Excerpt: Sony's take on Harry Potter may not feature the bespectacled wizard and his loyal friends, but it is set in the same universe and has one distinctive feature: new stories written by J.K. Rowling presented with a new type of peripheral: the Wonderbook. It isn't a new novel penned by the Potter scribe, but rather a 12-page prop with large, augmented reality symbols in lieu of text.
Innovative interactive book opens new door to Harry Potter.
Common Sense Media
26 November 2012
Summary: Parents need to know that Wonderbook: Book of Spells is a less a game than a collection of Harry Potter-themed stories and activities. It requires a Wonderbook -- a paper and cardboard storybook that comes with the game -- as well as a PlayStation Move controller and PlayStation Eye camera. You can purchase the game and Wonderbook, or a bundle that also includes the Move and Eye camera.
Excerpt: Book of Spells is the first game to come out that supports Sony’s Wonderbook peripheral which was first introduced at E3 this year. Despite a demo that dragged on for too long and that was plagued by technical issues, I really warmed to the idea of Wonderbook after spending some hands on time with it (the mock living room with carpet and fireplace in Sony’s booth didn’t hurt either).
Excerpt: Wonderbook has patterns on its cardboard pages that PlayStation's camera recognises, creating an augmented reality view on screen that shows a magical animated book with spells and stories spilling from its pages. Your Move controller turns into a chunky wand making you a trainee wizard, learning spells and completing simple tasks. The experience of turning its pages and pointing the wand is compelling, but interactions are simplistic and occasionally frustrating.
Summary: It’s impossible to approach Sony’s cross-media Wonderbook as you would a ‘normal’ video game. To cynical, adult eyes, it’s more of an independent peripheral, and a fairly odd one at that. A large, padded book full of Augmented Reality markers that, when matched with a PlayStation Move wand and a PS Eye camera, brings its contents to life on screen. The technology and concept behind it is brilliantly... basic, almost.