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$999 Xi3 Piston gaming console will finally be available on Black Friday

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We've been hearing about Xi3's modular gaming console for years now — it was originally pegged as one of the first "Steam Box" consoles until Valve broke its association with the company. Regardless of that past drama, it looks like Xi3 is finally ready to get its hardware out into the hands of consumers. The Piston gaming console (essentially a small-enclosure PC) will be available on Black Friday, November 29th at the previously-announced $999 price point. If you're one of those who pre-ordered the console when Xi3 put it on sale way back in March, the company intends to get you your console faster — those pre-orders should be available to customers "on or before" November 15th.

Additionally, Xi3 has made a few improvements since putting it up for sale: the console's storage capacity has been "doubled" thanks to the addition of a second SSD slot. From the sound of things, it'll still ship with a single 128GB SSD included, but now with two slots, upgraders can put in two drives instead of one. In a somewhat ironic twist, the company specifically notes that the extra SSD slot will be useful for those wanting to dual-boot into a second OS, "including the newly announced SteamOS."

The Piston will also come with some "pack-in" games, though Xi3 didn't have any details yet on what games will be included. Otherwise, specs are the same — a quad-core, 3.2GHz processor powers the console, and it comes with 8GB of RAM and the aforementioned 128GB of solid-state storage. There's no word on exactly what the gamepad situation will be when the console ships, but a Piston FAQ says that any "made for PC" controller will work with it, including the Xbox 360 controller — just like any other PC.