China’s new sci-fi amusement park is powered entirely by virtual reality rides

samsung six flags gear vr roller coaster news

A new amusement park opened in China where all the experiences utilize virtual reality technology. You won’t find traditional roller coasters at the Oriental Science Fiction Valley theme park, which counts 35 virtual reality rides ranging from spaceship tours to virtual roller coasters and shooter games. The park, located in Guizhou province in the southwestern region of China, spans 330 acres, and houses science fiction inspired castles and giant robots in a futuristic design.

The cost to develop the Oriental Science Fiction Valley park has been disputed, with Reuters reporting that development required as much as a $1.5 billion investment. However, the cost may be as low as $470 million, a figure reported by Road to VR citing information from VRODO.

“There’s fierce competition in the theme park market right now,” park CEO Chen Jianli said in an interview posted on YouTube. “We are trying to give customers a new experience by combining modern technologies such as VR and [augmented reality] with traditional recreational facilities. The sci-fi part of it is important for the feeling it creates.”

Theme park rides based on virtual reality experiences aren’t entirely new, but the Oriental Science Fiction Valley park is the first of its kind to utilize VR in all of its rides. In the U.S., Samsung and Six Flags partnered to create a number of VR-based rides based on the company’s Gear VR headset, while Legoland used VR headsets for one of its rides in its Florida amusement park.

Although the Oriental Science Fiction Valley is located in one of the poorest provinces in China, executives hope that the infusion of VR technology will create a tourism boom in the future and position the region as a tech hub. Apple, for its part, already operates a data center in the province.

It is estimated that China’s virtual reality entertainment business will grow tenfold, representing an $8.4 billion industry by 2020, according to China’s state-backed think tank CCID. The country is hoping to capitalize on rising trends in sports, gaming, and new technologies. Farmers in the surrounding area are concerned that the boom will bring added pollution but look forward to benefits that VR would contribute to the local economy.

Gaming

The Teslasuit could turn Black Mirror’s terrifying ‘Playtest’ into a reality

We spoke with Teslasuit co-founder Dimitri Mikhalchuk about VR gaming at CES 2019. With all its features, the future of the Teslasuit and virtual reality look bright. And it also sounds a bit like a Black Mirror episode.
Virtual Reality

Think virtual reality is just for games? These awesome apps will change your mind

Virtual reality isn't all about gaming. Swim with turtles, paint in 3D, and immerse yourself in some unique experiences the platform has to offer with our curated list of the best VR apps.
Gaming

‘RollerCoaster Tycoon 2’ ride takes 12 years to complete

A RollerCoaster Tycoon 2 player has constructed a coaster in the game that will take more than 12 years to complete from beginning to end, and is actually a tiny ride taking up a small portion of the landscape.
Cars

Self-driving, electric, and connected, the cars of CES 2019 hint at the future

Car companies remained surprisingly quiet during CES 2018. But they spoke up in 2019. From electric hatchbacks you can buy in 2019 to super-futuristic mood-detecting technology, here are the major announcements we covered during the event.
Emerging Tech

CES 2019 recap: All the trends, products, and gadgets you missed

CES 2019 didn’t just give us a taste of the future, it offered a five-course meal. From 8K and Micro LED televisions to smart toilets, the show delivered with all the amazing gadgetry you could ask for. Here’s a look at all the big…
Computing

Hackers are scoring with ransomware that attacks its previous victims

Computer viruses are always evolving. In a new one, dubbed "Ryuk," hackers are targeting PCs with ransomware that scours an infected network in order to pinpoint and attack and enterprises with big money.
Computing

An update to Microsoft To-Do will help you keep up with your resolutions

If you're looking to stay productive in 2019, you might want to check out the freshly updated Microsoft To-Do app, now with additional integration with the Windows 10 Start Menu and more.
Computing

Want to save a webpage as a PDF? Just follow these steps

Need to quickly save and share a webpage? The best way is to learn how to save a webpage as a PDF file, as they're fully featured and can handle images and text with ease. Here's how.
Computing

Could the next Microsoft HoloLens be announced at MWC 2019?

After not having a presence at Mobile World Congress for three years, Microsoft is now sending out media invites for a press conference on February 24 during the annual event in Barcelona. Could a next-generation HoloLens be on the way?
Computing

Microsoft to separate Cortana from search with the next version of Windows 10

Changes are on the way for two key features in Windows 10. A separation of Windows 10 search and Cortana will allow Microsoft to more often innovate on each of the features independently.
Computing

Delete tracking cookies from your system by following these quick steps

Cookies are useful when it comes to saving your login credentials and other data, but they can also be used by advertisers to track your browsing habits across multiple sites. Here's how to clear cookies in the major browsers.
Computing

Convert your PDFs into convenient Word documents with Adobe or a free option

PDF files are great, but few document types are as malleable as those specific to Microsoft Word. Here's how to convert a PDF file into a Word document, whether you prefer to use Adobe's software suite or a freemium alternative.
Computing

Nvidia’s next midrange card might be a GTX 1660 Ti, rumors suggest

Nvidia may be working on a non-RTX Turing graphics card called the 1660 Ti. Rumors suggest it will have around 20 percent fewer CUDA cores than the RTX 2060 and will lack ray tracing support.
Deals

From Samsung to HP, here are the best cheap Chromebook deals right now

Whether you want a compact laptop to enjoy some entertainment on the go, or you need a no-nonsense machine for school or work, we've smoked out the best cheap Chromebook deals -- from full-sized laptops to 2-in-1 convertibles -- with most…