AUSTIN, Texas — I rode a 4D roller coaster and all I got was a goofy picture and a serious adrenaline rush. Samsung has teamed with Six Flags theme parks to create a series of rides that use the Gear VR headset in tandem with select rides for an enhanced roller coaster experience. Samsung gave curious thrill seekers a taste of what they can expect later on this summer with a 4D simulation at SXSW 2016.
As with most coasters, there was a long slow-moving line to the front. I was in line for approximately 20 minutes, when a friendly Samsung rep informed the crowd that those of us with a Samsung device could move to a shorter, fast track line. I took advantage of the opportunity and used my Samsung Galaxy S6 like a Flash Pass and was let into the ride.
Eight of us were directed to sit in special seats, designed to mimic the motion of an actual coaster. But before the fun could begin, everyone was strapped into their seats like you'd expect with an actual roller coaster. From there we put on the headsets and geared up to virtually ride Tatsu, a steel coaster located in Six Flags Magic Mountain.
As we moved closer to the first drop, the chairs jerked forward simulating the loud clicking sounds that signal you've hit the point of no return. The chairs leaned forward in sync with the first car going over the hump, to which I responded with semi-hysterical laughter as my stomach dropped, despite being in a virtual setting. As the ride careened through twists and turns, the chairs responded accordingly and I instinctively put my hands in the air.
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Similar to most coasters the ride was over way too soon. Even though this was a simulation of a simulation (Holy Inception, Batman!), it did reawaken my coaster fever. I highly recommend getting to a participating Six Flags theme park this summer and trying it out for yourself.