Sundays unveiling of the Phantom console produced some interesting specs and lots of details on the upcoming console. A 3 GHz processor, the latest nVidia chip and 7.1 sound just some of the features announced. In an interview with Gigex, David Frederick of Infinium Labs gave some information away, including a possible price for the console, subscription and games as well as an expected release date.
On the feedback (including the Vaporware comments) the company has had since they announced Phantom, in March and on the preloaded titles each unit will carry, Frederick said ... we will be releasing details on many of the titles at COMDEX [November 17-20 in Las Vegas, Nevada] where people can see what the Phantom is. The interesting thing is we let the cat out of the bag back around March and the response was just overwhelming, we have just created so much demand and interest, in fact so much so that we see comments like, "It's not real, it's vaporware." I can tell you, it's not vaporware, its real and it's coming very soon.
So this is kind of the first controlled release of the product, and for the first time ever we will introduce the world to the Phantom. All the stuff that people have been clamoring, and that's kind of the first phase of "shock and awe," so to speak. Then at COMDEX we will have the beta units so folks will be able to test drive, touch and feel the Phantom console. In the early fourth quarter, beta units should be going out and that will lead into the first quarter release.
When we put out a call for beta testers for Phantom, we received over forty-thousand applications for beta testers and we're in the process of weeding them all out. We can't ship out forty-thousand units for beta testing purposes only, but we will weed them down and ship the final testers everything they need.
On the pricing of the console, the service and the games Fredricks had the following to say Phantom will be below USD 399 and the VPGN should hit at USD 9.95 per month. The Phantom will come with preloaded games in the box so, literally, no pun intended, you'll be able to play right out of the box.
The titles themselves will have a price range from USD 2.99 to USD 50, it depends on the type of game and the release. It does vary from game to game, but we are able to offer the game at a much more affordable rate because there's not the package, not the shelf space, typical retail expenses like that.
In the same interview Fredricks surprised many by claiming that the console will be sold only through Phantom.net and the company's broadband partners, while no retailers had, at this point, been confirmed. Phantom is expected during Q1, 2004.
Finally on the specs of the console Fredricks commented, When Phantom is delivered in the first quarter of 2004, it will be the fastest, most powerful game console on the market and in the world. The baseline unit, the basic Phantom will come with a 100GB hard drive, 256MB DDR RAM, the latest iteration of the nVidia video card, a broadband modem depending on if you want a DSL or cable modem and any peripherals you would want included. Then there's an enhanced version of Phantom where everything is top end, memory is blown out. In between those two things, we will allow customers who can customize their units exactly how they want their Phantom to be built. So if they want more memory or a bigger hard drive or a WiFi modem, they can do that.
Now, going back to what you said about stacking up against the upcoming consoles, there is a program we have called Phantom For Life. Here, users of Phantom For Life will always have the next iteration of Phantom hardware while, on the software side, when you connect to the VPGN all your software and performance upgrades can be done automatically. I hate using terms like non-obsolescence, but that really is the model we've implemented by not only taking advantage of technology, but also on the broadband side we can help keep the Phantom at the leading edge.
The full Phantom specs were announced as follows:
Phantom Standard Components
- Custom OS on Windows XPe kernel
- Up to 3.0 GHz processor with 256MB DDR RAM
- High-performance nVidia video card
- High-performance Intel motherboard
- Dolby Digital 7.1 Surround Sound
- 100+ Gigabyte internal storage device
- On-board RF wireless modules
- S-Video, RCA or component video and PAL
- 10/100 baseT Ethernet
- 1 wireless controller
- Wireless keyboard and mouse
- 2 USB ports
- 4 controller ports
- 12' Port Extension Cable
Phantom Optional Components</>
- Controllers, wireless and corded
- Keyboard and mouse with charging base station
- Storage expansion for additional game storage
- DSL modem
- Cable modem
- Wireless WIFI card
- Memory upgrades
- Speaker sets
- Flat screen displays
You can view all images of the console by following the Screens tab above.