Pre-orders for the Xi3 Piston have begun, but Valve has put some distance between itself and the so-called first Steam Box.

You can already plunk down some of your hard-earned cash for one of the Xi3 Pistons, but one of the chief draws of the new miniature PC is no more. Originally touted as being developed in conjunction with Valve, Xi3's Piston was going to be one of the very first (albeit unofficial) Steam Boxes, which got fans pretty excited. However, Valve is no longer associated with Xi3.

"Valve began some exploratory work with Xi3 last year, but currently has no involvement in any product of theirs," said Valve's Doug Lombardi in a statement Eurogamer. There's been no indication from Xi3 that this was the case, which may turn off more than a few prospective pre-order customers.

We've reached out to Xi3 and Valve for comment, and will update this story if and when they respond.