Most of us at some point or another have been on a roller coaster and/or a simulator. Whether it was in Funderland or some of the heavyweight theme parks like Disney Land or Universal Studios, in Orlando, for the thrill seekers out there, when it comes to roller coasters, the bigger, the better. A couple of the best roller coasters I’ve been on are The Hulk (Universal Studios, Orlando), Duelling dragons (Island of Adventures, Orlando) and The Dragon Khan (Portaventura, Salou). I also have been on some pretty cool simulators that I find myself always going back to when I go to these Orlando, particularly The ‘Back to the Future’, ‘Spiderman’, and ‘Terminator’. But Six Flags have raised the bar for Theme park rides after their recent partnership with Samsung.
Sure simulators are great. Sitting on a platform going room to room with different effects like heat, wind, we can even feel mice in Epcot’s ‘Honey I shrunk the audience’ and in Orlando’s ‘Shrek’ simulator we can feel spiders. Roller coasters are also great. On ‘The Hulk’ you’re practically upside-down or spinning in one direction or another pretty much throughout the whole thing. But the only thing that really reminds of The Hulk himself is the name, the big Hulk themed entrance and the green and purple colour of the tracks themselves.
This is where Samsung come in.
Introducing Virtual Reality Roller Coasters. Theme park goers in Georgia, Maryland, Missouri, Quobec, Texas, California, Massachusetts, and New York will be able to ride one of the 9 roller coasters which will now come equipped with Samsungs VR Headsets. Yup, virtual reality is coming to Six Flags. So when you’re on those Superhero rides, you can now actually see yourself being flung through city skyscrapers, you will be dodging dragons and trying to escape bad guys. Think about it, you’re climbing the tracks at the start of the ride. You can hear the clacking of the tracks been carried up. All the while, with you’re VR Headset on, you are now Spiderman, scaling a building. You get to the top and do what Spiderman does best. You jump. You can feel your stomach lifting and the wind in your face as you approach the pavement at the bottom. You don’t know how long the drop will last because you can’t see the tracks! For a couple of brief minutes you can be Spiderman. Or you could be a jet fighter pilot zooming through a city like in the video below.
For now the VR simulators are going to transport riders to this super realistic alien invasion and the rider is the pilot. It begins with the riders being raised on a platform and end up at the top of a skyscraper. During this short trip, the riders can actually fire weapons in the worlds first interactive gaming roller coaster. I don’t need to tell you what happens next. Meanwhile, a mother ship is protected by alien drones and its the riders job to take them out!
Some other rides that will be debuting this are called ‘Shockwave’, ‘Dare Devil Dive’, ‘The New revolution’, ‘Ninja’, ‘Steamin’ Demon’ and ‘Goliath’. The coolest simulator in Six Flags, there will be 3 new Superman rides in which the riders will be transported to the fictional city of Metropolis where they will meet Lex Luthor and his Lex Bots who are causing carnage with an anti gravity gun where cars and trains are being lifted from the ground, and what goes up, must come down.
Samsung have struck gold with this new deal with Six Flags, just as the likes of Sony, LG and HTC were coming up with their own concepts of VR devices. Samsung have now raised the bar and changed the virtual reality game and the roller coaster game. In typical Samsung fashion, just as their competitors were knocking on their doors, Samsung have opened it, laughed at them, and slammed it shut before they can even say Virtual Reality. It’s going to take something impressive from the other manufacturers to come up with something to raise the bar higher, and I’m sure someone will, but until then, I’m looking forward to my next visit to Six Flags.