Sony reveals new games for PS3, plus Harry Potter books in AR

5 Jun 2012

Screenshot of the upcoming Sony game 'The Last of Us'. Image by E3 2012

Sony has given a preview of some upcoming gaming titles for the PlayStation 3 (PS3) at E3 2012, the computer and video game event that kicked off in LA today, plus it is also teaming up with Harry Potter author JK Rowling to bring out new augmented-reality storybooks for kids.

Sony also announced the PlayStation suite will be renamed PlayStation Mobile, while HTC is set to become the first smartphone manufacturer to offer PlayStation-certified products.

PS3 games that Sony showed off included The Last of Us, which is being described as a post-apocalyptic game that has been developed by Naughty Dog.

Attendees also heard about Beyond: Two Souls, a psychological thriller developed by Quantic Dream, the maker of Heavy Rain. Ellen Page, the actress best known from Juno, lends her voice and likeness to the character Jody Holmes.

And God of War: Ascension, a prequel to the original trilogy from the God of War franchise, is set to debut in March 2013.

God of War

Screenshot from upcoming game God of War: Ascension. Image by E3 2012

Harry Potter in augmented reality

Sony is also teaming up with JK Rowling, the author of the Harry Potter series, to fuse the reading of the books with augmented-reality gaming on the PS3. Rowling has already written new material for the first title: Wonderbook: Book of Spells.

At E3, Sony unveiled Wonderbook, a peripheral device for the PS3 home console.

Sony said it is the first product to result from Sony’s partnership with Pottermore, Rowling’s website that builds an online experience around the reading of the Harry Potter books.

Apparently, kids will be able to bring Wonderbook: Book of Spells to life as they read and make the PlayStation Move Motion Controller work as their own magic wand. They will also be able to experience augmented reality technology via PlayStation Eye.

Wonderbook will be released in Europe in November 2012 and in North America in December.

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,” said Rowling in a statement.

Carmel Doyle was a long-time reporter with Silicon Republic