E3 2012: Wonderbook: Book Of Spells

As you may have heard, last night we at SCEE and London Studio had some exciting news.

For some time now, we have been working on a project called Wonderbook – an interactive book that uses Augmented Reality technology and PlayStation Move to bring stories to life before your eyes. The AR in Wonderbook has been developed by London Studio – the team behind EyeToy and EyePet. We believe that this is the most advanced AR out there, not least because it utilises brand new technology which enables enhanced fidelity.

Wonderbook is a physical book that will act as a platform for a range of different titles that the whole family will enjoy. Games, reading experiences, adventures – the possibilities are endless for Wonderbook, and we can’t wait to tell you more about the exciting things you can look forward to on this peripheral. It truly is one book, a thousand stories.

The first story is also one we are extremely proud to announce. Wonderbook: Book of Spells is a title developed by London Studio, with brand new writing from one of the world’s most popular authors – J.K. Rowling.

Wonderbook: Book Of Spells - TheatreWonderbook: Book Of Spells - Interacting

From the world of Harry Potter, Book of Spells is an enchanted textbook written over 200 years ago by Miranda Goshawk. Open the book, and you are immediately transported to the Hogwarts library, where your lessons will begin. Chapter by chapter, you will be able to read about and practise 20 spells, picking up valuable experiences and lessons along the way – as well as House Points – just like a student at Hogwarts.

We are proud to have the support and involvement from J.K. Rowling herself, who described the experience in her own words: “Wonderbook: Book of Spells is the closest a Muggle can come to a real spellbook. I’ve loved working with Sony’s creative team to bring my spells, and some of the history behind them, to life. This is an extraordinary device that offers a reading experience like no other.”

Wonderbook: Book Of Spells - DragonWonderbook: Book Of Spells - Incendio

From interactive reading experiences to duelling, spell-casting, and exciting new content, there’s so much to discover. We’re particularly proud of the Augmented Reality technology, and how we have used it to take storytelling to a whole new level. Over the coming months we’ll be bringing you dev diaries, behind the scenes previews, and much more – so watch this space. We can’t wait to tell you all about it – from what the artists have been working on to how we brought J.K. Rowling’s background stories of the spells to life, so stay tuned for more on one of our most exciting titles this year.

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This looks great for kids, but this could be good for more people if they did it with some more mature content. What if this sort of thing was added to Uncharted or any game where you have to read things for clues?


stop wasting time on stupid stuff like this why would you want to read a book on your tv

blendercat27 05 June, 2012 @ 07:31

@miattyheat – Comment 2
There are a lot of children who wouldn’t find this stupid, and to be fair, its not simply ‘reading a book on the tv’. I’m certain my nieces would adore this, and not just because they are fans of J.K. Rowling’s novel. Young kids would get a lot of fun and perhaps inspiration from this.

I saw the e3 presentation of Wonderbook, and thought it was rather interesting, and I think it has a lot of potential to reach younger audiences. However I do feel like this product probably was out of place, wedged in between violent adult titles during the presentation. It was a good show nonetheless, and a fine innovation with good intentions.

I may consider picking this up for my nieces if its on shelves by christmas. Any chance it may ship bundled with the PlayStation Eye?

European_Gamer 05 June, 2012 @ 09:04

Not that it’s not exciting, but I would rather want good 2D graphics then bad 3D graphics like that dragon.

TehPhilosopher 05 June, 2012 @ 11:11

This is great for families with kids. What this needs is a HD Playstation Eye, though.

Akira_Tenshi 05 June, 2012 @ 11:13

This game has its place among the AAA PS3 titles but Sony spent way to long showing this during their E3 conference. It is not new technology and it felt more like a gimmicky tech demo than anything truly entertaining. This will do nothing to change attitudes towards Move. It seems more like something that should have launched when Move originally released.

Huono_peleis 05 June, 2012 @ 11:21

This got to be Sonys all time low.

It’s not really aimed at me, but it seems like the kind of thing kids would love.

I’m just glad it wasn’t another dumb ‘tablet controller’ like we’ve seen elsewhere.

Im not sure this will be popular, but it is kind of cool. The pricing needs to be right for what looks like a book of AR cards. Also get the feeling this was a rejected idea for Sorcery.


Interesting tech, and the JKR involvement is definitely a coup… I was getting a bit of a ‘DVD interactive features’ vibe from the actual content though. Seemed sort of condescending and kind of twee. Clearly “not aimed at me” either, but don’t I was a kid long enough to know that this isn’t necessarily going to play well for them.


I imagine kids will like this but e3 really wasn’t the right place to showcase it. 1. The people who watch e3 tend to be more “hardcore” gamers 2. There are way more hyped games that could have better filled the 5-6 hours the English guy rambled on about it 3. It simply wasn’t an impressive/innovative piece of tech… at all. Sony have been doing AR since PS2 and have been doing it much better than this.

Jamez_Vampyre 05 June, 2012 @ 12:40

I’m a hardcore gamer and I love this idea just not a fan of J.K or Harry Potter XD I will wait for that paper art looking story they showed at the start, They said I should read more books here is my chance XD

I honestly can’t see this being very successful.

How are new books going to be distributed? Will you have to buy DLC to add new stories for it? How many stories will come with the packaged product? How often will new stories come out? Can’t see kids bothering to go through the same stories more than a couple of times before they go throwing Call of Duty or GTA into the console, as seems to be the trend of “What most kids are playing” these days.

I can only look back at The Eye of Judgment and see all the same pitfalls forming again. A good idea that won’t get the proper support from Sony due to lackluster response to the product (Many complained about having to buy the cards seperately with Eye of Judgment, and photocopying cards was rife) and will have fallen by the wayside and abandoned in a couple of years.

This was time could have been spent adapting more AR tech for the Vita to make it more appealing.


I’m very sorry to say this Sony, but this is EXACTLY why your stock is the LOWEST it’s been in the companies HISTORY!
Stupid silly decisions like this! They take their most talented studio Sony london studio, formally team Soho. Sound familiarly? The Getaway? The ONLY franchise to EVER stand up to the industries best selling franchise, GTA! Team Soho renamed london studio had 2 amazing games in development and were over 75% completed, but were canned for crappy kids games like this!
Seriously Playstation, do you really believe crappy kids games like eyepet and this crap is going to sell better than 8 days and the getaway 3? Seriously?
Sigh, I want the Sony back which brought a pigs head to a game launch party! Not Nintendo!!!!!!!!!!


I can understand where the hate for wonderbook is coming from, I think it could have been presented differently, perhaps a short trailer at the conference rather than live demo. However I really like it, I can definetly see the potential, I can also see myself playing this with my nephews as they really enjoy Eyepet games. Far more interesting then any Kinect stuff ive seen to date.


Im a hardcore gamer, and also very well educated, so I can clearly see the potential in this.

For those who keep flaming this as a gimmick, you cant see very well at what is possible with this kind of technology. The Vita is bringing back the popularity of Augmented Reality and is sure to bring joy to those who seek it.

I understand it may or may not be in your interests, but it is to others, so simply stop hating it and just dont get it. Who knows, when more content comes out, there may be something that catches your eye.

Its not just childish content, but also for educational purposes. When Sony said it only does everything, they meant it.

sackboy-j499 07 June, 2012 @ 13:16

I watched their confrence and they said it will be more mature as they said something about the planets for education this will be great for people in school and parents tesching childeren i might get this as i was a massive fan of harry potter and this can put me in the story and also everyone its in the start of the production and they can improve it by the time its released

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