Friday, January 30, 2004

Video . . . games on demand?

Well that's the idea. And if you think about it, the biggest push for cable and satellite providers is video-on-demand. A company called Phantom Gaming Service is trying to deliver just that: video games on demand for customers that purchase its console, have a boradband Internet connection, and pay a monthly subscription fee. I had seen Phantom referred to earlier this month as some sort of massive stock scam, but an article today in Wired says something different. Apparently one of the initiators of the XBox project at Microsoft has joined Phantom as its President and CEO.

Listen, I'm not a big video game guy, but I have some firends that are big gamers. It seems to me that adventure games like Final Fantasy that take an average of 80-100 hours to beat are kind of a rip off. I mean once you've paid the $60 for the game, invested 80-100 hours in it, and beat it, there's really nothing left to do with the game. None of the people I know who are gamers want to beat it again. The same does not hold true for my friends' sports games, but a sports game, once purchased, is static until the next year's edition is produced. What would be cool (and would be a major strategic advantage) would be for Phantom to provide sports games that are constantly updated based on seasons in progress. For example, Player X plays for team Y. In the game on Sunday, he ran for 1000 yeards. You jack in to play a football game on your Phantom console on Monday, and your virtual team Y has a much stronger Player X than it had on Friday.

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