Is The Phantom Finally Dead?

from the giving-up-the-ghost dept

For years, we've been waiting on the Phantom gaming console -- not because we really cared, but just because it had pretty much become the king of all vaporware. You'd be hard pressed to find somebody that actually believed it existed, despite the protests of its "manufacturer", Infinium. Now comes word that the company is putting the Phantom on hold, in favor of bringing the gaming keyboard it announced in December to market. But guess what? Infinium says it needs more money to commercialize the keyboard. Apparently that's what happens when you never actually get around to selling any products. An SEC filing also details the company's plethora of unpaid debts, and shows that of the $62.7 million the company has spent since the end of 2002, just $3.5 million has gone to development costs. Perhaps the logical question isn't why did they spend so little on development, but why did they spend so much, considering their actual output?


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  1.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Pundet, Feb 22nd, 2006 @ 11:31am

    Obvious

    The obvious answer for where the other $62 million has gone: I would suspect right into the hands of organized crime. It's probably funneled through lots of interesting channels. E.g. lavish expenditures on marketing, facilities, furniture, ... basically like a "mini-dot-com" ripoff, except perhaps a ripoff from the get go.

    Raise an IPO on vaporware, spend next to nothing to develop it, funnel the rest of the money to your buddies and out of the country.

    If the SEC can't prosecute this company's behavior, than why trust the markets at all?

     

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  2.  
    identicon
    Max Messinger, Feb 22nd, 2006 @ 12:13pm

    Re: Obvious

    Exactly, you build up the company, get some money form stock and then just vanish. Maybe they named the console the Phantom as a joke. Hmmm. Well, it really is too bad that the SEC is too slow and cumbersome to deal with problmes before, oh, I don't know, $62 million dollars disappear. The Tech Journals

     

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  3.  
    identicon
    BD, Feb 22nd, 2006 @ 12:39pm

    Re: Obvious

    I thought this was dead a while ago. There was no way this company could compete with microsoft and sony. Especially when you look at how much they were spending on development. 4 years and $62 million and all they come up with is a keyboard. It's obvious all they were developing was a big scam that got them rich. The SEC needs to investigate where all the money was spent. What I mean to say is who got rich and retired.

     

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  4.  
    identicon
    Stoolio, Feb 22nd, 2006 @ 12:48pm

    Re: Obvious

    To any moron who invested in this shit... HAHA

     

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  5.  
    identicon
    Investor, Feb 22nd, 2006 @ 12:54pm

    No Subject Given

    This makes me very mad, about a year ago I bought 400 shares of this company because I thought they were going to actually make something. UGHHHHH

     

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  6.  
    identicon
    Taylor, Feb 22nd, 2006 @ 1:02pm

    How much went to 2Advanced.com?

    How much of that 62 million do you think went to 2Advanced for doing that kickass website?

     

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  7.  
    identicon
    Sohrab, Feb 22nd, 2006 @ 1:05pm

    No Subject Given

    you bought their stuff? Im so sorry man but im going to have to agree with the other poster. How can this company Compete with Sony or Microsoft, let alone Nintendo.

    If Sega couldnt stay in the game, this company offered nothing new.

     

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  8.  
    identicon
    WollyHood, Feb 22nd, 2006 @ 1:07pm

    Well yeah...

    If investors waste $62m in a risky venture then the right people to blame are the SEC. Don't blame investors who fail to do their due diligence. Don't blame investors who enter into an arrangement knowing the risks and attendant rewards. Don't blame the managers who gambled on an audacious and possibly lucrative idea. Blame the government agents who oversee the market where it occurred.

    And whatever you do don't notice that the market mechanism is working as it ought by exposing the bad venture. That the accounting information demanded by the SEC is in fact cited in the article. Be sure to insist that it should have happened sooner.

     

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  9.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 22nd, 2006 @ 1:36pm

    No Subject Given

    This falls squarely in the "if you invested with this company, you got exactly the payoff you deserved" situation.

    Complaining to the SEC about this company is like calling the cops because the speakers you bought out of the back of that panel van were actually just bricks in a used Klipsch box.

    Considered it an expensive lesson learned.

    TANSTAAFL

     

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  10.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 22nd, 2006 @ 2:57pm

    Re: No Subject Given

    Did any of the investors think about were their millions were going? Didn't anybody at all get pissed after all these years of "development" and all the company has to show as was a keyboard? Forget the CES, the investors really should have said something, asked for reports, photos, shareholder meetings, jesus christ.

     

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  11.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 22nd, 2006 @ 3:00pm

    No Subject Given

    Did anyone visitng their websitre notice that the head of the board of directors and the development team are the same person? That and the company employs only 5 people worth noting on the site?

     

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  12.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 22nd, 2006 @ 3:37pm

    No Subject Given

    just recently the company showed at e3 which isn't bad, so did hundreds of others... they have a new director now. and basicly its just gona be a computer with some special edition of xp on it with nvida graphics card. the idea is good.
    they will be competing and using microsoft at the same time, which is a weird idea.
    so i have mixed oppinions, but maybe the new ceo is actually trying. i love games and this sounds like a good idea... even though it's staggering.

     

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  13.  
    identicon
    DittoBox, Feb 22nd, 2006 @ 4:11pm

    DeLorean anyone

    Hmmm, I wonder if they're also offering a Phantom built into a DeLorean, now that would be cool.

    The /. way:
    1. Start fake company with fake product (DeLorean, Phantom, OLED keyboard)
    2. Get fake dollars from fake vulture capitalists
    3. Get real dollars from real vulture capitalists
    4. Spend some fake dollars on development
    5. Buy a hummer limo
    6. Move to the Bahamas
    7. Profit!

     

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  14.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 22nd, 2006 @ 4:35pm

    Hence the name "Phantom"

    Its like investing in a company that calls it self "Media Con" - it hints right in the name of it that its a scam, except that Phantom sounds cooler than Media Con

     

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  15.  
    identicon
    Jeffrey Kroll, Feb 23rd, 2006 @ 6:25am

    Infinium

    Ha... sad thing is this company is located about a block from where I am currently sitting. I can look out my window of my office and see the Infinium sign. The company is currently located in Sarasota, FL... oddly enough ... the sign was being worked recently, so that leaves me only to wonder if they are going to be closing there doors soon.

     

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