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Phantom Game Console

Walter Bell Some technical notes (545 comments)

I was talking with my Uncle Isaac a few weeks ago about the game industry, and he brought this up. As a Sony employee, he has access to internal releases, and he mentioned that Sony had formed a "strategic parnership" with Infinium so that the Infinium console is backwards-compatible with PS1 and PS2 (and will be compatible with PS3 in the future). (So that is where the "32000 games" are coming from.) Apparently the Infinium console is an extremely ambitious endeavor; they are going around and paying top dollar for licenses for each of the major architectures (Playstation, Xbox, Sega Saturn, etc.) in an attempt to craft an uber-box that plays games on all of the supported platforms. Word around Sony is that they are trying to use a Transmeta chip, so that the CPU's instruction set can be "field-programmed" to match the platform the CD/DVD was originally intended for. The upside for Sony and Microsoft is that Infinium is going to be paying them to produce each unit (instead of the converse which they often see with their own products). The downside is that the general consensus in the video game industry is that such a box is not feasible with today's technology - at least not without massive amounts of duplication of effort (which would drive the console's price toward the $1000 mark).

IMHO this is just another misapplication of venture capital - an impossible product that is doomed to fail in the marketplace. But we will see whether or not they can make a profit on the unit.


about 12 years ago


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