Im typing this from an e-book I d/l alittle while ago.
The Phantom is optomised to work on HD sets (1080x768 pixel resolution/1080i), and we played Unreal Tournament 2004 with solid frame rates and no hang-ups. Thats most likely because there's a decent computer lurking under the hood, and it only has to pump out a maximum resolution of 1080x768 for televisions. Even the unusual slanted keyboard tray and mouse combo worked surprisingly well (and this is light of our skepticism). And yes, we played it live on the internet.
The only shaky part is the pricing plan. The hardware will set you back $200, or you can have that fee waived if you sign a 2 year contract for $30 a month. Since you need the service to you this box anyhow, Infinium may as well own up to it and say that it wants your $720. This is when you start reaching into the realm of budget-friendly game systems (like, say, the first generation FragBox, which went for $1k and is more powerful).
Atleast Infinium will have games. Though final announcements are pending, spokespersons say there are going to be a solid lineup of titles available. And since the Phantom is based on an embedded version of Windows XP, you can expect most major hits (including MMO's) to be available. The basic plan entitles you to age-old Deer Hunter-like titles, while "premium" games will cost money to rent or buy. Final prices of games, though, will be set by publishers. Whether you want to download a quick demo and instantly play it or rent a title, the option is there.
Obviously this console-ization of PC gaming is meant to cater to groups of gamers: the casual and the budget-conscious. Either way, anything that expands the number of competitors online sounds good to us. We'll just have to wait and see how scary the final product is when it ships November 18th.
- Darren Gladstone
Price - $200/$30 a month
Available - November 18th
AMD Athlon 2500+
128MB Nvidia GeForce 5700 Ultra
The Hookup -
Downloads all games via broadband connection - premium titles cost extra money to rent or buy (plus broadback access seperate)
The Extras -
Slick, stylish box that has games delivered straight to the system
Price - $499
Available - September
AMD Athlon 2000+
64MB GeForce4 MX
The Hookup -
Uses 56k or broadband to download scripts for playing your off-the-shelf PC games
The Extras -
Funky, chunky box that doubles as a TiVo and dvd player[/SIZE]
A 15-20 min video can be watched from this link.