Date: Thursday , September 16, 2004
All that aside, we looked high and low to discover just what was inside the original Phantom Console we first tried to write about. This was not been an easy task. While Tim Roberts has been quoted by Penny Arcade as saying there were "several hundred prototype models", it seems as though there may have been only five. This is one of the reasons finding one has taken so long. According to the sticker on the bottom of our unit, the Phantom Console we had was #5.
From what we now know, there may have been three generations of Infinium Labs' Phantom Console. The one that seems to have gotten the most attention was the one that surfaced last year. Penny Arcade gave their impressions of this Phantom Consloe when they were allowed to see it with a crowd of about 300 others last year.
Yes, they did bring an actual Phantom "console" to the meeting. It looked exactly like the mock ups on the Infinium Labs website, and was about as big as a standard PC-- just picture your home desktop laying on it's side. Yes, it even had that glowing blue Phantom logo on the front. There were no visible controller ports, however there were some USB ports in the back, along with various outputs for S-Video, Component, A/V, a few USB ports and even a FireWire connection.
What we are going to show you here is just what we think our friends at Penny Arcade saw that night, a first generation Phantom Console.
What you see above is a Phantom Console that was loaned to us for the purpose of writing this article. The Phantom you see above is plugged in and "running", although we could never get it to POST.
Once we saw it firsthand, it was much larger than we had guessed. The third picture shows a penny on top of the unit and a magazine in the background, which should give you an idea as to how large the unit is. Most people we showed the Phantom to were taken aback by the size and weight of it. If you were expecting something like an Xbox, then you are going to be very surprised. As Penny Arcade stated above, the unit is more like a ATX form factor desktop system or an ATX tower on its side.
The last picture above shows the rear panel of the unit, chock full of all kinds of ports and headers.
1 - RCA Video Out
1 - S-Video Out
1 - Front Audio Out
1 - Left and Right Audio Out
1 - "Dolby 7.1 Digital Audio" Optical Out
1 - "Dolby 7.1 Digital Audio" Digital Coax Out
1 - Firewire
1 - RJ11 "Line"
1 - RJ45 "Line 10/100"
1 - RJ45 "DSL In"
1 - Cable Modem Out
1 - Cable Modem In
4 - USB 2.0
We will cover these connections in a bit more depth on our conclusion page.
True to the company's word, the Phantom has no way to move data in and out of it except through the broadband connection devices, or so that is the idea conveyed.