Hands up, who remembers the Infinium Phantom Console? OK only the most dedicated of gamers amongst you do, this is a tale of how the fore mentioned console appeared in a repair shop.
If you are not sure of how the Phantom Console first came to be, then here’s a quick rundown, this console was first announced in the year 2002, oh the nostalgia of the original Xbox, ultra slow dial-up and no social networking. I have nothing against Facebook, but it was certainly a different time back then. Anyway, the Phantom was a “revolutionary” effort to bring the power of a PC to the living room TV; this was a pretty big dream considering how rudimentary Personal Computers were in the early 2000, imagine hooking up that big Windows XP machine to your huge backed TV.
Infinium’s aim was to build a machine capable of streaming games over a broadband connection this was certainly a big dream considering the Internet was in its infancy and had not been adopted by a huge chunk of the population. Unfortunately or somewhat predictably, the console did not launch onto the market, and by 2006, Infinium had suffered a massive $73 million in losses, now I normally use a currency converter, but there are too many noughts for me to care.
Since then the Phantom has been remembered for, well, not much really until one appeared at a repair shop. According to reports, a gentleman by the name of Eddie Schlesinger remembered an incident which happened three years ago, when a console collector walked into his store with a Phantom console. The collector had picked the console up for $200 (£130) from a person with whom he did some work for, does not say what work, could have been a cheap hitman for all we know.
The person offering the collector the console did not know what it was and therefore sold it for a cheap price. The collector took it to the repair shop because the console really did not work at all, Mr Schlesinger fitted a hard drive with Windows XP, reattached the audio jacks before connecting it to a monitor for it to load the promo screen, an image of this is below, the owner was pleased with his efforts and took it home.
It’s amazing how a prototype which never appeared on the market was accidentally found by a collector. If this was a counterfeit machine then it would have been a detailed replica which would not have been worth anything for the person who went to the trouble. If Infinium had invented the notion of internet living room gaming a decade later and managed to pull it off, the landscape of gaming would have been altered forever.
Thank You ars technica for providing us with this information and images