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Sony to spellbind readers with Wonderbooks

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Sony wants to make reading a little more magical with Wonderbooks, a new augmented reality feature for the PlayStation 3 Move.

The application interacts with real-world books made specifically for the PlayStation Move. The PS3 Eye Camera reads the book and renders 3D characters and environments that users can interact with on the on-screen pages.

Sony teamed up with J.K. Rowling to get the Wonderbooks franchises rolling. At Sony’s press conference they showed off a new title called “Book of Spells” giving muggles the chance to learn and cast spells from the Harry Potter universe. In the demo we saw adults flipping through the book, accidently releasing a dragon who burnt the pages to a crisp. But all the actors had to do was dust off the on-screen soot and the book was good as new.

Throughout the book a disembodied voice read players the histories of spells and how to cast them, such as the Incendio fire spell. The Wonderbook presented readers with a puppet show that sprang from its pages, explaining how the fire spell first originated. Players then used the Move controller to draw a glyph on the screen, and then finally flicking the Incendio spell. After players learned how to cast the spell they were taken to a Wizard’s classroom and they used the Move controller to incinerate on-screen, paper bugs.

That's about all we saw of Wonderbooks. Sony will be working with Moonbot Studios to produce many books. The studio won an Academy Award for its animated short “The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore.”  Sony also promised another book called “Diggs Nightcrawler,” which seems like a kid-friendly detective story.

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8 comments

  • BladedFalcon - June 5, 2012 9:10 p.m.

    This was by far the worst part of Sony's conference. I don't care if this might be fun for kids. your main press conference isn't the place to waste 20+ fucking minutes talking about this shit.
  • Gex4212 - June 5, 2012 7:19 a.m.

    As much of a hardcore gamer the minute I saw this I immediately thought this would be a fun thing to get into with my 3 year old daughter especially if I can get new books through apps. Just seems like a nice little interactive thing going there.
  • Asmodean - June 4, 2012 10:30 p.m.

    The only thing wrong with this is that E3 was not the correct venue to announce this. Don't get me wrong, I am happy the Sony didn't go as motion happy MS did this year. Still I wish they would get the hint that motion gaming is a niche and not something to spend 20 mins of your E3 press event with.
  • GhostbustTyler - June 4, 2012 9:45 p.m.

    The best thing about this was reading Jim Sterling's tweets making fun of it during the conference.
  • MetroidPrimeRib - June 4, 2012 9:34 p.m.

    I don't even know what to make fun of here.
  • angelusdlion - June 4, 2012 9:27 p.m.

    "All images simulated" Yah, I'll wait on this at best...
  • Tjwoods18 - June 4, 2012 9 p.m.

    Sony is forgeting that they are not the casual gaming creator/facilitator that they want to be. Most of their audience is in the mid teens to around 30 years old. My prediction is that this will not sell very well in the U.S. If anything the brits will flock to it like they do with anything related to harry potter.
  • SentientSquidMachine - June 4, 2012 10:07 p.m.

    playstation played cds, ps2 played dvds, ps3 blu-ray now this. Those around 30 grew up with video games and are now having children of their own, creating a new target market segment. The general public is going to eat this up....except for the crazies who think harry potter is satan...(sigh)

Showing 1-8 of 8 comments

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