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Valve Invests Money in Xi3’s Really Tiny Modular PC

Possibly the first in many steps towards the infamous Steam Box.

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Wait, something interesting is happening at CES?! Xi3 has received an investment from Valve to produce a new product--a very tiny computer--meant to more easily funnel computer games to HDTVs through Steam and its Big Picture mode.

It’s a modular computer, which means it will ship with certain pieces of hardware, but its specs can be adjusted over time with upgrades. The exact components have not been revealed, but the company told Polygon it’s based on its X7A model, which is priced at $999.

Polygon has also learned that Valve is meeting with a number of companies to discuss similar technology.

Xi3 tried to raise money on Kickstarter for a modular computer last fall, but fell well short of its $250,000 goal.

Rumors of a “Steam Box” have floated for a while now, and while Valve has acknowledged it’s working on hardware prototypes, the exact nature of its plans have been unclear. That remains true with this news out of CES. Will Valve only be partnering and investing with some companies, rather than produce something on it’s own? Too early to tell, but clearly the ball has started rolling, and 2013 is shaping up to be a wild year for video (and computer) games.

Patrick Klepek on Google+