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Phantom Goes Software Only 74

Daysaway writes "Gamasutra is reporting that the Phantom Game Service will be replacing the Phantom Game Console. The company formerly known as Infinium Labs has stated that the Phantom hardware was originally designed to run on a Windows XP platform, so it is not a stretch to believe this service will be launched sometime in the very near future." From the article: "A recent update to Phantom Entertainment's website, though, indicates that 'The Phantom Game Service was originally engineered to run on a Windows XP embedded operating system on a Phantom Game Receiver managed by Phantom content servers over the Internet.' The site now suggests that: 'The Company intends to modify the Phantom Game Service software to run as client software on personal computers operating Windows XP and Windows XP Media center operating systems.'"
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Phantom Goes Software Only

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  • by hal2814 ( 725639 ) on Wednesday August 16, 2006 @02:46PM (#15921972)
    ...the "Nothing to see here. Move along." message was so appropriate.
    • by andrewman327 ( 635952 ) on Wednesday August 16, 2006 @03:01PM (#15922085) Homepage Journal
      It is especially apt compared to the original claims about the platform [cnn.com]. This was supposed to be revolutionary, now it seems like it will be yet another pay-to-play PC progam. HardOCP was perhaps the most skeptical [hardocp.com] of the device's claims back in 2003 when other tech news outlets were still drooling over the proposed specs.


      The company's website [phantom.net] still features the Lapboard as coming soon. I hope that they get the Lapboard out the door and into the market as it has some promise and seems feasible to design. However if it does appear in stores it will still have heavy competition from Logitech, Microsoft and all the other usual suspects.

      • Which tech news outlets were drooling over the proposed specs? The CNN article you linked seems pretty skeptical about the product, but (big surprise) the Infinium Chief Marketing Officer is positive about the product. /me activates a CNN news alert for "Infinium Labs"
    • Don't worry. It's another Infinium Labs article. If they didn't want cliches, they wouldn't be here.

      Okay, so I haven't scrolled down yet... how far to the "Duke Nukem Forever" post?
  • Lame. Dead lame. So its going to be like every other pay-to-get-downloaded-games service out there? Except from a known corrupt vapourware company? And, like the others, only run on wintel? Yawn.
    • Well yeah. They revise their aims to an easy goal, which will inevitably fail to larger producers of the same thing (Valve), avoid prosecution for investor fraud, and keep the rest of the millions of investor money.

      I'm a bit surprised they didn't think of this sooner.

  • An Observation. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by IMarvinTPA ( 104941 ) <IMarvinTPA AT IMarvinTPA DOT com> on Wednesday August 16, 2006 @02:47PM (#15921982) Homepage Journal
    Is it just me, or does Valve's Steam [steampowered.com] already do what PHANTOM is planning to do? Heck XBox Live 360 seems about the same too.

    Props to the Phantom guys if they can get others to join them.

    IMarv
  • So the Phantom is going to show off his "naughty bits" after casting aside the hardware? :P
    • Not really. The article says software only, but from the Phantom web site...

      To get started with your new service you will need:
      1. Phantom Game Receiver
      2. Television
      3. Broadband Connection
      4. Phantom Game Service

      Number 1 looks like hardware to me, so no naked software. They are covering it with a case.

      • Upon further digging heres the specs.

        Phantom® Game Receiver

        AMD® Athlon(TM) XP 2500+ central processing unit (CPU)
        NVIDIA® GeForce(TM) FX 5700 Ultra graphics processing unit (GPU)
        NVIDIA nForce(TM)2 Ultra 400 platform processor
        256 MB RAM
        40 GB local content cache
        Microsoft Windows XP® Embedded Operating System
        Dynamic, personalized user interfaces customizable for age, gender or technical expertise
        Lapboard, mouse and game pad included
        HDTV and Dolby® Digital 5.1 compatible
        Works with any co
    • "Those girls are naughty. They don't wear cases. You can see their bare circuit boards!"
  • by HaloZero ( 610207 ) <protodekaNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Wednesday August 16, 2006 @02:48PM (#15921987) Homepage
    ...if that isn't a huge smack from a clue-by-four, I'm not sure what else could possibly. The investors for this project are screwed. It doesn't exist, they had no intention of making it exist, it will never exist. The name alone says that.

    Somewhere, in some parallel universe, the Phantom Console is capable of running Duke Nukem: Forever at 120fps. And it can provide you all the services of a loving wife.
  • Linux? (Score:1, Funny)

    But does it run on Linux?

    I know I will get modded down, but seriously... any intentions for a port to Linux?
    • Re:Linux? (Score:2, Funny)

      by andphi ( 899406 )
      I'm sure there will be a Linux port. It might work something like this:
      • Stare fixedly at a blank space on the wall
      • Imagine that you're controlling an invisible, intangible Linux box with your thoughts
      • Visualize yourself accessing the eVaporWarez Gamez Service via the above imaginary Linux box
      • Pretend you're having fun

      As a side benefit of this port process, the eVaporWarez Gamez Service is not limited to just Linux boxen. I could run it on my antique, non-booting Tandy HD1100!

      • Pretend? Who's pretending? I'm having fun as we speak! Dude, this is awesome, pass me the chips and a napkin. I don't want to get grease on my new controller.
    • Oddly enough, they would stand a better chance of success if the service did come out for Linux simply because they would face a lot less competition there. But seriously, this whole Phantom saga has become one long no longer funny sort of joke.
  • by AKAImBatman ( 238306 ) * <akaimbatman@gm3.14ail.com minus pi> on Wednesday August 16, 2006 @02:50PM (#15922002) Homepage Journal
    So let me get this straight. A company that has failed to knock together a custom PC that boots CDs despite FOUR YEARS of trying now thinks that they're mogul enough to take the PC World by storm with an online game delivery application (like Steam?) that appears to have little to differentiate itself in the market?

    Excuse me while I don't hold my breath in anticipation.

    This company has churned through incredible amounts of talent to produce nothing more than press releases about a fancy keyboard and mouse! In that time, Microsoft has launched not one, but TWO separate game consoles that both compete in the exact same space. In that same time, the company was believed to have been a Pump and Dump scheme by the SEC [cnn.com]. In that same time, they have never demonstrated an actual working prototype of anything more than their mouse and keyboard!

    Excuse me? Could someone please tell me how long it takes to send a manufacturing file [emachineshop.com] out for a custom case, then stuff standard hardware into it? (Don't answer that, it's a rhetorical question.)

    I have absolutely no trust in this company, its vision, or its future; and I feel deep sympathy for anyone who has had the displeasure of dealing with them in the past.
    • All this and they're jumping on a dying operating system! By the time this service shows up (if it shows up at all) their target audience will all have made the jump to Vista.
  • Or any games at all, for that matter. Given their previous history, perhaps they could generate enough marketing spin to sell it as a 'content delivery platform for enriched surfing and targeted purchasing opportunities'.

    They wouldn't even need to develop anything; just strike a branding deal with Claria (or whatever they're called these days).
  • by Anonymous Coward
    First game on their service?

    Duke Nukem Forever.
  • Not a stretch? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Red Flayer ( 890720 ) on Wednesday August 16, 2006 @02:51PM (#15922018) Journal
    so it is not a stretch to believe this service will be launched sometime in the very near future
    I beg to differ. That's like saying it's not a stretch to think Duke Nukem Forever will be out soon, since the most recent development for it has also been for WinXP.

    Somehow the con just goes on and on... and somehow there's always a few gullible angels around willing to perpetuate it.

    What I love most is the brazen use of word "Phantom" in the name... I mean, why not just call it "Vaporware Console"?

    Anyway, here [hardocp.com]'s a better analysis of both the company and of Tim Robert's curious (for lack of a better word) resume history.
    • Infinium doesn't have a console that it's been "building" for four years (and of which it had previously claimed to have a working model), it sues people who discuss its shady background, and now it's changed its business model to something that can be criticized by a frosh in high school without looking stupid (no games? no copy protection? what?).

      My condolences to anyone related to the people running this company, particularly those of you who actually lent them money. To those who actually gave them mon
    • thats 3 years old..

      I wonder if anythings changed?

      Do they even have an office yet?
      Where are the developers?
      Who are the developers?
  • ...appropriate console name *EVER*!
  • by koreaman ( 835838 ) <uman@umanwizard.com> on Wednesday August 16, 2006 @02:54PM (#15922042)
    1) Say you're doing something totally fantabulistically amazing.
    2) Seduce investors.
    3) Do nothing.
    4) Do nothing.
    5) Do nothing.
    6) Do nothing.
    7) Do nothing.
    8) Spend venture capital on crack and hookers.
    9) Do nothing.
    10) Declare that instead of doing something totally fantabulistically amazing, you're going to rewrite the same software that dozens of companies already have.
    11) Act like this is a simple "desing decision" rather than a total failure of your product.
    12) ???
    13) Profit!
    • Re:Path to Profit (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Red Flayer ( 890720 ) on Wednesday August 16, 2006 @03:20PM (#15922210) Journal
      You could have keft out "12) ???" -- there's no question marks, you've summed up his business plan perfectly without it.

      What I'm amazed by is that this business model continues to work post-dotcom-bust. I do understand that there are massive tax penalties for some of the VC firms out there if they don't invest the capital, but really... Roberts must have some good connections and be pretty charismatic.

      Anyone here ever worked with/for him, or dealt with him on a professional basis?
    • Just in case there are any investors out there who are interested, I'd like to announce that I'm doing something totally fantabulistically amazing.

      And did anyone ever tell you how sparkly your eyes are? Like diamonds on an emerald tray.

      (taps feet...any moment now...)
    • by sharkey ( 16670 )
      Don't you mean

      8) Spend venture capital on crack and hookers and dogs [penny-arcade.com].
  • by Denial93 ( 773403 ) on Wednesday August 16, 2006 @02:54PM (#15922048)
    So they will have a subscriber model and need people to connect to their servers to make money. But, crucially, they neither have hardware lock-in to make sure no-one sets up an alternative server to connect to, nor the resources to survive a dragged-out court battle if someone does. I want to be the guy who wrote the server code, has a copy of it all somewhere far away, and walks up to the boss demanding ten times the pay for not doing anything.
  • So... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by RyoShin ( 610051 ) <tukaro.gmail@com> on Wednesday August 16, 2006 @02:55PM (#15922051) Homepage Journal
    So, basically, Phantom just became a Gametap competitor?
  • Yep, sure (Score:1, Redundant)

    by elrous0 ( 869638 ) *
    it is not a stretch to believe this service will be launched sometime in the very near future

    Yeah, just after Duke Nuke 'Em Forever launches, right? Seriously, who are these announcements FOR anyway? Is anyone still stupid enough to be investing in this company? Hell, is anyone who HAS invested in them in the past still stupid enough to NOT be suing them at this point?

    -Eric

  • by default luser ( 529332 ) on Wednesday August 16, 2006 @03:38PM (#15922398) Journal
    The Phantom console was intended to make PC gaming easy - it has one set of specs, and was configured from the factory. Combine that with downloadable games, and it was suppoed to be the easiest gaming PC you could imagine.

    Now, as an add-on to existing PCs, Phantom becomes a gaming service. No more pre-defined, pre-configured hardware and software...no, they'll have to download the latest video, audio and network drivers, OpenAL and DirectX installs, and then patch and tweak the game to get it "just right."

    Not that I'm dissing the PC, I love gaming on the PC, but it does require some knowledge to get certain games running.

    Now Phantom is just one of many download gaming services. How, exactly, do they expect to sell enough gaming subscriptions to pay back the millions of dollars they owe creditors, when they're swimming in a pool already filled with big players? Three years ago when the Phantom was announced, the idea of an online PC game delivery service was novel, but now that they've sat on the idea, the world has left them in the dust.

    Not like I ever expected anything solid to come out of Phantom. Nice to see them match my expectations.
  • Changing PHANTOM to a gaming service on my computer will be just fine, so long as it works with my Phantom Gaming Keyboard and Mouse setup. That is, as soon as said keyboard setup actually comes to market... /holding-breath
  • http://www.bizjournals.com/stlouis/stories/2006/08 /07/daily13.html [bizjournals.com]

    May not mean much to anyone, but I used to work for that company and still have a good friend that works there now. Apparantly they're all super excited about this deal. Times like this I glad I got out of there. ;)
  • Tim Roberts is a con artist. Its a simple scheme, start a company, blow the initial capital on booze and hookers, declare the company bankrupt, clean up for a month or so and start over with a new company with new investors.
  • It's called Spyware, it gets on my computer and then the game is to remove as much of it with out get more spyware on my computer as I'm actually removing. Then I play it again and again. It's pretty repetative, but in the end you get a real sense of accomplishment, til the next day and then you get a sense of futility.
  • ... is being vapor only.
  • From vapor(hard)ware to vapor(soft)ware. How sublime*!

    *(pun intended :)

        -dZ.
  • Anybody with a really short resume looking for a job at Phantom?

    http://www.phantom.net/content/contactUs/careers.h tml [phantom.net]:

    Our future depends on bright, energetic, talented people who share a passion for creating the best product imaginable! We offer a challenging work environment, a competitive salary, and excellent benefits. Interested candidates should apply online using our contact form and selecting the "Human Resources" department. Please copy and paste your resume into the subject field.

    The fa

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