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E3 2004: Infinium reveals Phantom specifications

Rob Fahey 11:57 13/05/2004

Athlon processor and NVIDIA graphics chipset to power new console

Infinium Labs has announced details of the hardware in its Phantom game console, which has been publicly unveiled for the first time at the E3 Expo in Los Angeles and is set to launch by the end of the year.

The "game receiver," which downloads games from a broadband Internet connection onto an internal 40gb hard disc and has no ports for external media such as CDs, DVDs or memory cards, is set to use components from AMD and NVIDIA in its design.

An AMD Athlon 2500+ processor will lie at the heart of the system, along with an NVIDIA GeForce FX 5700 Ultra graphics chipset, with 128mb of on-board graphics RAM - making the Phantom into a PC system just slightly behind the current cutting edge specification.

It's certainly enough power to run key upcoming games such as Half-Life 2 and Doom III with good graphical quality and framerate, and should allow the system to continue to play high-end PC games for at least a couple of years.

Earlier this week, it was revealed that Infinium plans to give away the Phantom for free to people who sign up to the Phantom Game Service content delivery system, which is expected to cost around $30 per month when it launches this November in the United States.

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Why people invested in this I really don't know.

Spec of the Phantom:

*  AMD® Athlon™ XP 2500+ central processing unit (CPU)

    * NVIDIA® GeForce™ FX 5700 Ultra graphics processing unit (GPU)

    * NVIDIA nForce™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

Basically its Live! with downloadable games instead of ones you buy in the shops. If its cheap enough (games for £5?), and the games aren't too awful, they're going to make a bloody fortune. Just coz they're new doesn't mean they're definately going to fail.

Though that Varmintz game doesn't bode well..

Edit:

FREE Phantom™ Receiver with Two-Year Subscription Commitment

Sign up for a two-year basic subscription to Phantom Gaming Service and the hardware and controllers are free of charge. As a subscriber you will receive an initial library of free games, supplemented each month with new choices as a part of your basic subscription fee. Additional titles are available for immediate demo, rent or purchase. Premium content packages will also be made available.

Looks like its going marketted as BSkyB for games.

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It's a games service like Sky is a TV service.

Ultimately a good idea. No need to buy games you just subscribe.

Yes, and even Sky has those gamepad things and keyboards if you want them, just nobody does..

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That seems to be set up for someone left handed... or middle handed, it's directly under the keyboard :S

The mouse is over to one side a bit and when using both you'll only need the WASD part of the keyboard, so it's ok. It swivels round for left-handed people that like to use the mouse in their left hand as well.

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Just coz they're new doesn't mean they're definately going to fail.

Do you personally think it'll be a success though? It's far too early for DLC content like this, imagine getting any worthwhile game over the net (in the UK at least). Far Cry, UT2k4? No one would bother, surely?

Dodgy marketing, poor timing... it just stinks of failure to me.

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Do you personally think it'll be a success though? It's far too early for DLC content like this, imagine getting any worthwhile game over the net (in the UK at least). Far Cry, UT2k4? No one would bother, surely?

Dodgy marketing, poor timing... it just stinks of failure to me.

It doesn't have a hope in hell if they try to market it to people like us. If they launch to compete with PCs, or next gen consoles, then I doubt they'll do too well really.

However...

Theres a massive market for casual gamers out there. Most people don't play things like UT2004 or Far Cry. They want pick up games like Frogger and Centipede and Freecell. £10/month for a decent system thats easy to use and has a bunch of fun titles could definately keep them going. Don't forget that they're based in the USA where far more people have broadband, its cheaper, and culturally they're much more inclined to spend more on entertainment, and they don't shy away from subscription services as much as us Brits.

I won't be buying shares in Infinium or anything, but I believe they'll still be around in 3 years time.

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This system is going to flop, the whole point of a console is that its pick up and play, not plug it in and then wait ages for a game to download, its like e step backwards 2 decades to the tape loading era.

The only good thing about this console is that its standalone price is $199 which will make it very attractive when it gets cracked.

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