Just yesterday, Valve distanced itself from Xi3, claiming that the company has "no involvement" with the Piston. Xi3 didn't take to kindly to those comments and has since replied in a rather combative manner.
Jason A. Sullivan, Xi3's founder, president, and CEO, released a statement, making it perfectly clear that the device they created was designed"specifically for Valve" earlier this year at CES. He then went on the offensive, explaining why the Piston will be superior to whatever Valve releases.
We reaffirm the fact that we received an investment from Valve Corporation (as we previously disclosed during the 2013 International CES trade show), and we did so with Valve's written permission. Second, we were asked to build a product specifically for Valve, and both companies showcased this product - the Piston console - in their respective booths at CES 2013.
It's also important to note that the Piston console will allow gamers to access Steam regardless of what our relationship is or isn't with Valve. Additionally, Piston will also support a raft of other Internet-based gaming and entertainment platforms, which is more than what Valve apparently has planned for its official Steam Box. In this way, the Piston console could be perceived as something more than just a Steam Box, which makes sense because at its core the Piston console is a Modular Computer that can run any operating system or application designed to run on an x86-based 64-bit computer.
The gauntlet has been thrown. Let the Steam wars begin!