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Wonderbook: Book of Spells Enchants PlayStation 3

Posted by Sammy Barker

Spell binding

One of the more unexpected announcements from Sony's E3 press conference was Wonderbook, a new interactive augmented reality book that works with the PlayStation Eye to bring stories to life.

Wonderbook itself will be compatible with a variety of different experiences, but Sony dedicated the product's reveal to one in particular: Book of Spells. This is being developed in collaboration with J.K. Rowling, and promises to bring new context to the Harry Potter world.

In the fiction, the Book of Spells was written over 200 years ago by Miranda Goshawk. Open the book – physically in front of the PlayStation Eye – and you'll be transported to the Hogwarts library, where you'll read and practice 20 spells, picking up “valuable experiences and lessons along the way”.

It's not going to appeal to everyone, but the technology behind Book of Spells does look extremely impressive. The game's integration of PlayStation Move is also quite unique, making it a welcome change from the typical selection of sports and fitness games that have become so common with motion devices.

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User Comments (6)

rjejr

#1

rjejr said:

Sorry to copy and paste but I'm here goes:

Wonderbook sucks so hard I'm thinking of going out and buying Wii Music.
I own EyePet. Everybody in my house likes Eyepet. This is a blank book that puts LBP on your tv. That woman (in blue) is regretting doing this. To qoute Dr. Smith - oh the pain, the pain.

Anythign that needs a disclaimer along the bottom annoys me. And lighting has always been a big drawback for Move to begin with, and having to hold the book up on an angle to make a virtual hole down it? Well I don't think they thought that one thru. We tried out all the AR stuff w/ 3DS and even that had issues. Any parent getting this for their kid is going to set it up exactly once and after that just throw their iPad at them and tell them to play with Yellow Submarine (the only ebook I own b/c it was free).
Props for trying something new, but I just don't see this working. Maybe a wireless camera clip-on for Move so you can look for ghosts like in Wii Play Motion would work for AR.

goldgin

#2

goldgin said:

During E3 I spotted a few issues with this. Other than the part where the user couldn't perform the unlock spell, there was some also some accidental ceiling shooting during the fire spell minigame, where an additional fire spell shot upwards every time the girl lifted her hand. I know kids are supposed to just be immersed and fool around with it but my opinion is that it'll likely be more of a frustration towards parents, being disrupted every minute the children fail to perform the various gestures.
Basically, I think it's TOO interactive, they could have just asked J K Rowling to write the same short stories about Potter and present it as a nice book reading with pictures coming to life in 3d... sold!

Ginkgo

#3

Ginkgo said:

I don't get it. You have the PS Eye and the controller. What does the physical book actually do? What possible value does it add?

bauckster

#5

bauckster said:

I think it could be fun...but I am also concerned also about light issues. The eye is not the most sophisticated thing I've ever seen, I'm reserving judgment for now...

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