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Sony Wonderbook brings augmented reality to the written word

The first book in the series will be a Harry Potter title, part-written by series author JK Rowling.

Joe Svetlik

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Here's a novel gaming accessory -- a book that connects to your PS3 and uses augmented reality to bring the story to life on screen.

That's Sony Wonderbook. The accessory itself will come in the form of a physical book. Hold it up to the PlayStation Eye camera and you'll see it on screen, with characters and scenarios spilling out, like a virtual pop-up book. It's not just for show -- it'll trigger mini games too. We've got a video of it in action.

The first book will be a new Harry Potter title, The Book of Spells, part-written by JK Rowling, who wrote the Potter series. You'll be able to wave the PlayStation Move controller around, with it appearing on screen as a magic wand. It's not known if any Stephen King titles will see release, but fingers crossed.

You'll be able to determine the story's outcome with choices you make.

Dave Ranyard from Sony London Studios described it as, "the reinvention of the story book". He said, "Words, pictures, stories come to life in a way never seen before."

Having Rowling involved for launch is a huge coup. The only downside I can see is the fact you'll need the PlayStation Eye accessory and Move control, so it could prove expensive.

Sony announced another accessory too -- the PlayStation Move Racing Wheel. It uses the Move controller's motion tracking, so it should prove more accurate than Nintendo's Wii Wheel. It has folding arms, meaning you can use it like a steering wheel (with race paddle gear shift), or like a pair of handlebars (complete with a twist throttle), for motorbike games. Awesome. Click through the picture gallery above to see it.

Sony also announced a deal with mobile-maker HTC, to bring PlayStation Mobile née PlayStation Suite games to the Taiwanese company's handsets. The PS Vita will be coming in a "crystal white" edition too.

Nintendo's Wii U launches later this year, with a tablet controller as well as a retro-style one that's not dissimilar to the Xbox 360's. Are accessories like Wonderbook enough to help Sony compete? What else does it need to do? Let me know in the comments or on our Facebook page.

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PlayStation Move Racing Wheel
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PlayStation Move Racing Wheel as handlebars

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