E3 2012: Sony spent way too much time on Wonderbook

Sections: Consoles, Conventions, E3, PS3

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Sony’s attempt to make the PlayStation Move relevant once more spent more time on stage than it probably ought to have. Wonderbook was announced during Sony’s E3 2012 press conference as an interactive way to enjoy storybooks. Sony is so serious about this, it partnered with Harry Potter creator J.K. Rowling to create the first book in the series entitled Wonderbook: Book of Spells. Apparently not even J.K. Rowling felt the Wonderbook announcement was important enough to show up for the event.

Sony spent a good 10-15 minutes going over Wonderbook. Even if we subtract the amount of time that was taken up by the game’s technical problems, the presentation still went on for too long. The problem is Wonderbook isn’t interesting enough to keep a crowd of people engaged for an extended period of time. Wonderbook is meant to be experienced much like how Sony demoed it – in a dimly lit room by yourself. There was a real disconnect between what Sony put on the big screen and how the player was making these things happen. Since Wonderbook, and more specifically Book of Spells, requires specific motions with PlayStation Move, it was difficult to get a good sense of what was going on without really seeing those movements in action. The demonstration felt random and without a clear goal. To me, it was like looking at an interactive storybook that wants you to play mini-games.

The other problem with Wonderbook is its mainstream appeal. I don’t see many people going out to buy Move just for this. Wonderbook isn’t meant for people my age or older. This is something smaller children might enjoy, and they aren’t the ones with the means to buy a Move controller. At this point, Sony is showing it just doesn’t know what it wants to use Move for.

The Wonderbook demonstration was the single most boring segment at Sony’s press conference. I’m not saying it shouldn’t have been included. It just went on too long. Considering how little time Sony spent announcing exclusive Vita games, I feel Wonderbook could have been shelved much sooner.

Read [GamerTell @ E3 2012]

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