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Phantom nowhere to be seen

On-demand service under threat?

Cast your mind back to E3 2004, and you may remember talk of something called the Phantom from Infinium Labs.

It's a sleek and shiny box designed to sit under your TV, offering on-demand console games to save you the trouble of going down to the boring old shops. It caused quite a stir, and was nominated for the best hardware of the show award.

But the Phantom was nowhere to be seen at this year's event, and now Infinium itself seems to be confused as to the future of the product.

On April 20, the company filed a report with the Securities and Exchange Commission stating that it needs another $11.5 million before it can go ahead and launch - having already missed several planned release dates.

And what's more, Infinium stated, “There is a high likelihood that sufficient capital will not be available... And the launch date will again shift and/or the company will go out of business.” Oh dear.

However, in an interview with US website tradersnation.com just last week, Infinium president Kevin Bachus stated that the Phantom is indeed going to launch in the US “later this year”.

He went on to say the company was confident of the machine's money-spinning potential, identifying “three streams of revenue” - the hardware, the content and the subscription fees. Infinium has previously stated that the Phantom service will cost $19.95 per month, with a minimum subscription period of two years.

“Between those three revenue streams, we feel very confident that we're going to be able to not only deliver value to the consumer but to our shareholders as well,” Bachus said.

Infinium also says that product development and testing is “near complete”, and has confirmed that more than 20 publishers - including Atari, Vivendi and Eidos - have already signed up to supply content.

The company was unavailable for comment at the time of writing, but we'll keep you posted.