming in 2014 and a new controller. Whether Xi3 will support any of Valve's recently announced efforts we'll find out Monday, Sept. 30 at 1 p.m. ET.