How the Phantom Worked


Photo courtesy Infinium Labs

The Phantom Network, Phantom's VPGN, is essentially a virtual private network designed exclusively for games. Like a standard VPN, it acts as a direct, private route from computer to computer, through the Internet -- in this case, from a Phantom console to the Infinium Labs game server (see How VPNs Work for more information). The VPGN makes it easy for the console to get specific games from Infinium Labs, and more importantly, it makes it easy for Infinium Labs to control who gets what games.

Even with these modifications, the Phantom isn't earth-shattering from a pure hardware technology standpoint. Infinium's major innovation is taking what's special about a gaming PC -- the wide variety of games, the ability to download games and game previews and the ability to easily upgrade the machinery -- with what's special about a console -- the ability to play games using a big-screen TV, high-end sound system and custom controller.

And that in itself is an interesting idea. As we'll see in the next section, Infinium Labs has used this marriage of console and PC to put together a plan for a creative new gaming business.