It may not have had the best debut at Sony’s E3 2012 press conference, but the Wonderbook did have a near exceptional showing two months later at Gamescom. The new PS3 peripheral may still not be for everyone, but after receiving a tease of Diggs Nightcrawler, learning that Disney is supporting the device, and seeing a glimpse of Walking With Dinosaurs from the BBC the Wonderbook didn’t seem like an absolute blunder as its E3 debut somewhat portrayed it as.
In case you were impressed with the Wonderbook’s showing at Gamescom or merely want to pick it up for a young kid that is a Harry Potter fanatic, you may be happy to hear that Sony has given the peripheral a date and price. Serving as Sony’s key offering this Holiday season, the Wonderbook will go on sale in North America on November 13th and will come in two SKUs. For $39.99 gamers can pick up just the Wonderbook peripheral plus Books of Spells, the game written by Harry Potter creator J.K Rowling. If you aren’t already a member of the PlayStation Move nation then there’s the other Wonderbook SKU will includes the peripheral, the game, a PlayStation Move controller, and a PlayStation Eye for only $79.
Book of Spells’ appeal may be limited as those older than twelve may not be fully enamored with the game, but I am interested in the longstand impact the Wonderbook will have. I won’t argue that the public debut the device had at E3 was a bit troubling, but having a go with it at E3 did impress me as technically it’s rather proficient and in a few ways it opens up doors to have far deeper interactive experiences. Ideally it would’ve been nice if the launch of the Wonderbook was accompanied by another game or maybe some simple tech demo type applications as I’m a bit worried Sony may follow in the steps of what they did with the PS Move – release content sparingly over the course of a year.
Whether or not the Wonderbook will be a hot commodity this Holiday season is unknown since it depends on a few variables. First off all the success of the device will of course rest in the marketing which in the case of Sony can be uneven at best. Secondly, will the Wonderbook be what kids, or at least money spending parents, want to pick up this year with things such as the Wii U coming out? Besides the obvious price difference, both the Wii U and the Wonderbook are essentially the go to games for younger kids this year. So will kids want to become a virtual wizard or play a Mario game on a familiar looking tablet device?
It’s a tough call to say what will come out on top amongst parents and gamers, but I do hope the Wonderbook picks up some momentum this year since it is an interesting device. On the outside it may seem like Sony has lost their mind by pushing a peripheral that’s meant to make reading fun for kids and gaming more accessible, but I was truly impressed with what I saw at E3 this year as the Wonderbook makes far more sense than pushing out mindless casual shovelware to kids.