Vib Ribbon Gets a Release Date in North America & Europe on PS3, PS Vita

Adding one more game to our list of new releases this week, Sony Computer Entertainment America President Shawn Layden announced that PSOne Classic Vib Ribbon will release for the PlayStation 3 and PlayStation Vita tomorrow in North America, with Europe getting it on Wednesday, October 15. The price wasn’t revealed, but he did say they’re looking to have it at a “price attractive to both Vibri virgins and the rare few amongst you who found a way to experience the Singing Spline back in the day.”

For those of you who play Vib Ribbon on PS3, that version will “retain the feature that allows you to create a unique level based on the audio CD of your choice. Your music makes the game.”

Layden then went on to explain the history of Vib Ribbon:

When Vib Ribbon first appeared in the PSone era, I was working for Sony Computer Entertainment Europe in London evaluating US and Japanese titles for possible release in Europe. One day we came upon a game developed by a team I admired very much: Masaya Matsuura and Nanaonsha. This is the crew that developed PaRappa the Rapper and veritably created the genre of rhythm-action gaming, and here they were with 2D, black and white vector graphics featuring a vibrating rabbit that turns into the Archangel Gabriel — or a slug — depending on your skills in traversing an oscillating spline that morphs to the beat of either the groundbreaking soundtrack or any CD the player happens to have around. There’s me thinking, “I’M IN!!!”

But, curiously, marketing at the time was not a believer in this quirky game. What they did not understand was that Vib Ribbon, with all its retro madness, was also part of the new game continuum and, in fact, a very radical offshoot of that, which was worthy of praise. I could not get this into the hands of European gamers without having marketing support for the release.

Luckily, we eventually got the greenlight to release Vib Ribbon in Europe. Sure, it didn’t go platinum and it didn’t make a ton of money. But it did show, again, that PlayStation is the place where everything innovative, challenging, new and somewhat off-course can come to find a fan, a market, and a home.

The game released in Japan and Europe, but in the Americas not so much as a demo. Vib Ribbon is the “one that got away” and back then, when we still had that old-school thinking around regional lockout, there was no simple way for those outside of Europe and Japan to even encounter the game. It faded, lost to the chronicles of gaming history.

Until E3. It was not my intention to rub salt in the Vib Ribbon wound, but to express my admiration for it as the genre-busting title it is and was. My mistake was that I had assumed that everyone who had been around in the original PlayStation era would have had their chance to play the game. I had forgotten that the American gamer was effectively denied the opportunity. To mention it at E3 was to delight some and to squirt lemon in the eyes of others. For this, I apologize. It was not my intent to dangle the delight of Vibri in front of those who longed for but could not have. It was to make a point about having the courage, and talent, to break the mold. To do what your heart demands. To me Vib Ribbon — well, to be honest, Nanaonsha for that matter — has always been committed to that ideal. An ideal I wish to celebrate.

Layden finished up saying the reason Vib Ribbon is now seeing a digital release is because of all the people who “wrote, posted, blogged, tweeted that you wished to see this game come back and wanted your voice to be heard by the suits.”

As for Vib Ribbon on other platforms, Layden said, “We’re still working on a way to make it available on PS4.”

How much would you pay for Vib Ribbon?

[Source: US PS Blog, EU PS Blog]