Samsung Gear turns roller coasters at Six Flags into immersive mixed reality experiences

Six Flags has two new mixed reality roller coasters in California.

After teaming up last year to launch North America’s first virtual reality (VR) roller coasters, regional theme park company Six Flags Entertainment Corporation and Samsung Electronics America announced a renewed collaboration that includes two mixed reality coasters with “complex gameplay, where riders make key decisions during the course of the ride that can affect their scoring at the end.”

Dubbed the New Revolution Galactic Attack, the experience will be at both Six Flags Magic Mountain near Los Angeles and Six Flags Discovery Kingdom near San Francisco, “offering park guests a thrilling, fully immersive ride of their lives as they battle to save the planet from an impending alien drone invasion.”

The VR coasters debuted in late February at both parks.

When riders put on their Samsung Gear VR headsets upon boarding, they are introduced to the device’s passthrough camera functionality, instantly making them aware of their surroundings by allowing them to see the “real world,” including the person seated next to them - along with virtual content, the brands said in a release.

It’s certainly not your mother’s roller coaster. Six Flags said of the experience:

As they get settled into the ride, a heads-up display overlay on the passthrough camera view will show data like current status of weaponry, time codes, fuel cells and a countdown clock. Cresting the lift hill, a massive, swirling wormhole comes into view. As riders drop at high speeds, the mixed reality view changes to a completely immersive, virtual reality environment and a fighter spaceship cockpit materializes and envelops the riders into a tunnel of light. At the bottom of the first hill, riders are launched into the middle of a space battle, coming under attack from flying drones firing lasers and missiles. After swinging through tight channels, narrowly dodging drones and artillery fire, riders are brought into one of three drone bays, each of which offer a completely different gaming experience and three different endings.

Guests at Six Flags Magic Mountain will experience Galactic Attack on The New Revolution, or what the brand said was the world’s first looping coaster built in 1976 and North America’s first VR coaster in 2016. At Six Flags Discovery Kingdom, the New Revolution Galactic Attack will be experienced on Kong, a floorless looping coaster. VR is free with park admission.

“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. 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,” Marc Mathieu, chief marketing officer at Samsung Electronics America, added in a statement. “We are thrilled to continue to work with Six Flags and bring VR to the mainstream.”

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