Eight reasons why the Phantom will succeed 

  For those of you who donít know, Infinium Labs, a new up-start company based in Florida that has never released a product ever plans to revolutionize the video game industry with their first foray in the market with the Phantom.    

  The company hopes to release the console late this year and have a playable showing at E3.
  Most sites have already been counting the days until the Phantomís failure, they have been saying thereís much more to the systemís name than it would first suggest. Could the Phantom really be just that, a Phantom?
  Well, those rumors have been put to rest thanks to several new photos of the Phantom in action. But the big question is, can a system that has no disc-based games and tons of super-new technology succeed in todayís market - the market that has been dominated by Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo? The Phantom will truly be the David fighting three Goliaths when it debuts.

  There are tons of rumors floating through the internet, but weíll try to wade through them and give you the facts that are out there. Hereís eight reasons why the Phantom will succeed and be able to run with the big boys.

The Look
  The system, which might be the coolest looking system ever made, has no controller ports, no disc tray, or even any openings in the front at all. All you see when the Phantom is turned on is a cool looking blue Phantom emblem glowing in the darkness.
  The first version was absolutely massive, even dwarfing the Xbox, but as the company promised, they were able to reduce the size 50 percent. Itís still not as small as the Dreamcast or Gamecube, but itís not going to be so big you canít fit it in your entertainment center.
  Since the system will have no controller ports, you might have guessed the controllers will be wireless. Similar to the Gamecubeís Wavebird, the Phantom controller will use radio signals to communicate with the system.
  The sleek look and nice, wireless controllers will turn gamers heads when they see one and possibly peak and interest when they see it in action.

The Games, after all thatís the most important thing, right?
  At first, speculation among game websites was that one of the Phantomís only launch titles was Where in the World is Carmon San Diego. That title might end up coming to the system, but the rumors of it only playing kiddie PC games are really far from the truth.
  In fact, the Phantom will be able to support all PC games and the company also promises to have an exclusive MMORPG and a Halo-like FPS called Falling Stars at launch.
  Youíll also never have to worry about losing or breaking your games ever again thanks to the systemís hard drive. No more worries of having your kid brother come through your room like Godzilla eying Japanese cities and coming annihilate your video game collection. No sir, all these games are stored on the systemís hard drive.
  And whatís even better than that is Infinium Labs is going to keep a database for every member of their service. This database will keep track of every game youíve purchased, so if your hard drive ever goes kaput or you need a new Phantom, you can always go back and download the game again for free. Hey you bought it, itís yours after all, isnít it?
  If the Phantom has a few AAA titles under its belt at launch time, it will go a long way to get gamers to buy the system. Time will tell if gamers can warm up to the fact that they wonít have any physical game copies and only electronic, though. But if Infinium Labs can do this, it will go a long way to getting more developers to come on board as well, thanks to the reduced production costs of not having to manufacture discs and boxes.

I wanna get to know ya on the inside!
  The Phantom will come standard with an AMD XP 2500+ 333Mhz Processor, but you can upgrade it all the way to a AMD XP 3200+ 400Mhz FSB Processor, and it will be running a version of Windows XPe. The console will come with a Custom Nforce-2 Ultra 400 Motherboard, 256MB Dual Channel DDR RAM (which can also be upgraded all the way to 1 GB Dual Channel DDR RAM), an 80 GB hard drive and comes with Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound with digital audio out. To put it lightly, this system will be able to push some nice looking games.
  The Phantom will succeed in this area because it will be the console to unseat the Xbox as the most powerful console ever.

  The Virtual Phantom Game Network is a secure broadband game distribution network. All content streams from a central server farm maintained by Infinium Labs. User file sharing is disabled. Only the Phantom console can connect to the VPGN; a standard PC cannot.
  I know that may not sound like a big deal, but in fact, the VPGN is where you will get all of your games. Plus, you will be able to play demos and rent various games exclusive to the Phantom, PC games and some games that are available on other consoles.
  Much like Microsoftís Xbox Live but to a far greater extent, the VPGN will also allow users to compete in tournaments, participate in online play, features free hosting for clan and guild sites, participate in peer-to-peer video conferences and will allow you to use all major instant messaging services.
  Can you imagine how cool it will be to meet some friends online, start a guild together, video conference with fellow guild mates and then keep in touch through AIM with all of your guild? The possibilities of this alone are really awesome.

The Price is Right?
  The Phantom should cost any where from $300 to $500 depending on the kind of upgrades you get. The console should come with one wireless controller.
  Also, there are several plans you can get on when you register for VPGN.    There is a monthly, one-year, two-year, three-year or a lifetime-plan for the service. 

  People who are paying for the monthly service will most likely pay the $10-$15 industry norm, while people who ante up for the 1,2 or 3 year service will most likely be paying a discounted price which gets cheaper the longer you sign up for. Also, the lifetime plan is will cost $250. 

  Yeah, I know thatís kinda steep, but if you think about it, it will end up being equal to about two years at the regular price, so itís not as bad as you might first think.
  While the price is pretty steep compared to the other systemís, the price tag is no different than they were at launch time. But the sticking point will be if Infinium Labs advertises the ďbang for your buckĒ mentality. At $300, you are getting an extremely powerful machine that can do things all the other systems could only dream about.

Getting Shimming With It
  When downloading games from the VPGN, players only have to wait to download the necessary files to begin playing, while all the other files, like later levels are being downloaded as you play. The company is calling this process ďShimming.Ē There isnít anything much better than that.
  This is an extremely important step for Infinium Labs because it will greatly reduce the down time in between selecting a game you want and actually being able to play it once youíve purchased it off Phantom.net. With broadband internet coupled with only having to download the minimal files to play, gamers will be able to pick up and play multiple times faster than would be the case of having to download the entire game like PC gamers have to do.

The Bachus Effect
  One of the pioneers of Microsoftís Xbox, Kevin Bachus, has joined the team at Infinium Labs recently. Bachus will take control of chief operating officer for the company.
  This is important because IL needs as much experience it can get from the video game industry, and a head honcho from Microsoft should help them make sound decisions regarding the system in the future. Infinium Labs officials have even said they are trying to put as many people with experience in the front lines for the Phantom. They have said they have other important additions to their team, but at this point, they wonít release who they are.
  For a new company that has no previous experience in the industry, getting the right people in place to make good decisions will help them succeed in a business where one wrong move can cost millions and spell doom for a company.

Other cool features
  One thing the Phantom will have that hasnít been seen since the days of the Dreamcast is a web browser. Infinium Labs said they donít want to bother with Internet Explorer because of security reasons, (It might also have something to do with supporting the competition.) but they plan to use a version of Mozilla Firebird. ďThe Phantom is a secure system; we do not want rogue content entering without our full and complete awareness,Ē a release from the company said.
  Something equally cool is Infinium Labs is thinking about making a movie and music service so you can download movies and music and play them on your Phantom for a small service charge.
  Also, the system will come with Bluetooth technology so you can hook up other Phantom consoles without any network adapters of any sort.
With so many awesome features to give gamers, itís hard to not get excited about the potential of the Phantom. If Infinium Labs can actually put its money where its mouth is, the future should be bright for the Phantom.

  So that does it, eight good reasons why the Phantom will succeed once itís unleashed upon the gaming hordes of the world. Next week, weíll give you seven reasons why the Phantom will fail. Talk about this article on the DC Realm forums at http://dcrealm.proboards22.com/ index.cgi?board=phantom.


Here's one of the first looks at Infinium Labs' Phantom. The company hopes to revolutionize the video game industry with it, and it very well may do that. 



Here's a look at all the neat little plugs in the back of the system. There are even four USB ports, pretty nifty eh?



The Phantom in action, at last! Could this be a still from Falling Stars?