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    Infinium Labs Phantom (Robrady Design) - Prototype Console c. 2003 USA. For years, people thought the Infinium Phantom was just that; a ghost. Until now, everyone thought that the Phantom had finally been killed off in 2004 when the only known prototype unit was destroyed on stage at Quakecon. Now, after 17 years, the Phantom has surfaced once again. Heritage Auctions is proud to offer you a chance to own one of the gaming industry's most infamous pieces of vaporware, the Infinium Labs Phantom. This sole surviving example of the canceled console is truly a unique piece of video game history.

    Infinium Labs, the Sarasota-based electronics company, announced their ambitious direct-download gaming console in 2003. Unfortunately, despite their best efforts, the small company couldn't get the system off the ground. Funding for the system's development became a problem, forcing Infinium Labs to delay its launch continually. Legal issues and controversies surrounded the system, further complicating matters.
    Despite the public destruction of the Phantom in 2004 and its string of controversies, Infinium labs wouldn't quit. The company revealed a new "slim" prototype model, which debuted at trade shows in 2005. That device went for a sleek, more modern design, ditching the original model's bulky Xbox style. Ultimately, Infinium Labs failed to release the Phantom in any form.

    The Phantom would have been the first console to ditch physical media altogether if it had been released. For 2003, it was a concept that was ahead of its time. It took ten years before the all-digital Ouya streaming console launched. Now more than ever, the gaming industry promotes digital gaming with Microsoft's Xbox Series S and Sony's PlayStation 5 Digital Edition.

    One simply can't deny that the Phantom is visually stunning. The design firm Robrady (also based in Sarasota) deserves credit for creating the Phantom's striking logo and unique case. After all, the Phantom is essentially just a PC with a cool shell. Upon testing, we can confirm that the system does power-up: the fans spin up and the Phantom's iconic blue LED faceplate brightly illuminates. A short demo reel promoting the Phantom it set to play upon boot-up. When this unit was initially discovered, it was non-functioning. The system was brought to repair technicians who were able to restore it to a playable state. The entire process was documented in a 2015 arstechnica article. At the time of writing, the unit does power on, but does not display video - possibly due to a loose internal connection. Additionally, the system had received a professional color-matched repaint to correct some scuffs and scratches.

    As we did with the Nintendo Playstation and Sega Pluto, Heritage Auctions gives yet another lost console time in the spotlight. Don't let this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity pass you by, video game historians. Against all odds, the Phantom lives on.


    More Information: EDIT: 10/14 - Added information to description regarding paint restoration.
    EDIT: 10/27 - Added information about repair history and video output status


    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    October, 2021
    29th-31st Friday-Sunday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 16
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
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