Announced at the 2012 E3 Show in June, Wonderbook is a new form of entertainment - that being an interactive story book. There could be no better way to launch a new franchise such as this then with Book of Spells which is being created with J.K. Rowling, the creator of a little franchise called Harry Potter and which will, in fact, tie into the Harry Potter universe.
Written by Miranda Goshawk over two hundred years ago, Book of Spells can be found in the Restricted Section of the Hogwarts library. It is an advanced textbook for students, which will assist them on their journey to becoming an accomplished witch or wizard.
Book of Spells provides students with a safe environment in which to read, discover, learn and practice spells they already know and love, such as Incendio, Wingardium Leviosa and Expelliarmus, as well as discover mischievous notes and spells scribbled into the margins by previous Hogwarts students, and humorous anecdotal facts relating to the spells.
Book of Spells is set in the Harry Potter universe.
Using the PlayStation Eye to track a physical book (which you place on the floor in front of the PlaystationEye), and PlayStation Move controller as the wand to cast spells and move objects, the Wonderbook works like Sony's Eyepet games in that virtual objects are viewed on the TV screen and you can interactive with them. For Book of Spells J.K. Rowling has written a conundrum that leads you through the experience, providing insight into the values a witch or wizard has to learn, and inviting you to journey through the book to unlock new content, rewarding successful students along the way.
Book of Spells shows the movement required.
Wonderbook: Book of Spells will be released in two flavours at retail. The first will be the game/book by itself for $AU49.95 - and this will mean you already have the PlayStation Eye and PlayStation Move controllers at home. A more complete bundle, for $99.95, will include the game/book, the camera and controller.
It's clear that the PS3 is now in the latter years of its life and with that comes a shift from hardcore to more casual games (that's not saying that hardcore gamers are being left behind, far from it in fact). Just as Sony pioneered full body input with their Eye Toy peripheral on PS2, and brought karaoke to the mainstream with SingStar they will be hoping that Wonderbook becomes a major success and a new form of entertainment. With J.K. Rowling behind the first release this is guaranteed to generate a lot of interest when it hits shelves this November. As a side note, the second title announced, from Moonbot Studios is Diggs: Nightcrawler, but there is no release date as yet. Early 2013 is a safe bet for that book.
Below is the The Making of Wonderbook: Book of Spells, Developer Diary 1 which shows what to expect, where the developers got their inspiration and ideas from, and how the technology works.