$720 ain't exactly free for a library of "basic games." ($29.95/month for 2 years)
The article mentions that new "Triple-A games" (I guess that means popular games that people actually want) will be available for a $5-10 discount--or about what the real-world price would be. Renting PC games for $5 for 3 days may be interesting, but I can't envision plopping down $720 bucks for the privelege though.
I am eager to see what hands-on testing reveals through the summer.
I did see that there is also an option to buy it for ~$199. I don't know if you have to pay the $30/month to use it or if there is any option to pay for downloading games without a monthly fee. It will be interesting to see the final business model.
That's probably a better way to put it, Jay. I mean technically it is free. It's like a cell phone. The phone is free when you agree to 2 years of service. If you buy a Phantom outright for $199 I'm guessing it's still the same monthly fee cost so technically it is free, you are just agreeing you will keep it a certain length of time. This insures they will profit back and make up the difference. I have had Xbox live for 2 billing cycles now, granted it isn't a monthly charge and not as high but it goes to show you that time flies. If the $199 buyers get service for a cheaper rate, that would be like paying for a system with interest. In that case I would rather pay the up front fee. Personally I think they need to lure as many subscribers as possible, for as long as possible to insure the longterm viability of the system. If people get nervous that not enough systems/subscriptions are selling they will not buy, just like Dreamcast.