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The ghost of gaming future?
February 23rd 2004, 10:38 CET by Gunp01nt

No doubt you have all heard about Infinium Labs and their infamous Phantom console. First announced in 2002 as a grand collection of big promises, the Phantom console has been the victim of a lot of skepticism, ending up third in the Wired Vaporware Awards of 2003.
I'm sure most people have also read the revealing HardOCP article in which Infinium Labs' CEO Timothy Roberts turned out to have a very shady business past. Infinium Labs is now threatening to sue HardOCP over this article.

What surprised me was that the driving force behind the lawsuit is apparently not CEO Tim Roberts, but Chief Operating Officer (COO) Kevin Bachus. Bachus, who seems to have become the main spokesperson for Infinium Labs, used to work for Microsoft, promoting the DirectX and XBox gaming platforms among developers. Bachus is reported to have personally persuaded  over 200 game development companies to develop for the XBox.

There was a long time when the Phantom did seem nothing more than empty promises to lure in investor cash. But under Bachus' guidance, the project finally seems to be taking shape and is expected to be fully demonstrated at this year's E3. many skeptics have been silenced by the mere fact that Infinium Labs is no longer operating under radio silence, but actually seems to be producing something.

Myself, I've been wondering what the involvement of Kevin Bachus could do for the console. What do you think? Could this hotshot who's proven himself in the past, lift this console into the market? Could Infinium Labs establish a beachhead between Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo? What would it take for this to happen?

And more importantly, is the Phantom console and its on-demand delivery of games a glance at where computer gaming is headed, PC gaming included?
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#15 by Duality
2004-02-23 14:55:47
Dualipuff@yahoo.com http://stratoscape.ath.cx/
#12 Gunp01nt
In the case of iTunes et al, people are willing to give up their shiny CD, case and booklet and just burn their music themselves, or use it whatever way they see fit. And just look at how booming the legal MP3 download industry is!

People are willing to give it up and burn the CDs themselves because that's the way its designed.  Apple also tells you up front that you should burn them to CD.  Applications you purchase generally do not tell you to make a backup copy, leading customers to assume that they can redownload their software at a later date.

Also, in the case of games, iTunes AAC files are no more than a couple megabytes large.  You'll be forced to wait anywhere from 6-12+ hours to download an entire game.

On demand it is not.
#16 by Sgt Hulka
2004-02-23 14:56:56
ah yes, but how do we get to Kevin Bacon from here?

American society is a rigid, dichotomized instrument of repression which ensures that its members behaved like clones, marching through life with mechanical, assembly-line precision and no tolerance for ambiguity.
#17 by gaggle
2004-02-23 15:13:42
6 to 12 hours or more for a gamedownload sounds pretty excessive, agreed. But does it have to be that long? Yes downloading a game today will take that long, but I was under the impression that certainly they would take into account ways of limiting all that downloading. Ie. you wait whilest downloading the 50-ish megabytes required to start playing the game (50 megs is about a 5 minute wait if we theorize a 2048 kbit line.. not too unreasonable I hope, considering it'll be a while until they release their product). Then whilest playing the rest is gobbled down. A full 700 megabytes is about an hours worth of download on a 2048 line (I googled this, for reference. It's kinda crappy, but eh, I'm in a hurry).

That's assuming everything is right with the world, that you get the speeds your cable is capable of, etc. But the concept of gaming-on-demand doesn't have to involve 16 hours worth of downloading does it?
#18 by gaggle
2004-02-23 15:14:55
Now why did I mention 16 hours of downloading all of a sudden?
#19 by jafd
2004-02-23 15:25:14
There is no lawsuit. There will never be a lawsuit. Sending a C&D letter is not a lawsuit.

<Hugin_len>
A successful lawsuit would require Infinium to send a real lawyer to a courtroom.  Poser renders of a lawyer, a realistic lawyer mannequin, or a lawyer cordioned off behind a curtain that the judge couldn't actually talk to won't work.

Further: a hilarious article that you probably already read.

Regarding on-demand games, I am greatly looking forward to the traditional BitTorrent vs. FedEx struggle coming up for UT@K$. On the one hand, six CDs is a lot, but on the other, Comcast just boosted my pipe to 3 megabits. I predict a photo finish.

It's my life. It never ends.
#20 by Trolly McTroll
2004-02-23 15:29:18
#19 jafd
UT2004 is six CDs?


Fucking Atari-Extremes-Mega-Fucks!

You Know You Envy the soul of Trolly McTroll
#21 by Hugin
2004-02-23 15:48:31
lmccain@nber.org
Can anyone get into IRC?  And if so, how?
#22 by Dethstryk
2004-02-23 15:52:54
jemartin@tcainternet.com
I'm connecting into www.planetcrap.com as I type this.

sunny days have funny ways of quieting the roar
#23 by Jibble
2004-02-23 15:55:36
#12 Gunp01nt
I think CD's, CD-rom's and DVD's as a medium are just too much of a hassle. I used to have stray CD-R's lying all over my desk. Then I bought a new harddrive and now I haven't used my CD-writer for writing in over four months. I think I'm not the only one who feels that way and that downloading content might become more popular than receiving it on an optical medium. Everybody's downloading their games, music, movies already. The only thing publishers would have to do is allow people to pay for what they download and not pinning them down on buying an optical medium as the only option.

Spoken like a true believer that hard drives never crash.  Backups?!  Bullshit, technology is infallible!

Tangible recordable media will never go out of style.  It may change from CDs to memory cards to microchips, but people will always want something they can physically hold.  Even in the information technology business, people want paper copies of inane shit for no reason.  People like to hold things, to manipulate them with their hands.  iTunes is successful because of the ease of transferring the songs to other mediums (iPod, CD, etc.).  It wouldn't be so popular if the songs were encoded and non-burnable.

If Sony, Nintendo, Microsoft, and Sega went out of business tomorrow, I'd still be able to enjoy every last (offline) game I own and continue to purchase games from the store.  Even if my Xbox, Playstation, and GameCube broke down I could still buy a used one from my local GameStop and get right back to gaming.  If Infinium goes out of business, and the hard drive on your Phantom crashes, you're pretty much fucked.  Even if you buy a new console, you won't be able to get your games back.

"No degree of dullness can safeguard a work against the determination of critics to find it fascinating." - Harold Rosenberg
#24 by Hugin
2004-02-23 16:14:21
lmccain@nber.org
All attempts to connect to www.planetcrap.com time out.  What port should I be using, anyone?
#25 by gaggle
2004-02-23 16:16:19
Is it official that the games you buy are stored locally, and only locally? Ie. there'll be no record of having bought a specific game and, if you desire, you can download it again? Or if you want to "bring" a game to a friends console you log onto their service and download it (for free)?
#26 by Dethstryk
2004-02-23 16:17:02
jemartin@tcainternet.com
Hugin -

6667.

sunny days have funny ways of quieting the roar
#27 by Warren Marshall
2004-02-23 16:20:44
http://www.wantonhubris.com/
Spoken like a true believer that hard drives never crash. Backups?! Bullshit, technology is infallible!

Yep, I just had a hard drive start to fail on the weekend and had to replace it.  Pain in the ass...  I was able to save all of the content, but it could have easily gone the other way.

"Cheap Garbage Disposal Canít Handle Femur"
#28 by Hugin
2004-02-23 16:21:06
lmccain@nber.org
I really cannot bring myself to discuss this Phantom thing as if it's an actual console anyone is actually ever going to play actual games on.  It's like trying to discuss the best way to cook boojum meat.
#29 by Hugin
2004-02-23 16:23:16
lmccain@nber.org
Dangit.  Keeps timing out.  /me beats his tiny fists impotently against the unyielding door to IRC.
#30 by Matt Perkins
2004-02-23 16:24:38
wizardque@yahoo.com http://whatwouldmattdo.com/
What about irc.planetcrap.com or irc.chromag.net (I think that last one is right)?

"Good, good. Now, and here is where I'm going with this - I'll be fucked if I can remember how to farm."
- LP
#31 by Hugin
2004-02-23 16:40:50
lmccain@nber.org
I got in using irc.planetcrap.com, but I'd tried that earlier and the channel was empty.  Now it's full.  And www.planetcrap.com is still no go.  Very odd.
#32 by yotsuya
2004-02-23 17:01:49
Gaggle-

I could so make love to your icon. Rock! Welcome to PC.

That's a beautiful way to go. Shot by Yot. In more ways than one. -mgns
#33 by jjohnsen
2004-02-23 17:04:06
http://www.johnsenclan.com
So, today I'd like to buy and play.. mm.. Unreal Tournament 2004, so I go to the Buy Game page, hit the Buy option next to UT2k4, a progressbar informs me that it'll be 5 minutes before I can start the game, and after that everything runs nicely.


If this were true I'd be all for it.  I have a Babbages about 10 minutes from my house, so unless I can start playing in 20 minutes I might as well just drive to the store.

-Jeremy
#34 by Charles
2004-02-23 17:05:52
www.bluh.org
I was able to start playing halflife the instant I clicked on the play button in Steam.

Religion is the most malevolent of all mind viruses.
#35 by E-ph0nk
2004-02-23 17:24:11
http://www.electrophonk.be
My experience with steam is the same as Charles'.
First it downloaded, then when I pressed play it checked for the latest versions & started without a problem.

*sigh*
#36 by Bailey
2004-02-23 17:32:19
Gunpoint

I think I'm not the only one who feels that way and that-

Stop right there.

yotsuya

I could so make love to your icon. Rock! Welcome to PC.

PC has never had a No Fat Chicks policy, has it?

Only as much as you deserve.
#37 by yotsuya
2004-02-23 17:34:57
Bailey-

Nope, and it never will.

That's a beautiful way to go. Shot by Yot. In more ways than one. -mgns
#38 by jjohnsen
2004-02-23 17:41:15
http://www.johnsenclan.com
E-phonk, I never tried Steam so I'm just curious how long the download took?

-Jeremy
#39 by Bailey
2004-02-23 17:41:32
You realize this will one day require us to redefine "fat"? Wait, nevermind, we already went over that during the whole Kate Winslett debate.

Only as much as you deserve.
#40 by yotsuya
2004-02-23 17:46:21
Bailey-

You're right, we did. I vouch for Brother Gaggle and wait for Ds, the Sergeant-at-Arms, to give Gaggle his pledge pin.

That's a beautiful way to go. Shot by Yot. In more ways than one. -mgns
#41 by jafd
2004-02-23 17:47:53
I'm appalled by several of the things you vouch for, yot.

It's my life. It never ends.
#42 by yotsuya
2004-02-23 17:48:41
Well, seeing as how I now love you, jafd, I'm not suprised. Hakuna Matada.

That's a beautiful way to go. Shot by Yot. In more ways than one. -mgns
#43 by Bailey
2004-02-23 17:48:49
I'm all for rubenesque dames, but all his rubenesque icon suggests thus far is that he's highly suggestible. Those pins aren't cheap, you know.

Only as much as you deserve.
#44 by yotsuya
2004-02-23 17:51:15
I thought they were made out of the fried remains of overclocked Durons?

That's a beautiful way to go. Shot by Yot. In more ways than one. -mgns
#45 by Gunp01nt
2004-02-23 17:57:00
supersimon33@hotmail.com
Bailey:
Stop right there.


Aww, Bailey's afraid he's gonna cry when we talk about feelings? Don't worry, you're in good company here. Nobody's gonna laugh at you.

I want a horse that ribbits and a frog that neighs... oink oink oink
#46 by Dethstryk
2004-02-23 18:01:27
jemartin@tcainternet.com
Matata.

sunny days have funny ways of quieting the roar
#47 by yotsuya
2004-02-23 18:01:43
This looks like the law firm G-Man should work for, since he already has proven time and time again he is a mofo.

That's a beautiful way to go. Shot by Yot. In more ways than one. -mgns
#48 by yotsuya
2004-02-23 18:02:48
Deth-

I had it that way, but I changed it. Poop.

That's a beautiful way to go. Shot by Yot. In more ways than one. -mgns
#49 by Squeaky
2004-02-23 18:07:53
#3 bago
ok squeaky.

what?

My name it is Sam Hall an' I hate you, one and all. An' I hate you, one and all. Damn your eyes.
dvds
#50 by gaggle
2004-02-23 18:10:42
Suggestible? Me? Oh yes.
But zaftig females were requested, so zaftig females I deliver. Back to basking in the singular source of warmth and love that is yotsuya.
#51 by Trolly McTroll
2004-02-23 18:11:40
#36 Bailey
Gunpoint
PC has never had a No Fat Chicks policy, has it?


Nope. I'm not fat, I'm big boned.  Big fucking stomach bone that is.

Fucker

Like Sand in the Butt Crack, These Are the Trolls of our Lives
#52 by bago
2004-02-23 18:15:38
manga_Rando@hotmail.com
Joker stole your signature line...

The monkey poured coffee in my MOOTZ!
#53 by jafd
2004-02-23 18:46:03
Today's Penny Arcade: very funny.

It's my life. It never ends.
#54 by E-ph0nk
2004-02-23 19:32:30
http://www.electrophonk.be
#38 jjohnson,

I think half-life took 3-4 hours... Can't really tell.  Not superfast, but still better then some newsservers, right?

*sigh*
#55 by Darkseid-D
2004-02-23 19:39:31
rogerboal@hotmail.com
*pins the pledge badge on gaggle, a pentium 4 chip with a mulleted head engulfed in flames, the letters Muy Loco Por Vida scratched in underneath it*


Now for the initiation rite, Yot, bring on the artichokes !

Do not go gently into that good night.
Old age should burn and rage at the close of day.
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.
#56 by jjohnsen
2004-02-23 19:52:52
http://www.johnsenclan.com
I think half-life took 3-4 hours... Can't really tell.  Not superfast, but still better then some newsservers, right?


Hmm, that just goes back to how long it takes me to drive to a store.  I can save 3 hours and have a physical copy of the game.

-Jeremy
#57 by yotsuya
2004-02-23 19:55:20
That's a tight-ass badge, Ds. I might have to make that my icon!

That's a beautiful way to go. Shot by Yot. In more ways than one. -mgns
#58 by mrbloo
2004-02-23 22:09:13
mrbloo2000@hotmail.com
Here you go Yot.  It'll look shite small, but it would make a bitching transfer for your car.

#59 by yotsuya
2004-02-23 22:14:39
Bloo rocks! Thanks!

That's a beautiful way to go. Shot by Yot. In more ways than one. -mgns
#60 by Sgt Hulka
2004-02-23 23:48:04
Who's the real puppet here?

American society is a rigid, dichotomized instrument of repression which ensures that its members behaved like clones, marching through life with mechanical, assembly-line precision and no tolerance for ambiguity.
#61 by Sgt Hulka
2004-02-23 23:49:17
/urk!

Who's the real puppet here?

I got my new Border Collie puppet today.  It rocks.  Her name is Puppalow.  The monkey is Pico.  The troll in the middle is me.

American society is a rigid, dichotomized instrument of repression which ensures that its members behaved like clones, marching through life with mechanical, assembly-line precision and no tolerance for ambiguity.
#62 by Darkseid-D
2004-02-24 00:01:37
rogerboal@hotmail.com
rocking badge that *cracks up laughing*

Do not go gently into that good night.
Old age should burn and rage at the close of day.
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.
#63 by G-Man
2004-02-24 01:21:20
#47 yotsuya
This looks like the law firm G-Man should work for, since he already has proven time and time again he is a mofo.
SEEN IT. Also I have a reason to be a bastard. I'm now working three jobs, am on a journal and am going to law school fulltime. All I have time for is my girlfriend, the occasional asshole post and UT2K4 pickup game.

#61 Sgt Hulka
I got my new Border Collie puppet today.  It rocks.  Her name is Puppalow.  The monkey is Pico.  The troll in the middle is me.
You should play Ape Escape 2. It is really good and you can get it on ebay or from me for like fifteen bucks.
#64 by jjohnsen
2004-02-24 01:46:59
http://www.johnsenclan.com
Does Wudi re-submit his topic every few hours, or is there another reason I've been able to vote no about 20 times?

-Jeremy
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