Tech Talk #21: Space Marines & No 2nd-Hand Gaming on PS4 / New Xbox?

This Issue: Who Owns ‘Space Marines’, No 2nd Hand X-Boxes,

New Xbox & PS4 May Shun the 2nd Hand Market?
It’s very possible that Microsoft’s new Xbox won’t be so friendly to the second-hand market. According to the Edge Online, and its “sources”, the next Xbox won’t be good news for the second-hand games market.

The new unit will have an enhanced version of Xbox Live that requires a constant Internet connection. No Internet connection = no gaming! This, together with a plethora of 50GB Blu-ray game discs, will make life difficult for pre-owned sales, which ship-out with a single-use activation code.

The same sources also confirm the rumoured specifications of an eight-core AMD X64 1.6GHz CPU, D3D11 800Mhz GPU and 8GB of DDR3 RAM. Ironically though, it is also rumoured that this time the PlayStation 4 will an easier platform to develop for than the Xbox, partly due to the easier to handle OS, well as Sony being more open with giving developers access to actual PS4 tech. At this point in time, Microsoft has been conservatively only releasing the development libraries. The PS4 is also rumoured to be anti-pre-owned games.

If true, and both platforms do wish to put an end to the second-hand market, there will be a lot of people who will lose this affordable route to gaming, as well as a lot of useless stock sitting in your local CEX. This on top of the fact that your platform will require always-on Internet means that this may become a hobby that only those with plenty of cash can afford. Equally well, stealing games to sell to your local CEX will become redundant too.

Anyway, these are as always, just rumours, so until we get the official PR, then let the interweb chatter continue…

Who Owns ‘Space Marines’?
The only thing worse that lawyers, are people / organisations who have nothing better to do than hire lawyers. In this case: Games Workshop.
Best known for its tabletop war-games, UK toy-maker Games Workshop in now in the spotlight for asserting a trademark claim to the phrase ‘space marines’. It enforced this whilst getting an American e-book about the futuristic soldiers taken off Amazon. Understandably they have been criticised as “absurd” for saying it has a trademark to the use of the term in fiction.
The row started in December 2011 when US writer Maggie Hogarth discovered her novel called “Spots the Space Marine” had been removed from the Amazon e-book store following a complaint from Games Workshop. GW claimed that its entry into digital publishing gives it a “common law trademark claim” over the phrase.

Ms Hogarth’s blog-post expressed her fear that if Games Workshop started actively pursuing its claim, science fiction could lose one of its “fundamental” ideas. Sadly a lack of funds meant she was unable to continue to defend herself against the claim. Her blog-post received a huge amount of publicity and has provoked responses from many best-selling SF authors – some people sent messages to GW’s Twitter account using the #spacemarines hashtag criticising them.

Common opinion is that it was completely unreasonable for GW to claim ownership of the phrase and its use in literature, which goes back some decades before Games Workshop began using it to describe its toy soldiers.

A Games Workshop spokesman said it had a “blanket policy” of not talking to the media and had no comment to make about the row or its trademark claim.

Sources: Edge, io9,

Reporter: SilverFox

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