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The Phantom


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Ok, as reported by Penny Arcade & a few other sites, some company called Infinium Labs is working on a new conosle system, called "The Phantom".

...It seems to be an X-box like PC/console merge, with built-in broadband, networking to play against other users & PC people, and access to "Pay-per-play" games online, with a hard drive in it. I think it's somethin of a low-level PC built for network play & subscription game services.

No one has any idea, 'cause they just announced it & as per usual, are building off the hype of no one knowing just what they're selling.

It drops sometime next december. I'm not putting any bets yet, as it could be another 3DO, Project X (anyone remember that one?), CD-I, etc but eh, no one expected Sony to do as well as they did...all i can say is the console market usually has room for 3, tops, and I dont see any of the current systems gettin bumped out in time for the holidays. I'm also no fan of Divx-type "pay-per-play" games but we'll see how this thing fares.

 

phantom_console_mock_up.gif

 

Here's there website, with minimal information & annoying narrartion

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Naturally, ive included Penny Arcade's thoughts on it:

 

Every new console has to go through this hazing procedure from us, even magical, spectral consoles like the Phantom which are made of ectoplasm. Feel free to examine their site for clues on what exactly they're doing. IGN pondered many of the same questions we did, it would appear. It seems like it's essentially a sealed PC with a broadband service component that delivers retail games. I mean, don't quote me on that. They could be selling goats for all I know.

 

20030122l.gif

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Curious, isnt it? From that prototype design, it looks bigger than an X-box (!), with 3 control sticks and about 5 visible buttons (might be shoulder ones).

I understand that it needs a good hard drive & modem, but if its anywhere near that size, i think it might hurt production costs....have you guys ever heard of console sales loss? Supposedly, at their current prices, Sony loses a lil money (Microsoft, a bit more) per console sold - figure in all the hardware, casing, DVD rights, controller etc - and knowingly take this small dive because they make it back on software/licensing.

Which is why, if big expensive systems come out with no 3rd-party backup (Sega, Capcom, Konami, Square, EA etc) they dont often last long - I was surprised the Neo Geo held out as long as it did.

I'm gonna try to find more info on this thing. Theyre facts are right: the home console industry is supposedly continuing to outsell American cineman (not sure bout last year), but it doesnt have that much room for new systems right now....who knows.

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Yeah, cinema, you got it.

I think its unrealistic 'cause ive watched the market and it doesnt work like that....3 can be on top, and usually its just 2 at that. We'll buy up games & such, but the 3rd party licenses can only program for so many mediums, and theyre gonna stick with the cash cows - nintendo, sony, (formerly sega), microsoft, etc. And people dont learn quickly but without those licneses, dont matter what youve got under the hood, no one's buying it.

Im just sayin on average, the market's about user base - Sony's got it. Millions of PS2s, its a household name, hard to compete with that. Nintendo's had it for years, Microsoft has it for PC but is tryin for the home market, and its not easy.

I could be competely wrong, this thing could somehow be a real competitor, but its gotta come out of the gate with something really special to get any notice, holiday season or not.

Hah, that's true tho, remember when it was just those 2? Sony muscled their way in after Nintendo dropped the ball...

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Actually, I always thought it was Sega that dropped the ball, because the Saturn never did so well. After all, the N64 was a huge success. Nintendo just took their damn time with the GameCube so Sony pulled ahead when they released the PS2. Poor Sega. It's kind of amusing seeing Sonic the Hedgehog games for the Gamecube, now.

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It is, isnt it?

You misunderstand...N64 opened strong but fell off when the developers left.

Nintendo botched a deal with Sony (they did the SNES sound chip) over the old SNES CD-ROM project, called the PS-X. Sony got screwed, took the project, made it into the Playstation and became Nintendo's biggest competitor.

The Saturn, which did well in Japan, had one major flaw - im told it was a bitch to program for, and that never helps.

As for Nintendo takin forever, they always do that - they let Sega or someone rush out and learn from their mistakes...the Gamecube has many graphical improvements over the PS2, for example.

Its odd...they just let out a press release - for the first time, theyre not gonna do that next go at it. Theyre admitting to working on new hardware (somethin they usually keep to themselves for a while) and plan to let it loose before the PS3, so they wont be playing software catch-up next time....

Ah, Sega's doin fine in the arcade market, and now therye one of the big licenses to have, i still love em. I root for Sony too but I'm a Nintendo whore at heart, have beed since they blew my Sega Master System outta the water.

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