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Valve-funded Steam-optimized PC coming from Xi3

Both companies partner for a Big Picture-focused gaming PC

PC hardware vendor Xi3 has announced the development of a system designed to support Valve's Steam service and its Big Picture mode. Valve has invested an undisclosed amount in Xi3 to complete the system, which is being shown off in Xi3's Modular Computer chassis. The "grapefruit-size" system is being showcased at Valve and Xi3's booths at CES 2013.

"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's originally-proposed Modular Computer.

Xi3 launched a Kickstarter for its Modular Computer in September of 2012, but the funding drive ended far short of the $250,000 goal.

Xi3 showed off its prototype unit - code-named Piston - to Polygon, based on the X7A model detailed in the Kickstarter. The unit features four USB 3.0 ports, two USB 2.0 ports, four eSATAp ports, two Mini Display Port ports and one DisplayPort/HDMI port. The X7A model was previously listed as a 3.2 GHz quad-core 64-bit, x86-based processor, integrated with up to 384 graphics shader cores, and 8GB of DDR3 RAM.

[Image via Polygon]

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Mike Williams

Reviews Editor, USgamer

M.H. Williams is new to the journalism game, but he's been a gamer since the NES first graced American shores. Third-person action-adventure games are his personal poison: Uncharted, Infamous, and Assassin's Creed just to name a few. If you see him around a convention, he's not hard to spot: Black guy, glasses, and a tie.