Sony to spellbind readers with Wonderbooks

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.