Six Flags in Texas Debuts North America's 1st Virtual Reality Coaster | NBC 10 Philadelphia
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Six Flags in Texas Debuts North America's 1st Virtual Reality Coaster

Six Flags and Samsung developed a virtual reality that syncs with the coaster's track and provides a 360-degree view of a city under attack by aliens

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    Six Flags Over Texas is putting a new spin on a longtime classic. The "Shockwave" is the first roller coaster in North America to use virtual reality technology. (Published Tuesday, March 15, 2016)

    Six Flags Over Texas is putting a new spin on an old favorite this season.

    The park has equipped the Shockwave roller coaster with a state-of-the-art virtual reality system that puts riders in the cockpit of a fighter jet as they ride out all of the coaster's drops, turns and loops.

    They've also given the ride a fresh name: "The New Revolution."

    "We've actually been looking at doing something like this for a couple of years," said Sam Rhodes, director of design for Six Flags corporate. "Finally, the technology has caught up with us where we've had the opportunity to do this."

    With help from Samsung, Six Flags developed a visually stunning world that syncs with the coaster's track and gives thrill seekers a 360-degree view of a city under attack by aliens.

    "You have to try virtual reality to believe it," said Nick DiCarlo, vice president of virtual reality for Samsung USA. "And when you try it, you're like, 'Wow, that's better than I expected.'"

    It's the first coaster in North America to use such technology.

    "Just this idea that they can change a roller coaster, you're fighting aliens, you can't see the track — it adds a whole new dimension that I thought was amazing," DiCarlo added.

    Another feature allows riders to tap their VR headsets and fire the jet's guns at targets that appear while the coaster slowly makes its way up the lift.

    "It's new and it's fresh," said Tim Baldwin, a roller coaster enthusiast. "This is really cutting edge."

    Baldwin has been going to Six Flags Over Texas for years and estimates he's ridden Shockwave hundreds, if not thousands, of times. He said he's impressed.

    "You're really flying through the sky," said Baldwin. "It's synced perfectly, which is why it's not disorienting. I mean, you're there."

    The New Revolution is open to Six Flags Over Texas season pass holders now through March 20. It opens to the general public on March 26.