J.K. Rowling Announces Pottermore

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Sony Corporation issued the following press release today:

J.K. Rowling announces Pottermore

J.K. Rowling today, Thursday 23rd June, answered mounting speculation about the nature of her new project and announced Pottermore, a unique and free-to-use website which builds an exciting online experience around the reading of her hugely successful Harry Potter books, and is partnered by Sony.

The announcement today was heralded by the revealing of the website’s name via an online search for its letters, and a ‘coming soon’ holding page which received over a million visits within 36 hours of launching.

For this groundbreaking collaborative project, J.K. Rowling has written extensive new material about the characters, places and objects in the much-loved stories, which will inform, inspire and entertain readers as they journey through the storylines of the books. Pottermore will later incorporate an online shop where people can purchase exclusively the long-awaited Harry Potter eBooks, in partnership with her publishers worldwide, and is ultimately intended to become an online reading experience, extending the relevance of Harry Potter to new generations of readers, while still appealing to existing fans. As the Pottermore Shop develops, it is intended that it should include further products designed specifically for Harry Potter fans, offering a potential outlet for Sony products and services related to Pottermore. In keeping with Harry Potter’s international appeal, the site will launch in English, French, Italian, German and Spanish, with more languages to follow.

In the new website, which launches in Beta on 31st July, the storylines will be brought to life with sumptuous newly-commissioned illustrations and interactive ‘Moments’ through which you can navigate, starting with the first book, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s (Sorcerer’s) Stone. On entering, you choose a magic username and begin your experience. As you move through the chapters, you can read and share exclusive writing from J.K. Rowling, and, just as Harry joins Hogwarts, so can you. You visit Diagon Alley, get sorted into a house, and cast spells and mix potions to help your house compete for the House Cup.

At a press conference at the Victoria & Albert Museum in London, Rowling revealed some key features of the website. In an announcement which will thrill fans, she described how she hasbrought to life both the Sorting Hat and Ollivanders experiences from her books for the first time on Pottermore, by revealing the questions asked by the Sorting Hat – which places newcomers into their Hogwarts houses according to their characteristics – and the magic behind the Wand Chooser – which finds the right wand for each user from over 33,000 possible combinations. She also revealed glimpses of the new information she has provided on some of the best-loved characters.

J.K. Rowling’s announcement on YouTube and sony.com today revealed that Pottermore (along with the Pottermore Shop) will be open to all users in October 2011. From today, 23rd June, fans can submit their email addresses on Pottermore.com in order to be contacted by the site following the opening of registration on 31st July, Harry’s birthday. Also on that date, an online challenge will be launched, whereby the first million people to complete their registration will gain early entry into the website, and help put final touches to the experience.

J.K. Rowling commented, “I wanted to give something back to the fans that have followed Harry so devotedly over the years, and to bring the stories to a new digital generation. I hope fans and those new to Harry will have as much fun helping to shape Pottermore as I have. To add to my input into the website, everyone will be able to join in by submitting their own comments, drawings and other content in a safe and friendly environment – Pottermore has been designed as a place to share the stories with your friends as you journey through the site.”

Pottermore has been made possible with the support and partnership of Sony.

Sir Howard Stringer, Chairman, Chief Executive Officer and President of Sony Corporation, commented: “Sony’s association with J.K. Rowling’s Pottermore brings together one of the world’s most innovative brands with the most successful book series in history, in a pioneering partnership that will help shape the future of story-telling. We are proud to be a part of it, both at this momentous announcement, and as we collaborate on its development over the coming years.”

On Sony’s partnership of Pottermore, J.K. Rowling commented: “As I think people know, I am very protective of Harry and have always been very selective with any new initiatives, but I am totally committed to making this partnership with Sony and this wonderful new website a success. There are many companies I could have worked with on this ultimate digital expression of Harry Potter’s universe, but it is Sony’s unique philosophy of creativity in harmony with technology that made them my first choice. The spirit behind Sony’s make.believe philosophy is one that rings true with Pottermore’s own values.”

The detailed creative execution has been led by TH_NK, a leading UK digital agency, under the supervision of J.K. Rowling and the Pottermore management team, in co-operation with Sony. J.K. Rowling’s publishers, Bloomsbury in the UK and Scholastic in the USA, as well as her international publishers worldwide, have been active supporters in the creation of pottermore.com and the Pottermore Shop. Warner Bros, the makers of the hugely successful Harry Potter film franchise, is also one of the partners who have worked to support the launch of Pottermore through a variety of marketing, promotional and other efforts and will continue to collaborate as the project grows.

The storyline of the second book, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, will go live on the site in early 2012. The Pottermore Shop opens when the site opens to all in October, selling complete ranges of the eBooks and digital audiobooks in a selection of languages, exclusively.

Designed for fans of all ages, the website has been created with child safety in mind, employing best practice and compliance with internet codes of practice in the UK, Europe and USA, and elsewhere.

To watch J.K. Rowling’s exciting announcement go to sony.com

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  • What in the name of ‘reduced Mortal Kombat DLC’ does this have to do with the PSN? It’s Junk mail at best. Also where is the Infamous 2 Blue Soundtrack?

  • I know its Sony news but I’m not sure what its got to do with Playstation. The outdated and poorly functioning PS3 browser probably won’t even be able to manage running the webpage.

  • Wonderful! Now how about working on making the PS Plus experience more worth our money, the content has been shocking this month and most certainly not worth renewal!

  • Meh….I would actually be excited if it was a new book. This news is very lacklustre and a shame as she has such an extraordinary mind to write more books =(

  • So can you read them on the ps3? Or why is this posted on a playstation blog?

  • OK, im happy bout this, but this has nothing to do with Playstation. It has lots to do with SONY but not the actual Playstation itself.

    The PS3’s brower is so crap it wouldnt be able to view Pottermore.com anyway.

  • may i ask what exactly was that seemingly pointless update was for?

  • Ha ha ha ha ha, seriously James mate, you couldn’t have timed this worse, get on over to yesterday’s store heads up blog and start the damage limitation, Ross too if he’s about, think it might be a two man job if you know what i mean. lol

  • Um just to echo: Playstation related how?

    I don’t know, we get blasted for Off Topic questions, but there’s no such equivalent for blog managers.

    Poor show.

  • Why is it partnered with Sony? I don’t get it.

    What does Sony get as a bonus, what do we get as a bonus? This is stupid as hell.

  • Will Pottermore have Trophies?

  • and i agree bout the lack of browser functionality tbh it only supports things like bbc n itv..facebook doesnt work msn hotmail doesnt work(understandable seeing msn is microsoft) but seriously facebook dnt work whats the point of the facebook features like trophy postin n the photo thing that lets you upload photos to facebook

  • i read books but i guess only %20 of ps3 users do. so if this is targeted at ps3 user. they need open a wider market. and as their putting books on ps3 i will request cherub ;)

  • Just to update my earlier post. MK DLC has now been or will be, reduced to £3.29 UK 3.99 EU

    Skarlet is coming next week with an additional pack! Thanks WB and PSN

  • Yay, more Harry Potter cashcow junk! Sounds like a load of gimmicky tripe to me.

  • Hey James,

    I would really like you or the other staff to answer this please. Okay my question is, When you download something from the Playstation Store E.g Add-on content for inFAMOUS, and its small say 100kb, or 100mb, and you let the content download while in the store (not selecting download in background) and the content downloads all the way but, When it installs it fails, E.g error code 800something, i would like to know what happens to the downloaded 100kb or 100mb, does it get deleted from the Harddrive or does it stay in the Harddrive making it impossible to delete the 100kb or 100mb?.

    Thanks Cloud.

  • Hmm I agree with most are saying this has nothing to do with PSN abusing your blog for advertising much? Harry potters for kids..

  • this is nothing to do with playstation and insulting to the customers you ignore over ps issues

  • And you don’t see any irony in the fact that the PS3 browser can’t even display this site correctly?

  • tl;dr no1curr etc…what does this have to do with playstation?

    it’s not like people are gonna be able to access the site from the ps3 browser is it.

  • Why is there another mandatory system software update? And what does it contain/remove?

  • No I will have to make another full backup because I won’t be able to recover from the full backup I made yesterday because of firmware mismatch.

    Just remove those copy-protections from the savegames and make them only PSN-ID locked.
    I’m getting really sick of these stupid backup-limits and the lame excuse to push people into buying PS+

  • loving this wooohoooo

  • yy u posted this on the play station blog makes no sense ???

  • So of you posting are being a bit silly no? If it doesn’t interest you don’t read it. Simple really.

  • There’s some stupid ‘rating’ going on here. Not more than 2 min ago this was rated a 3, it’s now a 5.

    Is there some foolery on behalf of SCEE here? I’ve always suspected foul play in the ratings on the blog, some just don’t make sense.

  • y u posted this on play station blog makes no sense?

  • pointless post is pointless.

  • the browser concerns me n there aint a post 4 it so i have to post here

  • Can you PLEASE change the price on Lego Star Wars III – the Clone Wars for PSP.

    On the store update it says it is £23.99 and has been put on the store at £31.99.

    How many more times do we need to ask without being ignored!


  • I suspect Sony are going to give Pottermore a PS3 app (like lovefilm, Qioricity and Home) – that they are partnered with Rowling makes it very, very possible.

    Agreed on browser though, it needs an urgent update. Partner with Firefox, but make sure it doesn’t eat up all the memory of the PS3 with one page…

  • Will Pottermore have Trophies?

    *Ping* Trophy unlock: 10000 Hits

    *Ping* trophy unlock: the golden Hour
    stay online or read for a hour.

    *Ping* trophy unlock: writer’s block
    write a commet 1000 times.

  • inFamous 2 is overpriced.

  • What is the relation to PlayStation, James?

  • @Suzzopher

    er no, because people have the right to post their positive or negative opinions on whatever they want.

    you must not have even read the comments yourself, since no one is saying that the post isn’t interesting…just on how is the post relevant to playstation?

  • I come hear to read about playstation news, I don’t come hear for information on harry potter books I don’t understand why this has been posted unless your actually gonna update the PS3 web browser to work with this?

  • Aka “I still want to milk my harry potter franchise”

  • why are sony waisting there money they should be paying for better services. like teaming with google tv?

  • I’m assuming since you’re throwing this in our faces, that the PS3 browser will be upgraded before 31st July so that it can actually run this site? Probably not but I’ll keep dreaming.

  • What does this have to do with Playstation? Well maybe that Sony made Playstation and Sony is working with PotterMore. Grow up. By the way I can’t wait for this!

  • Quote “I am very protective of Harry and have always been very selective with any new initiatives”

    To why are the Potter games the worst games ever?

    I also don´t get it what it has to do with Playstation?

    I´m also awaiting (still) the indentity theft protection offer from Sony for my country.

  • Who is the genius who thought that anyone on this blog would care?

    Howard Stinger? You sir, are a moron.

  • This has, literally, nothing to do with PlayStation… honestly, if this was Harry Potter game related, I could understand… but it’s eBooks and Audiobooks…. sold via the internet… why is this even news? Way to overblow non-news.

  • perhapz it may hav ps3 compatibility or sumfin
    we need 2 harry potter gamez on da ps3:
    1. a complete ps3 game (of da whole harry potter saga, from yer 1-7, based on da BOOKS! not da moviez, wiv complete full HD 1080p, 3D-Effects, extremely impressive graphics, fully explorable hogwarts, online multiplayer, ps move integration (a completely new experience in comparizon wiv da dualshok 3 option, were u can say spellz, and wave it on2 ur frenz, and on da multiplayer, 2 optionz, one set of gamez 4 ps move compatible matchez, and da ova set 4 da dualshok 3 optionz)
    2. an MMORPG based on harry potter 4 ps3 (uzin playstation move) wiv hd compatibility, 3D, GREAT graphix, AMAZIN storiez, gameplay, narrative and what not.

    WE ALSO NEEDA PREQUEL FOR HARRY POTTER, juzt az wotz happened 2 x-men, xavier came da hero, and in harry potter, diz tyme between dumbledore and grindelwald, dat’ll be EPIC!!! xDD

  • This is not your blog, they post whatever they feel like posting… Just remember that. lol

  • I agree that there is little point it being on this blog. However it is a slightly disturbing approach. As this is in association with Sony, will the e-books be available on other e-readers like the Kindle?

    Whether you like Harry Potter or not – it’s concerning if a fragmentary approach is taken, as other people may follow suit.

    Then the only way to read everything would be to have multiple reading devices, which is kind of beside the point.

  • @BalramRules Every time you spell with bad English, a child in Africa dies.

  • ENOUGH! Leave off with the revolting Pottymore drivel. It’s giving fantasy literature, for what it’s worth, a bad name. Tolkien would turn in his barrow if he saw this sludge regurgitating itself ad infinitum, at any excuse, in sequel after prequel after conpendium etc, etc. He started writing a sequel to LotR and realised that the story had been told, the evil vanquished. He also loathed Disney and all it stands for. Maybe Disney is not involved here, but it may as well be. Seems like Harry Potty just will not give up the ghost. Just Leave off I tells ya…

  • Why are you blogging about pottermore? It has nothing to do with the Playstation network!

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