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Phantom transmogrifies

Company launches new site and prices, delays Lapboard, changes console concept to be a software-only PC application.


Originally, the Phantom was announced as a console that would bring the PC experience to the living room. After several delays and much mocking from the gaming community, the company rebranded its product as the "Phantom Game Service." While it still involved a special box hooked up to the TV, management emphasized that it was developing a subscription offering for streaming games and was not a competitor for Sony, Microsoft, and Nintendo.

Now even that idea is out the window. The recently renamed Phantom Entertainment has relaunched its Web site and updated the progress of both the Phantom Game Service and the Phantom Lapboard. While the Phantom Game Service will go by the same name as before, the company has said it will now be offered as a software-only program for the PC.

"The Phantom Game Service was originally engineered to run on a Windows XP embedded operating system on a Phantom Game Receiver managed by Phantom content servers over the Internet," reads the site. "The Company [now] intends to modify the Phantom Game Service software to run as client software on personal computers operating Windows XP and Windows XP Media center operating systems."

Apparently, the new and improved Phantom service will still be used to ultimately get PC games running on TVs instead of a computer monitor, as the Web site lists a "High Definition or Standard Television" among the service's requirements.

As for the Phantom Lapboard, it's been delayed again. Previously announced as releasing in North America and Europe "no later than October," the company's keyboard-and-mouse combo is now set to start shipping in November. The company also announced its peripheral's price for the first time; the asking price is $129.95, but those who place an order before September 30 will receive $30 off. Barring any more delays, the Lapboard will be the company's first product to make it to market.

In other Phantom news this week, the company delayed its quarterly report. In a filing with the SEC, CEO Greg Koler said the company estimates that it had no revenues and a net loss of $450,000 for the three months ended June 30. However, he warned that the company's actual numbers may differ significantly when the final filing is made.

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