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Infinium's Phantom slips to 2005

Marketing and retail concerns cause new console to drop back to next year.

Florida-based Infinium Labs has announced that the launch of its Phantom Game Service and console has been postponed to next year, following consultation with retail and marketing partners for the device.

The system - which provides users with a free PC-based set-top device in return for a subscription to a broadband games on demand service - was originally meant to launch in November in North America, with a European launch following next year.

"Retailers gear their fourth quarter holiday promotions around gift-giving opportunities," explained Infinium president Kevin Bachus, "and they feel, as we do, that our service will not be bought primarily as a gift for someone else. It will more likely be a self-purchase."

Bachus denied that the delay indicated that Infinium is having trouble preparing the console and service for launch, saying that "we were on track to offer the Phantom Game Service later this year."

"Many of our key marketing and retail partners, as well as publishers, have told us that they believe the best way to make the service successful is to hold off for now," he claimed.

No exact new date for the launch of the system has yet been set, and regardless of Infinium's explanation for the slippage, it is likely to attract further criticism for the company - especially from the ranks of those who remain unconvinced that the device will ever launch at all.

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