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Phantom Returns With Online Store

By - Source: Tom's Hardware US | B 5 comments
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It seems like eons ago when Infinium Labs announced the now-defunct Phantom console project. However the company -re-named as Phantom Entertainment- has launched an online games store.

But wasn't there another defunct product?  Actually, the company's Phantom Lapboard is still around, waiting on an external party to finance the project. Phantom originally shipped its first small order last quarter, but says that it has made improvements to the device since then, upgrading the laser mouse and internal component hardware. Previously Phantom had difficulties in providing product, failing to fill Alienware's order but somehow managed to secure a Game Service Content deal with ProGames.

Phantom Entertainment confirmed earlier today that financing has been secured, and has placed an order with its contract manufacturer for mass manufacturing. The company says that the first batch of Lapboard units arrives next month, and will go on sale on the Phantom.net website. Basically the device consists of a wireless keyboard, a laser mouse and a hard surface "that makes it easy for you to work or play games from your couch, easy chair or any comfortable setting in your home or workplace." The device also includes wireless technology, one-touch features, and an ergonomic design.

Today the company also launched the Phantom Gamestore, an online retail outlet supposedly offering over 2,600 PC games including recent hits like Fallout 3, Far Cry 2, Grand Theft Auto IV and more. According to the company, once a game is paid for and downloaded, the user owns the license forever and can even return to re-download the game without "incurring additional cost."

"This is all made possible by a strategic partnership with GameStreamer, Inc. and their Enterprise Class Gaming Network built on top of Savvis Communications Tier 1 backbone and data centers," said the company. "GameStreamer is diligently working on implementing technology to enhance its offering and providing unparalleled service to its users. Some of the enhancements will include a streaming system, subscription support, rentals, timed trials and complete automations with its content and distribution partners."

Phantom Entertainment, formerly known as Infinium Labs, shot into the spotlight back in 2002 with plans to produce a new video game console called the Phantom. Unlike current machines, this console would play recent and future PC games as well as utilize a direct-download content delivery system. By the time the company attended the 2004 Electronic Entertainment Expo, a working (and rumored to be fake) prototype wowed attendants while its creators claimed that the device would go on sale that coming November. The company thus began to miss deadlines, and in 2006 announced that the console was put on hold due to a lack of funding. Eventually Infinium Labs cancelled the project altogether and moved on to design the current Phantom Lapboard.

Unfortunately, the company has made many a promise that it has been unable to keep. Whether or not the online store will actually offer DRM-free software has yet to be seen, and it will be interesting to see how consumers respond to the Phantom Lapboard. The company has a lot of mending to do; has a tarnished reputation to re-polish. There's quite a lot riding on both products, and hopefully, Phantom Entertainment will be able to finally deliver goods to the tentative consumer.

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  • -1 Hide
    zak_mckraken , December 16, 2008 12:00 PM
    As like many others, I laughed my ass off back in 2006 when Infinium Labs was trying to get their console off. They didn't seem to me like they were a legit company and the CEO back then, Timothy Roberts, is a known scammer and has been charged more than once for fraud.

    However, if the new Phantom Entertainment is to really be releasing a genuine and functional product, maybe we can give them a chance. But I'll only believe it when I see it.
  • -1 Hide
    Claimintru , December 16, 2008 1:28 PM
    Yeah...buy from them...or a reputable online distributor...hmm
  • 0 Hide
    _Arthur , December 16, 2008 2:00 PM
    How did Phantom E. managed to secure the distribution rights ? Last time I checked, gaming companies were suing them.
    Is Timothy Roberts really the CEO of Phantom Game Service, Inc (the company that contracted the gaming download service with Phantom Entertainment). Tim Roberts have been banned for being a company officer for 5 years, by the SEC.

    Have anyone managed to download one of the games Demos yet ?
  • 1 Hide
    _Arthur , December 16, 2008 4:10 PM
    Zak, Tim Roberts has been involved in a stock scam only once.
    He was part of a few unsuccesful dot-bomb companies, but no fraud then.

    According to Phantom's SEC filings the company sold the rights and technololy to a gaming store (and the right to use their trademarks and website) to a Timothy Roberts, for a whopping $65,000 last August.
    They also get 7% of the gross sales, and 49% of the shares of the other (Tim Robert's) company.

    A pretty good deal, all thing considered.
  • -1 Hide
    WheelsOfConfusion , December 17, 2008 4:05 AM
    The company has a lot of mending to do; has a tarnished reputation to re-polish.

    That might be true if they ever had a "polished" reputation to begin with. As far as I was aware their only claim to fame was in being a consistent no-show from the beginning.