Phantom Announces (Sort Of) Release Date

from the more-info,-please... dept

Last week we wrote about how the mysterious “Phantom” gaming console looked like quite a bit of vaporware at CES. Now, Phantom-watcher TAD writes in with a link to the Phantom website, saying: “Phantom has announced a release date of March 31 (the day before April Fool’s) of this year. To my knowledge, they haven’t shown ANY demos or announced any launch titles and I haven’t seen anything about it at my local EB World or Gamestop stores. I smell something rotten… “ Looking at the details makes it a bit more suspect. March 31 isn’t the actual release date. That’s just the date when people will be able to enter their “online store” and “customize their own Phantom Gaming Service”. It’s unclear if they’re actually selling the console, or just getting people to pay up in anticipation of a console that may or may not exist. They’re also trying to sell “lifetime subscriptions”, though, they don’t say for what. It’s entirely possible that this is legit – but they certainly haven’t done a very good job satisfying the critics. Update: Thanks to a commenter, we have an additional story from someone who has demoed the Phantom, and comes away impressed. There are still plenty of questions about how it transmits such large games without much delay (and, apparently, the demo didn’t run over a broadband connection), but at least there’s a bit more evidence that the thing exists. The article also says the boxes won’t ship until this summer, so the March 31st launch is nothing more than hype.

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Comments on “Phantom Announces (Sort Of) Release Date”

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LittleW0lf says:


Since there’s no money to be made on packaging a high-end PC for a cool grand or two less than it’s worth, Infinium charges a mandatory $10 per month as a subscription fee to its PhantomNet Game Service (also available in one lifetime, lump sum purchase).

I don’t know where this guy gets his hardware (maybe Alienware?) but I could make a computer similar (though with less hard disk, an ATI card (as Nvidia doesn’t always work well with Linux,) and a lower speed CPU (what is the difference between 1.7Ghz and 2.2 Ghz anyway,)) to the machine he described for less that $1000 (I know I can, because I already have.) High-end PC’s aren’t nearly as expensive as they used to be. You can get micro-atx motherboards (with everything on it except video, and with Dolby 5.1 Audio) and mini-atx cases for $200, 1GB of RAM is running about $180, processor for $270, video card for $150, and 320GB Hard drive for $300. Add it all up and you have slightly over $1100, not including taxes.

Mike Sullivan says:

And no power input, either

None of the photos shown of the back panel of the Phantom show a power plug socket. How, exactly, is this thing powered? The photos of the “demo suite” looks like it could have easily been set up as a hoax, using a PS2 or XBox in the cabinet that the Phantom is sitting on to run the game shown on the screen. Note that the article’s author did not actually say HE *saw* any of the features/menus he described.

This sure looks like a hoax.



Chris Maresca says:

Re: And no power input, either

Sure it does, that’s what the large, round multi-pin connector is below the fan. They are probably using an external power supply.

There is nothing difficult about building such a unit. You could probably do it for less than $10k, including the custom case.

The real question is the backend. That’s the difficult bit.


BtG says:

No Subject Given

So as I understand it.. I would have to shell out $400 (+/- $100) at the onset (twice as much as a PS2, or Xbox), still have to pay $120/yt and then I also have to pay to rent/buy games ? No thanks.. I think I’d rather go with a traditional console. If I spend $1000 on a PS2 and games, I will always have them. If I spend $1000 on a phantom and games, and goes belly up, what exactly am I left with?

Inner Critic says:

Re: I'm with BtG

Yeah, I hear that.

And frankly, I’ve found a high-end PC lasts more than a year or two. I’ve got a top of the line video card, memory, and the like, and I don’t see this stuff becoming “stale” for quite some time. As a result, I get a high end, fast PC for my regular work environment.

Plus, it plugs into a TV, right? I don’t have a plasma screen. I don’t think it’d look all that great on my TV vs. my monitor, bigger or not.

And as a PC gamer, I’m used to my mouse and keyboard setup. How am I going to use those on my couch and not get carpal tunnel?

Most of all, there’s only so many games I have time to play in a year. Seems like its going to cost me more in games in the long run.

Only thing that might be appealing is the idea of licensing and playing a game for a month. You could save money on that, if they were priced right. That service alone might be worth it. But if that could be done well, isn’t there anyone else doing it?

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