Six Flags is introducing new VR roller coasters
Six Flags is bringing a new dimension to its roller coasters thanks to some new virtual reality tech.
The first VR roller coaster will debut later this year, with VR support provided by Samsung's Gear platform. The partnership represents a significant gain for Samsung?s VR efforts as it continues to expand the boundaries of what virtual reality can do.
?Six Flags is proud to be partnering with Samsung to develop the newest, most innovative thrill ride experience in the theme park industry,? said Brett Petit, senior vice president of marketing and sales at Six Flags. ?This mixed reality technology is truly groundbreaking and like nothing our guests have ever experienced.
"Six Flags and Samsung changed the game last year with VR on twelve roller coasters and now we are breaking new ground yet again,? he said.
When virtual reality first began its resurgence over the past two or three years, many were skeptical.
For most, virtual reality brings up memories of bulky headsets and disorienting views from early attempts at the technology such as the Nintendo Virtual Boy.
But now that the technology has begun to grow in popularity once more, some of the new use cases for it are remarkably similar to how the tech was originally envisioned.
One emblematic use case for virtual reality is the VR roller coaster.
Most commonly seen in the arcade section of a mall ten years ago is now coming to real-world amusement parks for the first time.
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A major partnership has been struck between Samsung and Six Flags to begin the development and launch of virtual reality roller coasters within the parks.
The next coaster to make use of Samsung?s Gear VR platform is set to launch at Six Flags later this year.
Samsung is using the unique properties of VR to make the experience even more interactive than ever before.
In addition to going on a wild ride, consumers are allowed a degree of choice in how the ride unfolds by making certain decisions within the VR framework.
Additionally, the ride has a video game flair added to it in the form of score tracking and putting riders in the role of gunners on a spaceship.
The partnership between Samsung and Six Flags represents a significant move on Samsung?s part as it seeks to expand the consumer scenarios in which virtual reality can play a part.
By bringing VR into the Six Flags setting, the two companies are setting a precedent that VR is an experience worth paying for.
This is a companion to other campaigns, including ones run by Samsung, that posit that VR is something fun and casual that anyone can do if they have a smartphone.
Some recent VR campaigns include a video experience from M&M?s that combined the brand with fine art (see story) and another project that let users explore the stadium in virtual reality ahead of last weekend?s Super Bowl (see story).
These campaigns serve to expand the ways in which VR is seen as a viable platform in the public consciousness.
The latest partnership between Samsung and Six Flags is an extension of that philosophy.
?Our strategic partnership with Six Flags enables millions of consumers to experience virtual reality for the first time by bringing Gear VR to real roller coasters at theme parks across the country," said Marc Mathieu, Samsung Electronics America?s chief marketing officer. "We are always aiming to create immersive, never been done before experiences with our Samsung VR ecosystem as the focal point, so these new experiences at Six Flags are completely complementary to that key objective."