The Phantom Game Service


The Phantom Found

The Phantom Lives

While looking around the nVIDIA booth, we ran across the Phantom Game Service area and had the opportunity to speak with Richard Skoba from Infinium Labs. As the Executive Vice President of Sales and Business Development, Richard gave us the run down on the system and some information on the gaming network. Below is the demo unit that was on display and actually running some games on it. During some gaming the Phantom locked up and had to be restarted, and on reboot we noted that the system was running an AMD Athlon 2500+ processor with an nVIDIA FX 5700 video card. When the Infinium Labs saw that we took note of what processor was in the box they quickly noted that this is only a demo unit and the final production model would feature a different processor.

The Phantom

Richard noted that the gaming service would allow users to download games and then play them. It will not be a Peer to Peer (P2P) and will only allow for download from the Phantom servers. We were told that the Phantom Game Service and would consist of game titles from Atari, Codemasters, Eidos, and Vivendi Universal. Once the Phantom Game Service is set up Richard noted that 50 titles would be added each month that monthly subscribers can download and play for free. Premium titles (select new game titles) will carry a premium on top of the monthly subscription fee. When asked about hard drive space Richard noted that space is not an issue as their servers will track the games you purchase and you won’t need the entire game saved on the hard drive to play it. He said that the Phantom will be able to cache parts of the game to help cut down on used space. The service is scheduled to launch sometime in 2005 and the monthly subscription price is still not set.

The Keyboard

The laptop keyboard/mouse tray was well thought out and designed except for the color. White is the worst color to show dirt and I’m not too sure how many people are going to be into a white tray in the living room. The keyboard rotated 360 degrees and has a nice touch and feel to it during game play. I don’t believe that Phantom has any intention to ever sell the keyboard tray alone, but I’m sure some would be interested in it.

Legit Bottom Line:

The idea behind the Phantom Game Service seems plausible and the looks of the new Phantom is by far better than the original “console” version from years past. Everyone knows that looks only get you so far and the Phantom still has an uphill battle ahead of them. When Infinium Labs began development of a gaming subscription network the idea was red hot, since then companies like Microsoft have stepped up to the plate with Xbox Live, which was launched back on November 15, 2002. It is now 2005 and Infinium Labs still does not have a set launch date, pricing, or the final hardware specifications ironed out. The hurdle that faces the Phantom Game Service is to see if they can catch up in a market where timing is everything. Only time can tell if they can and I’m sure the judgment day is coming up.

Comments are closed.