PC-based consoles prep for E3 hoopla

— 11:02 AM on May 11, 2004

The lawsuit-happy folks at Infinium Labs have set a(nother?) release date for their Phantom console, targeting November 18th for destruction (thanks Convert). The console will be tied closely with Infinium's subscription service, and will come "free" with a two-year commitment, just like an oversized cell phone. The latest mock-ups of the Phantom look nothing like the first pictures released when the system design was essentially complete last time around.

Meanwhile, the 73-ton freight train rocketing down the tracks toward Infinium isn't the HardOCP legal team, it's DISCover consoles. Follow the blurbage:

DISCover® game consoles are the only game consoles designed to play PC games instead of video games. DISCover game consoles will be manufactured by companies such as Apex Digital, which will incorporate the patented DISCover "Drop and Play" technology into their consoles.
So, yes, this is another incarnation of the ApeXtreme, the missing link between PCs and game consoles. Turns out multiple vendors will release DISCover-based console systems, and here's the kicker: Alienware is prepping a box, dubbed Alienware DHS, based on ATI graphics. (This after Apex dumped S3/VIA for NVIDIA.) The press release just landed in my inbox:
Long Beach, CA (May 10, 2004) - Digital Interactive Systems Corp. (DISC) today announced that ATI Technologies Inc. (TSX:ATY, NASDAQ:ATYT) will feature its innovative graphics solutions in the DISCover Booth, South Hall, Booth 600 at this year's E3, May 12-14 in Los Angeles, CA.

DISCover's Drop & Play(tm) technology works transparently on the Windows XP Embedded operating system to automatically transform unmodified PC games into "no-hassle" DISCover console games. Both innovations will be featured in the upcoming DHS line of home media center systems from Alienware which will be on display at the DISCover Booth at E3.

One gets the impression that oft-touted "convergence" is bringing together whole groupings of strange bedfellows into our living rooms in a bid to replace the Playstation, TiVo, DVD player, and WebTV with a single box. Seems unlikely all of them will take, but the multi-vendor approach of the DISCover tech sure looks likely to slice through the Phantom's vapors.
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