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Harry Potter: Book of Spells transports gamers to Hogwarts

Wonderbook: Book of Spells, a new game released exclusively for PlayStation 3 earlier this month, uses augmented reality to transport the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry into a player’s living room. The game, which relies on PlayStation’s Eye camera and Move motion wand, was created in collaboration with “Harry Potter” author J. K. Rowling and allows would-be wizards to learn and cast spells — Incendio, Wingardium Leviosa, Alohomora and many more that will be familiar to any Potter fan.

[Youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?&v=Gnns8lkyPYw]

How hands-on was J.K. Rowling in terms of the creative process?

A few years ago, Sony created a partnership with Pottermore, J.K. Rowling’s website. This gave the London Studio an opportunity to demonstrate the Wonderbook prototype to J.K. Rowling, which inspired an idea for a spell book and soon Book of Spellswas born. We had PlayStation Move motion controllers in our studio at that time, and this naturally became your wand. It was a match made in heaven. Every Hogwarts student needs a spell book and a wand, and these match perfectly to the Wonderbook and PlayStation Move controller…. What’s great about the “Book of Spells” is that it actually links to your Pottermore account and aligns your Pottermore wand and house.

A Hogwartian World

On paper, Sony’s Wonderbook: Book of Spells sounds like something that might have fluttered out of Hogwarts itself: a cross between a magical instruction manual and a pop-up storybook that lets children make their way through new content from the margins of the Potterverse, alternating read-aloud stories with pyrotechnic spellcasting via a magic wand. Some compromises have to be made for Muggles, however, and this particular trick requires a TV, a PlayStation 3, a miniature camera, a wand-like motion-controller and a twelve-page wipe-clean blue book covered in arcane symbols to have its full effect.
Like the ubiquitous Skylanders, this is another attempt to bridge the gap between the solid, everyday world of objects and the intangible otherworlds of videogames

Augmented Reality

Augmented-reality technology lets the PlayStation camera track the movement of the Wonderbook and the page to which it’s open: what appears on screen is a live feed from the camera, with motion-sensitive 3D images projected over the image that the player uses the controller to manipulate. In layman’s terms, this translates more or less into an image of a happy child crouched over a moving illuminated manuscript, flicking and zapping at 3D objects with a glowing wand.
Book of Spells is the first title for the Wonderbook peripheral, which Sony promises will eventually host collaborations with Disney and the BBC’s Walking with Dinosaurs series.

 More details and pricing info on Harry Potter: Book of Spells at – Amazon US | Amazon UK

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