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f13.net  |  f13.net General Forums  |  Gaming Conferences and Conventions  |  E3 '05  |  Topic: Phantom, Phantom, Wherefore Art Thou? 0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.
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Author Topic: Phantom, Phantom, Wherefore Art Thou?  (Read 8575 times)
Shockeye
Staff Emeritus
Posts: 6668

Skinny-dippin' in a sea of Lee, I'd propose on bended knee...


WWW
on: May 20, 2005, 05:12:15 PM

Quote from: CNN
Whither the Phantom?
After a big splash in 2004, Infinium Labs' on-demand game service is nowhere to be found at E3.
May 19, 2005: 10:50 AM EDT
By Chris Morris, CNN/Money

LOS ANGELES (CNN/Money) - Last year's E3 was the Phantom's coming out party.

Infinium Labs, the company behind the on-demand video game service, spent millions of dollars for an elaborate booth meant to quiet growing speculation at the time that the service -- and the system that powered it -- were non-existent.

To an extent, the gamble worked. While gamers still had doubts about the company after the show, seeing a working prototype and a smartly designed keyboard and mouse unit bought the company some breathing room.

But this year, the Phantom is nowhere to be found at the Electronic Entertainment Expo, the gaming industry's top deal-making and media event.

In a recent filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, Infinium Labs said there's a good chance it won't raise enough money to launch its key product in time, putting its existence at risk.

"The company believes, based on past performance, that there is a high likelihood that sufficient capital will not be available ... and many or all of these milestones will be missed and the launch date will again shift and/or the company will go out of business," it said in the April 20 filing with the SEC.

The company, which has also suffered legal setbacks and high-level staff departures in recent months, said it needs to secure at least another $11.5 million for the launch.

The Phantom system is designed to offer games over a broadband Internet connection for a monthly fee, currently planned at $19.95, based on a two-year commitment.

But while it hopes to offer at least 10,000 of the Phantom machines by year-end, Infinium acknowledged in the filing that "no firm launch date has been set" for the system. Previously announced launch dates have been missed.

The company did, however, say product development and testing was "near complete" and over 20 publishers, including Atari (Research), Vivendi Universal Games (Research) and Eidos (Research), had agreed to supply content.

Infinium Labs (Research) has instituted a virtual media blackout. Calls to the company to inquire about the reasons it was not attending E3 this year were answered by a receptionist who refused to forward calls, saying she'd been instructed to refer all inquiries to the company's Web page.

Should it fail to obtain the necessary funding, Infinium Labs said in the filing it has "contingency plans to carry the business going forward". One possible scenario mentioned involves shifting distribution of Phantom hardware to other game makers, with Infinium focusing instead on content acquisition and channel programming.

The Phantom burst onto the scene at the 2004 Consumer Electronics Show and was met with instant skepticism – especially when a Phantom representative said he would be happy if the console sold 2 million units in the first two years.

The Xbox, backed by Microsoft's marketing budget of several hundred million dollars, sold about 3.9 million units in its first year.

Well, shit. I guess I'll have to buy a 360 and a P3.
Furiously
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Posts: 7194


WWW
Reply #1 on: May 20, 2005, 05:14:49 PM

No a revolution - isn't that basically what a Phantom promised?

stray
Terracotta Army
Posts: 16818

has an iMac.


Reply #2 on: May 20, 2005, 05:20:37 PM

I hard to believe that someone actually spent time writing that many words on this subject. Even if they were getting paid.
Murgos
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Posts: 7474


Reply #3 on: May 20, 2005, 05:32:07 PM

Quote
"The company believes, based on past performance, that there is a high likelihood that sufficient capital will not be available ... and many or all of these milestones will be missed and the launch date will again shift and/or the company will go out of business," it said in the April 20 filing with the SEC.

I am Jacks complete lack of surprise.

Crap, now I want to watch Fight Club.

"You have all recieved youre last warning. I am in the process of currently tracking all of youre ips and pinging your home adressess. you should not have commencemed a war with me" - Aaron Rayburn
Trippy
Administrator
Posts: 20569


Reply #4 on: May 20, 2005, 10:09:36 PM

And even if they somehow manage to get this thing released they are going to be facing competition they wouldn't have had if they released it when they originally said they would.
Fabricated
Moderator
Posts: 8814

~Living the Dream~


WWW
Reply #5 on: May 20, 2005, 10:47:16 PM

Scam to rip off stupid venture capitalists turns out to be scam!

"The world is populated in the main by people who should not exist." - George Bernard Shaw
Margalis
Terracotta Army
Posts: 12335


Reply #6 on: May 21, 2005, 02:27:09 AM

Yeah really. I always find it amusing when 99% of people know exactly how something is going to turn out, but the 1% that don't are the people most plugged in with the most vested interest in knowing. I guess it's the whole can't see the forest for the tree things, but you would figure they would at least hear the buzz and the 'word on the street.' I can't believe that anyone thought this would be the real deal. And we already have games you can pay for and download online (FilePlanet DirectDrive among others), Nintendo is going to offer game downloads, consoles in general are moving into the online space...and here is a company trying to create dedicated hardware that allows you to download "Midway Classics 5." Great idea there guys!

Why not make it a software-only product? If they can get the rights to a bunch of games to distribute electronically just do that. Why that takes a new system is beyond me.

I can't imagine how anyone can even CONSIDER bringing out another console. There are already 3, which is really one too many. And the 3 players now are the company that became synonymous with video games and saved the industry after the crash, along with two gigantic corporations with previous expertise in hardware or software and boatloads of money. The idea that a 4th random crap console from a bunch of nobodies can come in and compete is absurd.

vampirehipi23: I would enjoy a book written by a monkey and turned into a movie rather than this.
AOFanboi
Terracotta Army
Posts: 935


Reply #7 on: May 21, 2005, 06:47:52 AM

Yes, verily!
Why buy a new box to get a service I can get on my PC today?

Market hits Inifinium Labs for 100 damage. Critical hit!

Current: Mario Kart DS, Nintendogs
Llava
Contributor
Posts: 4602

Rrava roves you rong time


Reply #8 on: May 21, 2005, 02:45:57 PM

phan·tom also fan·tom   Audio pronunciation of "phantom" ( P )  Pronunciation Key  (fntm)
n.

   1.
         1. Something apparently seen, heard, or sensed, but having no physical reality; a ghost or an apparition.
         2. Something elusive or delusive.
   2. An image that appears only in the mind; an illusion.
   3. Something dreaded or despised.


adj.

   1. Resembling, characteristic of, or being a phantom; illusive.
   2. Fictitious; nonexistent: phantom employees on the payroll.


With this in mind, it absolutely lived up to its promise.

That the saints may enjoy their beatitude and the grace of God more abundantly they are permitted to see the punishment of the damned in hell. -Saint Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologica
Trippy
Administrator
Posts: 20569


Reply #9 on: May 21, 2005, 07:31:07 PM

With this in mind, it absolutely lived up to its promise.
The HardOCP expose on Timothy Roberts, the CEO of Infinium Labs, basically portrayed him as a swindler and con-artist. Given the apparent hubris of this guy I would not be surprised to discover after the company fails and the internal documents are examined by regulators and creditors that Mr. Roberts never intended to release anything and picked a name apropos of that strategy.
Llava
Contributor
Posts: 4602

Rrava roves you rong time


Reply #10 on: May 22, 2005, 03:32:44 PM

With this in mind, it absolutely lived up to its promise.
The HardOCP expose on Timothy Roberts, the CEO of Infinium Labs, basically portrayed him as a swindler and con-artist. Given the apparent hubris of this guy I would not be surprised to discover after the company fails and the internal documents are examined by regulators and creditors that Mr. Roberts never intended to release anything and picked a name apropos of that strategy.


Wouldn't surprise me.  Maybe it's one of those psychological things- you know, he really WANTS to be caught so he's leaving clues.

That the saints may enjoy their beatitude and the grace of God more abundantly they are permitted to see the punishment of the damned in hell. -Saint Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologica
HaemishM
Staff Emeritus
Posts: 38161

Prevent all damage that would be dealt to you and other troops you control.


WWW
Reply #11 on: May 23, 2005, 10:09:33 PM

Shit, if they want to make money, just release that goddamn sweet keyboard/mouse setup in PS2/X-Box/PS3/X-Box 360 versions. I'd buy that, especially if the shit worked as well as a keyboard and mouse on a PC.

But the Phantom? Pffffft, what the fuck would I want that for? I might buy a box like that from someone like Microsoft, who I know has the muscle to provide the games for it. Some jackass in Florida with more failed businesses than facial hairs? Fuck that.

MrHat
Terracotta Army
Posts: 7330

Out of the frying pan, into the fire.


Reply #12 on: May 23, 2005, 10:17:33 PM

For posterity:

The Phantom Lapboard:




schild
Administrator
Posts: 55734


WWW
Reply #13 on: May 24, 2005, 12:11:43 AM

That's the best console accessory ever designed. If they released it wirelessly with compatibility/adapters for all systems, Infinium could exist solely off that product. Kind of like Nintendo and Gameboy. rolleyes
MrHat
Terracotta Army
Posts: 7330

Out of the frying pan, into the fire.


Reply #14 on: May 24, 2005, 12:38:24 AM

That's the best console accessory ever designed. If they released it wirelessly with compatibility/adapters for all systems, Infinium could exist solely off that product. Kind of like Nintendo and Gameboy. rolleyes

BURNED!
Margalis
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Posts: 12335


Reply #15 on: May 24, 2005, 01:04:16 AM

I take it you guys have never met an economics class?

vampirehipi23: I would enjoy a book written by a monkey and turned into a movie rather than this.
schild
Administrator
Posts: 55734


WWW
Reply #16 on: May 24, 2005, 01:35:37 AM

I take it you guys have never met an economics class?

Hey, I'm saying - in a vacuum, if they hadn't putzed around with that phantom bullshit and just made that keyboard they'd be pretty well loved.
MrHat
Terracotta Army
Posts: 7330

Out of the frying pan, into the fire.


Reply #17 on: May 24, 2005, 01:40:25 AM

Has anyone in the whole world actually used it?  I wonder if it's flimsy.

Or maybe the plastic is infused with broken promises?
schild
Administrator
Posts: 55734


WWW
Reply #18 on: May 24, 2005, 01:41:53 AM

Or maybe the plastic is infused with broken promises?

More likely the blood of one thousand tahitian babies.
HaemishM
Staff Emeritus
Posts: 38161

Prevent all damage that would be dealt to you and other troops you control.


WWW
Reply #19 on: May 24, 2005, 10:25:10 AM

I don't know if the keyboard/mouse combo worked, or was full of dog turds and man-flavored incense. But goddamn, it LOOKED great. It showed an intensely ergonomic design sense, and it is exactly the kind of thing I would want to play on my couch with a console.

It just happened to be hooked up to a obviously inferior piece of hardware/vaporware.

Economics major or not, I can state unequivicably that Infinium Labs has a better chance of making a profit selling that setup to consumers (and OEm's like Gateway) than they do of selling enough Phantoms to make the investors' money back.

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