View Thread : Teh Phant0m!!!111


A Black Falcon
http://gear.ign.com/articles/512/512854p1.html

OB1
Post the damn article, lazy ass.

A Black Falcon
Click. You're being even more lazy than me... :)

OB1
I could easily click on that link, but I refuse to because you still haven't learned how to post a news article.

A Black Falcon
I know how. I just only do so sometimes.

A Black Falcon
Pre-E3 2004: The Phantom Materializes
Not just a PC console, but a gaming service.
May 10, 2022 - In the gaming industry, controversy seems to revolve around two basic things: violent content and hardware performance shenanigans. Infinium Labs garnered conflict and gossip in a third area, with an overall platform. This had to do a lot with the fact that no one knew much about the system or its service, and Infinium Labs was rather slow to reveal details. What were the specs? What games was it going to have? How much was it going to cost? When did they plan to launch it? Believe it or not, Kevin Bachus answered almost all of these questions for IGN recently, in a presentation that definitely raised some eyebrows.

First of all, let's talk about Infinium Labs' high-level aims--why they've decided to do this in the first place, and what niche they're aiming to fill. One of the advantages they leverage is sheer convenience. You don't have to go to a store to buy the game, or even order it over the Internet and wait for it to ship to you. Simply buy it via the Phantom's Internet-enabled interface, and the game starts streaming to its 40GB hard drive. Developers don't have to customize the game for streamability like Bachus says they do for Steam--it's treated more like a video file and the transfer scheme works across all games without any tweaking. Games also automatically patch themselves, so the customer doesn't have to keep abreast of all the hairy details of getting a game to work nicely. And because the Phantom has the same hardware in every machine, there are fewer headaches in getting a game to run on the platform.

Infinium intends to allow publishers to bypass the "retail bottleneck," where they have to pay for prominent shelf space and deal with inventory and distribution. The retailers, however, are also onboard because they get an unspecified cut of the profits. Lastly, Bachus believes that the apparently relatively light Christmas season will make the Phantom's November debut a good choice.




But how does the Phantom compare to a PC? Well, It's going to have an Athlon XP 2500+ CPU, 256MB RAM, 128MB GeForce FX 5700 Ultra, the aforementioned 40GB hard drive, nForce 2 Ultra 400 motherboard, a custom controller and game pad, a keyboard and mouse, and a lapboard, all included in the package. Bachus said there also may be adapters in the future that will allow you to connect standard PC input devices into the Phantom's proprietary connectors.

Also, the Phantom is fully LAN enabled and transparent to the network, so if you have UT 2004 installed on it, you can play with your buddies who are on their "real" computers and connect to UT's master game server like everybody else. The Phantom also supports HDTV, Dolby Digital Surround Sound, and runs on Windows XP Embedded. But there is no optical drive, floppy drive, or memory card connector (that we could see). It looks like everything that you install must go through its Ethernet connection, which will connect to the Internet via a standard ISP.

Although launch content and launch partners will not be announced until August, quickly followed by volume manufacturing, Bachus told us we should expect "in the low to mid 100s" of games to be available when it goes live. He does say, however, that "not many" partners have signed on as of yet, although "not many" depends on what your actual goal is, I suppose.

But I've been saving a zinger for ya: The system is free. Of course, there are caveats. There is a monthly fee of $29.95 that includes a basic library of included games, and you have to subscribe for two years. Triple-A games are planned to be available at reduced cost, around $5-10 less than retail. Plus you will, finally, be able to rent PC games, with the planned system of $5 dollars for three days, with the possibility of rent-to-own also in the works. With Andrew "Bunny" Huang on their advisory board (the person who originally cracked the Xbox), they seem pretty confident that the Phantom will not be easily crackable. Hopefully, it will be more trouble than it's worth, because I for one have been longing for the ability to rent a PC game, instead of plunking down $40-50 at once.

So with the Phantom entering beta testing in June or July, a data and call center going live in June, and all the other staggered milestones revealed between now and November, it looks like Infinium Labs is truly serious about entering the gaming market. Only time will tell, and it looks like we'll have to wait until August before we know if it has any teeth.
-- Tom McNamara


http://gearmedia.ign.com/gear/image/article/512/512854/phantom-200405101007529.jpg
http://gearmedia.ign.com/gear/image/article/512/512854/phantom-200405101007795.jpg
http://gearmedia.ign.com/gear/image/article/512/512854/phantom-200405101007498.jpg
http://gearmedia.ign.com/gear/image/article/512/512854/phantom-200405101007670.jpg

Great Rumbler
The big question is "Are people ready to start doing things like that?" that and "Will this system have games that I care about?"

A Black Falcon
I like buying boxes! And having boxes! This thing is stupid. For someone like me anyway. But they've always said they're aiming for a mass market...

OB1
Well at least the system is sexy-looking.

A Black Falcon
Interesting pay structure, though...

OB1
One that Nintendo actually said they might do in the future a while back.

A Black Falcon
I still want to buy a box in the store. And keep the box forever. :)

Great Rumbler
$30 of a month for two years is quite a chunk of change for a console and a "basic" library of game [that doesn't fill me with a lot of hope]. And one thing I've always thought about is what happens if the company goes under? Well, you can kiss your games and money good-bye, because the console is worthless.

A Black Falcon
But you wouldn't have to keep spending the $30... :)

Oh, and the games on the HDD would still work I'd expect. Though that isn't saying much. You're right, there are definite issues there... as well as with that HDD! For whole games installed... 40gb isn't much! Unless it just streams them from elsewhere and doesn't actually install them... but then the issues with if it fails become even more clear. Yeah, there are definite problems here.

Great Rumbler
I missed the part about the hard drive. Yeah, you COULD still play it, but there'd be no getting used games and you're limited to how many games you can have.

OB1
:D


http://images.1up.com/imageapp/large_image/7/l_dsc00805_sid126679.jpg


Hahaha... they really want people to know that they're not just one big joke.

A Black Falcon
You're supposed to delete some I guess... which seems pretty dumb... I mean, pay for a game but if you can't keep it anymore delete it forever? Could you regain access without paying again? Will they discontinue games, making it impossible to ever get those games again (unlike most where you can get used)? So many problems...

Dark Jaguar
Maybe the HD is removable and replacable with others...

Still, the entire concept really sorta defeats the whole purpose of owning a game. If I want something like this, I HAVE online sites that will let me pay a fee to keep games as long as I want and just get them mailed to my house.

In other news, yeah I want to know myself why PC games have never been rentable. I suppose those same online sites may eventually add them to their lists of things. If it turns out it's piracy related, then once again thiefs have ruined a perfectly good thing for me personally due to their selfishness!

Anyway, back to this, yeah honestly it's an interesting idea in theory, and one of my old programming teachers really actually WANTS a future where you get EVERY bit of data online and never have to bother with physical media again. I however, don't. I like being able to play each and every one of my games "off the system" as it is. Having to rely on the existance of that company to know my product will work is not my idea of true ownership. I remember XBand, great idea, but due to not having the forsight to have a set of instructions on how to set up your own XBand server, when the company died, so did the service, and now all I have is a useless purple brick that plays generation x music. Maybe someone will one day decide to hack the thing and set up their own server, then publish the ip address to connect to in order to get to it. Of course, to get your XBand hooked up to THAT, they'd also have to provide a sort of spoofer for the PC that tricks the XBand into thinking it dialed into the network, then the PC, once it got the XBand connected to it's modem, would then go online itself and go to that server.

Once this guy goes belly up, and I still have a feeling he will considering his past, I have a feeling people will be equally unable to do anything. Worse though, unlike the XBand, which only did the job of connecting people, all the games and the device itself being things you owned, the GAMES won't actually be anyone's to legally distribute. Even if someone did set up a server, it would certainly be shut down because, after all, they WOULD have to break the law and provide the games for download. I fully agree with the illegality of it, but it's just another downer. Besides, I have a strong feeling that your games would be considered illegal even if they WERE still on your drive once the service failed, just like if you stopped payments and cancelled it, and as such, it would likely require you to sign in even if it's just a single player game to confirm your account before you start.

Really, in a true communism future where the evil of humanity is eliminated and people can exchange ideas freely while giving in return where the internet and everything about it is free, yeah, making ALL data online is a good solution. However, that future will NEVER occur and CAN never occur, and as such, I have to say not only is this idea not feasible now, I don't think it EVER will be. A single service for free games on an account is the only way a company can make a profit off this, and as a result you are tied to that company in order to use the machine. The alternative is what is already being done, that is, just downloading free games anyway legally online that people make now and again, but the generous people who make those nifty games make no profit off them, and thus there will only be so many, and only be so much quality one can get, out of that.

All I'm saying is the closest we'll ever get to this thing being a working model, if you ask me, is the current system of free games being made and published online for download by non-profit groups. Great though it is, it's never going to be the standard.

Eh, I guess that means I don't think this will take off. Then again, XBox Live succeeded, and that ties people to a single company too.

Great Rumbler
I'd rather have the disc on my hand so if anything goes wrong I can just install it again. And I don't want to pay a monthly fee to play a gaming console.

A Black Falcon
PC games aren't rentable because of piracy, obviously. Simple answer. It'd be far, far too easy to pirate games if you could take them home.

Oh, and I'm wondering how many exclusives it'll have. I mean, it IS a PC. Oh, the X-Box basically is too, but this is even more so and doesn't have a big company like MS to push people to make exclusives...

Dark Jaguar
What about back before CD burners were availabe? I wanted to rent PC games THEN too! And that whole issue just makes me mad. Kill the piraters! Make 'em walk the plank, aarrrrrggg.... .... mmmyarg arg... arg...

OB1
Well you can rent movies and those are also easy to copy. Piracy can't be the issue because there's nothing PC developers can do to stop Blockbuster, etc. from renting out PC games. Nintendo tried to prevent their games from being rented out in the 80's, remember that? It's probably because PC games aren't as mainstream as console games are. :dunno:

A Black Falcon
The only period where it might have happened was after games switched to CDs (floppies are very, very easy to copy and the "solution", copywright protection... can you imagine having to rent out codewheels? It'd NEVER work!) and before burners got popular. That wasn't too long, and it didn't happen then.

A Black Falcon
Humorous interview. Well worth the read, I think... :)

http://www.whereisphantom.com/modules.php?op=modload&name=Sections&file=index&req=viewarticle&artid=2&page=1

Great Rumbler
Interesting read.

A Black Falcon
I wonder why he never got back to them with those replies... :)

Great Rumbler
I can't imagine why. :D

Private Hudson
I always assumed the difference between renting out PC games and renting out console games was that PC games have to be installed onto your computer. Back in the day, I never needed a CD to play my brand new games, I'd just install it and not worry about the CD. So if you rented a game, you could simply install it and then return it and have a brand new game at a tenth of the price. Then this whole "you need the CD in the machine to play it" thing took off, so renting out games nowadays would be less of a risk.... except for the whole piracy thing.

That being said, I have seen PC games for rent at a small local video store once. Just a few. :)

A Black Falcon
PC games for rent? That doesn't seem like a particularly good idea, because of installing and all that, but if they want to, why not... :)