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Six Flags and Samsung Partner to Launch First Virtual Reality Roller Coasters in North America


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Six Flags and Samsung Partner to Launch First Virtual Reality Roller Coasters in North America

 

Samsung is Official Technology Partner at Six Flags Theme Parks Nationwide

 

GRAND PRAIRIE, Texas & NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Mar. 3, 2016-- Six Flags Entertainment Corporation (NYSE:SIX), and Samsung Electronics America, Inc., today announced a broad marketing partnership which appoints Samsung as the Official Technology Partner of the worlds largest regional theme park company. The partnership includes the debut of ground-breaking experiences coming to nine Six Flags parks - North Americas first Virtual Reality (VR) Roller Coasters, using Samsung Gear VR powered by Oculus.

 

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Six Flags Entertainment and Samsung Electronics announce the debut of North America's first Virtual Reality Roller Coasters (Photo: Business Wire)

 

In partnership with Samsung, Six Flags is taking its signature brand of thrills to the next level and beyond in fully immersive, virtual riding experiences using Samsung Gear VR. Some of Six Flags most popular coasters will be equipped to allow riders wearing Samsung Gear VR headsets to feel the heart-pumping adrenaline of steep drops, inverted loops and powerful twists and turns as gyros, accelerometers and proximity sensors synchronize all of the action in an incredibly realistic 360-degree virtual reality world.

 

This remarkable technology is a definite game-changer for theme park rides and represents everything our brand stands for - delivering the most thrilling and innovative rides and attractions in the world, said John Duffey, Six Flags President and CEO. With the addition of these virtual reality coasters, Six Flags will be introducing more than double the number of new coasters and rides than we did in 2015, and more than any year in the last decade. Innovation is part of our DNA, and news in every park every year is driving higher guest satisfaction and building strong momentum for our company."

 

What makes this partnership so compelling for consumers and the broader tech industry alike is that both companies are committed to pushing the boundaries of whats possible - and bringing a VR coaster to life is certainly a new and thrilling proposition, said Marc Mathieu, chief marketing officer at Samsung Electronics America. Now, people can be immersed into a totally new universe while riding a roller coaster, powered by Samsung Gear VR virtual reality devices. This transforms the modern roller coaster into a totally new, one of a kind sensorial experience - powered by technology. We are excited to work with the premiere brand in theme parks to bring Samsungs VR technology to nine Six Flags locations across the U.S.

 

Samsung Gear VR designed to accelerate virtual reality into the mainstream provides an untethered, fully-immersive experience with 360-degree content for an extremely high quality mobile VR experience. Built to work with Samsungs Galaxy S7, Galaxy S7 edge, Galaxy S6, S6 edge, S6 edge+ and Note5, the Gear VR headset utilizes each devices super AMOLED display to provide the color, clarity and performance needed for an amazing virtual reality experience.

 

About the VR Roller Coaster Experiences

 

Six Flags and Samsung will launch the new VR Roller Coasters beginning this month and into the summer, totaling nine coasters across the U.S. On the six New Revolution Virtual Reality Coasters, riders are transported to a futuristic battle to save planet Earth from an alien invasion. Riders are the co-pilots in their own fighter jets as they strap in for air-to-air combat. Taking in the view around them, riders will see other aircraft in an underground secret bunker. As the aircraft moves to a landing pad, it begins to launch its thruster engines, lifting the craft straight up through the roof. During the ascent, riders can test fire their weapons using the worlds first-ever interactive gameplay technology on a roller coaster. As riders clear the roof, they realize they are on top of a skyscraper and about to launch off the edge of the building diving straight down on the first drop of the ride. The aircraft races through the city until reaching the edge of the skyline where riders see the mother ship hovering above. The mother ship is heavily protected by drones and the mission is to get past the drones, fire on the mother ship and destroy it. This elite fighter squadron experience will make its debut on the following six roller coasters:

 

Shock Wave at Six Flags Over Texas in Arlington, opening March 10 to Season Pass Holders as a special sneak preview;

Dare Devil Dive at Six Flags Over Georgia outside of Atlanta, opening March 12 to Season Pass Holders as a special sneak preview;

The New Revolution at Six Flags Magic Mountain near Los Angeles, opening March 26 to Season Pass Holders as a special sneak preview;

Ninja at Six Flags St. Louis in Eureka;

Steamin Demon at The Great Escape in Lake George, New York and

Goliath at La Ronde in Montreal.

 

On Six Flags three new SUPERMAN Virtual Reality Coasters, once riders take their seats and fasten the headsets, they will be fully immersed in the 360-degree comic-book world of Metropolis. Guests will be taken on a leisurely (or so they think) tour of the city of Metropolis, courtesy of Lex Corp Sky Tours. Just after departing the station riders encounter Lex Luthor who uses an anti-gravity gun along with his army of LexBots to create chaos throughout the city with cars, taxis and buses floating in mid-air around the riders vehicle. As the LexBots continue shooting at the vehicle, SUPERMAN uses heat vision to destroy the anti-gravity gun, causing all objects to suddenly fall, including the train as it takes the first giant drop of the roller coaster. Riders then soar alongside SUPERMAN as he battles the evil LexBots through hairpin twists and turns, loops, dips and dives before ultimately defeating Lex and the LexBots, and returning safely back into the station. This amazing adventure will debut on these Superman-branded coasters:

 

SUPERMAN Krypton Coaster at Six Flags Fiesta Texas in San Antonio;

SUPERMAN The Ride at Six Flags New England in Agawam, Massachusetts; and

SUPERMAN Ride of Steel at Six Flags America in Upper Marlboro, Maryland.

 

For more information, visit www.sixflags.com/virtualrealitycoasters and www.samsung.com/gearvr.

 

Source: Six Flags

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no thank you. I rather not ride a coaster if I have to do so while wearing these head sets. As someone else mentioned on another site... they will work for 2 weeks then stop working and who wants the wear a headset that was on someone elses greasy sweaty head

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I'm glad our park didn't get it and hopefully won't. It sounds like a vomit fest and probably will make wait times longer.

agreed

 

 

^You are in luck! It doesn't look like Great Adventure is getting it.

I looked for our part right away and noticed it wasn't on the list thank god

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Great Adventure isn't getting it for the same reason Discovery Kingdom isn't getting it. Both are the only parks in the chain adding new coasters this year; no need to add this stupid gimmick.

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They are saying (Six Flags) that they will clean the Headsets after each ride, and not shown in any of the vid's or promo pictures is that the Helmets WILL have Chinstraps on them. The Headsets will be teathered to the Cars also. I assume it will have to be a pretty short teather to prevent a Headset from hitting the row behind them if a Guest takes off the Helmet during a ride. But if it is short, and with a Chinstrap, it could restrict Head movement in a car.

Edited by Railer
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They described it as a safety lanyard which I'm assuming might be around the neck or wrist, not attached to the cars since it is optional.

 

 

You can hear about and see the headsets at around 25:45, and how it goes on at 27:50

 

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Some interesting things in the Frequently Asked Questions

https://www.sixflags.com/national/special/new-2016/faq

 

There will be no extra cost which is surprising. At Cedar Fair parks it will be an upcharge.

It is only available for ages 13 and over

 

I would possibly consider trying VR on a tamer coaster but the thought of trying it on something like a hyper coaster or any coaster with inversions makes me dizzy just thinking about it.

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I'm glad our park didn't get it and hopefully won't. It sounds like a vomit fest and probably will make wait times longer.

SFOG is putting theirs on Dare Devil Dive, a roller coaster with already terrible wait time because of its low compacity. This is going to be a nightmare!

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I agree, I can't see how this doesn't negatively effect wait times. The operations at Six Flags New England are already pretty slow to begin with; throwing these VR headsets into the mix is a recipe for disaster. I hate being so cynical, but I can't see this succeeding.

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Someone on CoasterBuzz posted that there will be a separate queue and separate area to try on the headset before the ride to not hurt capacity as much. It would work better on dual station rides where you could devote 1 side of the station for VR riders loading but the only rides I can think of in the chain are Superman Ultimate Flight in Gerogia and Tatsu and B&M flying coasters don't seem like they would be great for VR.

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I think I will take a pass on it, don't trust SF, to clean them properly. Hope it doesn't increase the occurrence of spillage (as the Doctor calls it) on the coasters.

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Personally, I think that the whole idea is pretty cool. I would love to have a vr experience on a ride like Bizarro because it doesn't get much love these days. I have experienced vr before, and it is very cool. Going on a coaster with vr would be amazing to me. But if they do let you try them on before you go on the ride, I think people will be able to make a judgement on how sick they'll get. Usually when you try vr normally you'll immediately know if it can make you nauseous. I also think that this could be cool on skyscreamer, and once you get to the top they can make it so you are literally above the clouds when you look down. Then there could be other interesting things to look at. Or on a coaster they could add "virtual near miss elements" where you think something is going to hit you but it can't. Your brain really gets tricked into thinking things in the headset are real and it can actually make you scared for a second. I feel like it could be really good, but it all depends on what the simulation is actually like.

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My theory is that it would have only worked on Skull Mountain or maybe Superman.

 

Creating the entire 3D virtual world is time consuming & costly, so they are trying to limit that by only offering the same 2 experiences across 9 coasters: the Superman flying around Metropolis scenario, and the fighter jet alien invasion scenario. They wouldn't create an all new scenario just for our park.

 

All of the DC themed coasters at our park are out of the running because they don't fit the VR themes (except Superman), meaning DC isn't going to allow them on those rides. The reason I say maybe Superman is because none of the other 3 Superman rides getting VR are the B&M Superman flyer clones. I don't think wearing the headset would work well on flying coasters.

 

I think Ka and Toro are too intense to be wearing the headsets safely. I also think our rides management would fight to keep this off of Nitro, Ka, and Toro due to throughput slowdowns. (Yes, they actually care deeply about this)

Runaway Mine Train, I just don't see getting VR because of its age, lower popularity, and label as a family coaster.

 

Skull Mountain, despite also being a "Family coaster", would be the only remaining option. There's no IP license, so they could add the fighter jet VR without any approvals. It's already in the dark with not much else to look at. It has high throughput already, so adding VR wouldn't make the line disastrously bad. It's short, but the only coaster that I wouldn't completely eliminate.

Edited by Matt Kaiser
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