Behind the Infinium Phantom Console

Many of us are well aware of the buzz surrounding the Phantom gaming console and the promises made by the company developing it. We look past the hype and press releases and take an honest look at who's behind the Phantom and the success of their previous ventures.

Introduction

By now, the whole world has heard of Infinium Labs and their infamous Phantom Game Console, but what do we really know about what could be the next big gaming console or the people bringing it to market? At this point, we know little beyond what they've been willing to share. We haven't seen the console outside of a few 3D renderings, we haven't seen the facility where they claim beta units are being built, and we haven't seen the Infinium Labs base of operations.

So, what do we know? Well, not much at first, so we decided to compile and research all of the publicly available information we could find and see what we could learn about Infinium Labs and their new console. What we discovered was that the CEO of Infinium Labs, Timothy Roberts, has helmed several businesses that have failed or have gone bankrupt in the last six years. A couple of these high profile bankruptcies cost investors in those companies millions and millions of dollars. Mr. Roberts is now the head of a new company, Infinium Labs, and is rounding up money from investors to realize his latest vision. We've read about at least one person who has stated that Infinium Labs has generated at least $25 million in venture capital and has also reported seeing a prototype console in person.

Let's start by first taking a look at what the Phantom console is actually supposed to be. Below are press release excerpts from Infinium Labs:

Infinium Labs is an industry-leading global entertainment and interactive game company. Infinium Labs has developed and is marketing its flagship product the Phantom Game Consoleآ™, a leading edge and intuitive game console and delivery system that is the performance leader in the interactive entertainment industry. Founded and managed by senior interactive media, entertainment and technology leaders with proven industry experience and success, Infinium Labs markets a robust game console that appeals to a wide audience of interactive gamers with its ease of use, quality assurance and robust delivery system. For more information, please visit www.phantom.net or www.infiniumlabs.com. Built By Gamers for Gamersآ™

Phantom Game Consoleآ™

If you have a need for blazing fast processor speed, cinematic graphics, and Dolby Digitalآ™ Surround Sound, then experience the Phantom Game Consoleآ™ for a true high performance gaming environment. The Phantomآ™ provides access to more games of every genre than any competing product. Phantomآ’s breath-taking speed, graphic realism and Dolby Digitalآ™ 7.1 Surround Sound put it in a class of its own . . . the must-have high performance game console. Experience the new world of Phantomآ™.

Phantomآ™ is the next-generation game console that supports PC games, games on-demand, game rentals, game demos and seamless upgrades. It is the fastest game console on the market and includes a broad selection of pre-loaded games. Phantomآ™ offers gamers a more exciting and compelling gaming experience than any other game console or PC on the market. Phantomآ™ is an always on broadband device, which allows gamers a wealth of options, from wireless connectivity to massive multiplayer capability . . . to allowing gamers to demo and experience games before purchasing or subscribing.

Components & Features

Case Feature Set

Phantomآ™ Features:

- State of the art design and technology

- Pre-loaded games that appeal to wide variety of users and gaming needs

- Ability to download more games than offered by other game consoles

- Leading edge peripherals

- Seamless upgrades and patch managements

- Register to Pre-Order your Phantomآ™ Today

- Register to be contacted to pre-order the Phantom Game Consoleآ™.

- Online ordering is expected to begin this October.

Standard Equipment

- Fits in any 19آ” entertainment center

- Custom OS on Windows XPe kernel

- Up to 3.0 GHz processor with 256MB DDR RAM

- High-performance nVidia video card

- High-performance Intel motherboard

- Dolby Digitalآ™ 7.1 Surround Sound

- 100+ Gigabyte internal storage device

- On-board RF wireless modules

- S-Video, RCA or component video and PAL

- 10/100 baseT Ethernet

- 1 wireless controller

- Wireless keyboard and mouse

- 2 USB ports

- 4 controller ports

- 12آ’ Port Extension Cable

It's interesting to note that the only images we've seen of the console so far are simply 3D renderings and not photographs of actual prototypes.

Behind Infinium Labs

Now that we've taken a brief look at the console itself, let's take a closer look at the man behind Infinium Labs, Timothy M. Roberts. We figured the best, and presumably most accurate, source of information about Mr. Roberts would be his own website. The link sends you to a cached page on Google. (Updated 01/05/05 - Working web archive link, but lacking full images.) We decided to use cached pages for our links to present to you the information as it appeared at the time of our research, in the chance the site is updated or altered after this article is published. A quick look at the site shows Mr. Roberts occupying eight different CEO/Director positions over the last eight years:

Infinium Labs Corporation

Chairman, CEO 2002-current

Wanforce, LLC

Director 2002-current

MEDHIRE, LLC.

Director 2000-current

Broadbrush Coatings, LLC

Financial Backer 1999-January 2003

Broadband Infrastructure Group Corporation (BIG)

Investor, Founder, CEO, Chief Visionary Officer & Director 1999-2000

Intira Corporation (formerly Digital Broadcast Network (dbn)

Founder, CEO, COO, Officer & Director 1997-1999

Phoenix Networks

Investor, Director 1997-1999

Skyscape Communications (Toronto, Canada)

Consultant آ– 1997 3 Months

SAVVIS Corporation

Co-Founder, CTO, COO, Officer & Director 1995-1997


Employment History

We wanted to take the opportunity to look into some of the more interesting jobs listed by Mr. Roberts on his resume before he started his current company, Infinium Labs. The employment information you see here is provided by Mr. Roberts' website; we simply took the time to research his jobs using publicly available information. Below you will see a trail of investor funded business ventures headed up by Mr. Roberts.

MEDHIRE, LLC.

According to Mr. Roberts' resume, he is currently the Director of the Missouri based MEDHIRE, LLC..

MEDHIRE, LLC.

Director 2000-current

According to Mr. Roberts' website, this company is owned by his mother Lora Roberts. Mr. Roberts is the registered contact on the MEDHIRE, LLC. website, as shown below.

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A few months ago we called the offices of MEDHIRE, LLC. at the number listed on the contact page (1-866-363-3447) and spoke to a woman who identified herself as Laura Roberts. When we called, we asked to speak with Tim Roberts, the Director of the company. The woman politely corrected us and let us know that Lora Roberts (not to be confused with Laura Roberts) was the director of MEDHIRE, LLC. and Tim Roberts was Lora's son. I asked her again, explaining that I had believed Tim Roberts was Director of MEDHIRE, LLC., and she again replied that he was not and added that he does not even live in the same state as the company.

Within the last two weeks, we called the same number and again spoke to a woman who introduced herself as Laura Roberts. We let her know that we were doing an article on Infinium Labs and that we would like to speak to Mr. Roberts. This time the woman's story was different and she referred to Mr. Roberts as the co-director of the company. We asked again to speak to Mr. Roberts, but the woman on the phone claimed she had no contact information whatsoever for Mr. Roberts. No e-mail address, no phone number, nothing. When we asked why she didnآ’t have any contact information for the Director of the company she worked for, she told us that he frequently changed phone numbers and that she did not have available his latest contact information.

Wanforce

The next job listed on Mr. Roberts' resume is a Director position for the company Wanforce.

Wanforce, LLC

Director 2002-current

We noticed that this company is also located in Missouri and is also another family operated business. The main page of the Wanforce website has a glowing endorsement from آ“L.R. Neuroscience Placement Specialistsآ”, Mr. Roberts' mother.

After calling the Wanforce contact number listed on the website, we learned that Mr. Roberts' brother Peter is the Executive Vice President of Wanforce Technologies.

This would appear to be the second time Mr. Roberts has joined forces with his brother Peter. According to his resume, Mr. Roberts was also the Director / Investor in Phoenix Networks whose assets were sold in 2001 after laying off 50% of the company workforce. The assets of Phoenix Networks were sold to MegaPath in late October, 2000 after Mr. Roberts' brother stepped down as President of Phoenix Networks (editors note: Peter Roberts stepped down as President of Phoenix Networks not Wanforce as earlier stated):

Phoenix Chief Executive Dan Foster, who took over from Roberts in June, has laid off dozens of Phoenix workers. From a peak of just over 200, the workforce -- all based at the company's Maryland Heights headquarters -- has been cut to "something over 100," according to the company. A Phoenix spokeswoman said a precise headcount of current employees wasn't immediately available.

The domain registration for Wanforce confirms Peter Roberts as the contact for Wanforce.

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Broadband Investment Group Corporation (BIG)

Next on the list was Broadband Investment Group Corporation (BIG). Mr. Roberts' website presented us with this information:

Broadband Infrastructure Group Corporation (BIG)

Investor, Founder, CEO, Chief Visionary Officer & Director 1999-2000

Founded technology and business enterprise to mentor 10 early-stage broadband technology companies. Grew companies from start-up of 5 employees to 207 employees.

A quick search on Google finds that BIG went bankrupt. According to this article, "Broadband executives lived the high life, sponsoring race cars in the Indy 500 and other races, hosting Hollywood parties, buying an interest in an airplane and making thousands of dollars worth of improvements to a $35 million headquarters. But last November (2000), the tech venture went bust. By then it had burned through more than $15 million of investors' money, including some from several St. Louis Cardinals owners. Roberts could not be reached for comment."

Intira Corporation

Moving on, we have the Intira Corporation. Here's the information provided by Mr. Roberts' website:

Intira Corporation (formerly Digital Broadcast Network (dbn)

Founder, CEO, COO, Officer & Director 1997-1999

Founded, designed and managed one of the first Netsourcing companies, with "Lights Out" Enterprise Class Data Centers and a superior quality broadband network. Under my direction, company went from a valuation of $0 to $280 million with 245 employees. Company was sold to Divine Interventures in March of 2001.

Yet another quick search on Google finds that Intira went bankrupt as well after posting a loss every year they were in business, eventually filing for bankruptcy:

As a result, the company already sits on a sizable chunk of debt. In SEC filings last year, the company disclosed it had racked up more than $153 million in debt as of Feb. 29. That left the company about $28 million on its existing line of credit with its borrowers, according to the documents. Losses have also mounted. In 1999, Intira lost $62.5 million on revenues of $4 million compared with losses of $7.6 million on revenues of $62,000 for the previous year when the company was founded, according to the SEC documents. Financial data for fiscal 2000 was not available.

MCI / WorldCom

If you take a look at older versions of Mr. Roberts' website, you can see that Mr. Roberts was also employed by WorldCom for a period of time. This is now removed from the current version of his online resume.

MCI / WORLDCOM

90 days employment in late 2001

Developing major account sales for the disaster recovery side of the company. Helping companies to design and build robust infrastructure solutions for mission critical IT-centric application hosting and network redundancy. Structuring creative Wholesale partnerships; provider to providers, carriers to carriers.

WorldCom filed for bankruptcy in July 2002.

WorldCom files largest bankruptcy ever - Nation's No. 2 long-distance company in Chapter 11 -- largest with $107 billion in assets.