And now we know what Pottermore is all about.
J.K. Rowling’s website, the subject of intense interest among Harry Potter-philes, was finally unveiled at a press conference Thursday and will offer, according to the breathless press release, “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.” You’ll be sorted (by a “Sorting Hat” that asks you questions) into a house at Hogwarts, and you’ll get a wand and… okay, let’s let Rowling herself pitch you on this:
In the press release, there’s a little more explanation: “…the storyline 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, cast spells and mix potions to help your house compete for the House Cup.”
And they’ll try to sell you stuff. Of course they will. The books will be available as e-books, and Sony, a partner in the site, will be pushing their own items. So you’ll wander through the world of Hogwarts and you’ll exit through the gift shop.
They’re taking emails now, but they’ll be taking formal registrations starting July 31st, with some kind of online challenge allowing the first million people to complete the registration and challenge to get into the site early.
The full press release is here.