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Oct 06

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Vib Ribbon Finally Releases in North America Tomorrow

Shawn Layden's Avatar Posted by on Oct 06, 2014 // President, Sony Interactive Entertainment America | Chairman, SIE Worldwide Studios

Vib Ribbon - Vibri Welcome

Apologies to have kept you waiting…

Hey everyone! If you saw our E3 Press Conference a few months back you may recall, amid all the great games and oversized hand gestures, that I gave a shout out to what I believe to be one of the most iconic games from PlayStation’s first generation: Vib Ribbon. I wanted to give Vibri some much-deserved, though belated, screen time as I felt this game really captured the crazy that PlayStation was keen to offer back then… and look to continue now with our outreach to the innovative and indie game community. I figured Vib Ribbon was a perfect example, and today I’m pleased to announce that Vib Ribbon will finally make a long overdue release in the US, Canada, Latin America and Japan this week, with Europe following next week.

Vib Ribbon: Twitter Comments

First, some quick backstory on a gaming legend. 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.

I would like to give you all the chance to celebrate this iconoclastic title by bringing to all fans, worldwide, the chance to experience the original Vib Ribbon. As a result of the “outpouring of love” at the E3 name drops, our engineers have developed a way to bring Vibri to life on PS3 and PS Vita (we’re still working on a way to make it available on PS4). We look to have both of them up on PlayStation Store tomorrow 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. As an added attraction to PS3 players, 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.

Sometimes games like Vib Ribbon require backing and belief that do not comport with the marketing wisdom of the day, or the forecasted financial upside. Sometimes you get behind a project because, well, you gotta believe.

Vib Ribbon is finally making its way to North America, and the major catalyst was all of you who wrote, posted, blogged, tweeted that you wished to see this game come back and wanted your voice to be heard by the suits. Well, it has. Now I look to all of you experiencing this singular game for the first time. Let me know what you think!

Best,
shawn

Shawn + Ice

That’s me in the Vib Ribbon shirt…

//Add Your Own

79 Comments

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1

+ CapJSheridan on October 6th, 2014 at 10:02 am said:

Keep bringing PSOne games, we love them


2

+ RE_Player on October 6th, 2014 at 10:04 am said:

I will buy this day one. I will make my brother buy this day one. I will give friends money to buy it day one.

Seriously this is amazing!! Thanks so much. So happy others can experience the joy of the game and the wonderful original soundtrack.


3

+ Cripshay on October 6th, 2014 at 10:04 am said:

Awesome!
And yes, please don’t forget the PS4 version, Shawn.

Will buy the PS4 version DAY 1.
Don’t have a PS3 anymore :-/


4

+ Ejsponge61 on October 6th, 2014 at 10:06 am said:

This is pretty neat! Hi five, Mr. Layden!


5

+ Ouren on October 6th, 2014 at 10:06 am said:

Lovely! I never got to play this. Excited for the soundtrack support from the original game is making it over in some form onto PS3/Vita! :D


6

+ InsideOutBox on October 6th, 2014 at 10:08 am said:

@Cripshay Why The Hell Did You Sell Your PS3?!?! Idiot!


7

+ gerneric123 on October 6th, 2014 at 10:08 am said:

How exactly is this going to work? Will it be the Japanese version on PSN or will Vib Ribbon be the first EU PSone Import?


8

+ Sharingan_itachi on October 6th, 2014 at 10:08 am said:

and Keep the PS one section hidden.


9

+ Enigma777 on October 6th, 2014 at 10:09 am said:

This is so great! I love you guys right now!

Now give us Windjammers!!!


10

+ mockduck on October 6th, 2014 at 10:10 am said:

Great news!


11

+ DJ_Tomato on October 6th, 2014 at 10:16 am said:

1. As an added attraction to PS3 players, 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.
Only for PS3 owners? No vita Love?

2. Crossbuy?

3. It will be compatible with VITA TV? if so, il buy day 1, my japanese vita tv with us account can’t wait


12

+ JohngPR on October 6th, 2014 at 10:16 am said:

I don’t normally reply to these blog posts but felt compelled to say that it’s nice to see this kind of stuff….on my birthday no less! Day one for me.


13

+ GattsuWolf on October 6th, 2014 at 10:18 am said:

Never heard of it before… Now watched a couple of gameplays on youtube and must say that the game looks pretty bizarre/sick and I LOVED IT! Hahaha can’t wait to play it on my vita! Thank you for making it possible :)


14

+ jkam2 on October 6th, 2014 at 10:19 am said:

Can we get Silent Bomber next here in the U.S.?


15

+ Skater_Ricky on October 6th, 2014 at 10:19 am said:

Off topic but please bring all the Tony Hawk games to the PS3 and PS4 and Vita. I want to play the Classic Tony Hawk game’s especially Tony Hawk Underground.

On Topic: I never heard about this game till now. I’ll have to see what the buzz is about when it comes to PS4. Hopefully by then we can use our own music (hint hint wink wink) yeah I know why it’s delayed for the PS4 ;)


16

+ HIDINGBOX on October 6th, 2014 at 10:20 am said:

Hooray for Vita version!


17

+ samv33 on October 6th, 2014 at 10:20 am said:

“PlayStation is the place where everything innovative, challenging, new and somewhat off-course can come to find a fan, a market, and a home.”

This is true. I hope it always is. Thanks.


18

+ FifthDream on October 6th, 2014 at 10:21 am said:

Are you kidding me?!! This is seriously some of the greatest gaming news i’ve heard in years! I missed out the first time around and have been wanting to play this for YEARS! The game seems so great, and the soundtrack is some of my favorite music, period. I’m so seriously happy to find out this is happening. I’ve been hoping for it a lot lately. I can’t wait for tomorrow. (And PS4 is a possibility?! YES, PLEASE.)


19

+ FoomMan on October 6th, 2014 at 10:22 am said:

This is great. I’m glad to see more retro love for the PSone days at Sony.

I hope to see a PSone/PS2 emulator on my PS3 soon. I have dozens of classics on PSN I’d love to play on it!


20

+ mappyman on October 6th, 2014 at 10:30 am said:

Laugh & Peace!


21

+ gerneric123 on October 6th, 2014 at 10:30 am said:

@15 Those games feature licensed music and people. That’s a rights nightmare.


22

+ Vyprstryke on October 6th, 2014 at 10:34 am said:

You gotta believe…ARE YOU TEASING A NEW PARAPPA GAME!?


23

+ Invictus_80 on October 6th, 2014 at 10:37 am said:

So can someone please help explain to me what VIP Ribbon is exactly? The picture doesn’t do it any justice on making it appealing.


24

+ Neil on October 6th, 2014 at 10:38 am said:

OMG Best news. I’ve never played this game but always wanted to. I even have the soundtrack and it still holds up!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WGRHSyVUbZ4

Even though I’ll have ti wait for the PS4 edition :(


25

+ videoman190 on October 6th, 2014 at 10:44 am said:

If you are bringing it to PS4 could you find a way to work with MP3s as well? (For the PS3 & Vita as well)


26

+ FearMonkey on October 6th, 2014 at 10:47 am said:

OMG!!! THANK YOU, BASED SONY!!!!

Now all we need is a new Vib Ribbon game, hint hint wink wink nudge nudge. ^_^


27

+ onlineatron on October 6th, 2014 at 10:48 am said:

woah. WOAH


28

+ cronqvist on October 6th, 2014 at 10:52 am said:

THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU!

I just have two questions:

1. Is it crossbuy?
2. Will it have support for MP3, or is it a straight port from the PSone version and hence only work with CDs?


29

+ Dark-Twisted on October 6th, 2014 at 10:53 am said:

Hmm, trying to get Vib Ribbon working on PS4? How about a full PS1/PS2 emulator for Firmware 3.0? ;) ;)

You have the power to make it so, Mr. Shawn Layden…


30

+ UnknownJones on October 6th, 2014 at 10:58 am said:

THANK YOU!

I was at my local E3 event and was so very miffed when you kept name-dropping this game with nary an announcement about it. This has been one of N. American import gamers’ holy grails. Thanks for following through (and keeping the use-your-own-audio-CD option)!


31

+ boxmyth on October 6th, 2014 at 11:06 am said:

I still own the Japanese PSOne release (and have the soundtrack on my iPod). Utter classic.
Now we wait for the long overdue Tobal 2! :)


32

+ NukaCola03 on October 6th, 2014 at 11:07 am said:

Thank you so much for respecting our wishes and bringing this classic stateside!

I also hope SCEA could reconsider their original blocking of Capcom’s Breath of Fire III (PSP) for release in North America. In 2006 the game was released in Europe, but did not make it to North America because of a strict SCEA policy regarding ports. Because of this, North American fans have missed out on reliving this classic. I hope SCEA can give the game another chance and allow the European PSN version to come to the North American PlayStation Store.


33

+ bubbyrubb on October 6th, 2014 at 11:09 am said:

I never thought they’d actually release it in NA. About time, will we be able to play from our music? How will it work?


34

+ jrodfantastic on October 6th, 2014 at 11:12 am said:

Stupid question: Will Vibri only play music from a cd? Or can it read a music file stored on my PS3 and/or Vita?

On man, you know what would be awesome? Integration with Music Unlimited.


35

+ CapJSheridan on October 6th, 2014 at 11:14 am said:

Man, I’d love Silent Bomber on Vita


36

+ AaronSOLDIER on October 6th, 2014 at 11:14 am said:

lol @ the people asking if its cross buy… Duh, its a PS1 Classic. PS4 can’t play PS1 Classics they want you to rent it through PS Now lol


37

+ bubbyrubb on October 6th, 2014 at 11:15 am said:

One question though how is this a cult classic? I don’t remember this game being popular and no one talks about it


38

+ jrodfantastic on October 6th, 2014 at 11:16 am said:

On a more serious note, it’s extremely impressive that a President/CEO of a million (billion?) dollar corporation will so openly admit to a mistake made and proactively strive to correct that mistake.

Kudos Mr. Layden, you’ve earned a lot of respect today and your passion for the Playstation community is evident.


39

+ darkjester74 on October 6th, 2014 at 11:25 am said:

I love that Alex Navarro’s tweet, in which he threaten’s Sony’s life, is the first one to be featured. #TEAMWOLF :-D


40

+ OneManArmyAndres on October 6th, 2014 at 11:33 am said:

plz, add Metal gear solid to the ps vita store.
valkyria chronicles
crash.
even the ps vita tv will have crash, why wouldnt the vita. plz plz plz plz


41

+ AskPriz on October 6th, 2014 at 11:42 am said:

I tried to get this published in the US and it was turned down more than once for the same (dumbass) reason they gave me – “This does not have eye popping graphics like the Playstation 2.” (This was at the end of the PS1’s life, so that’s their reasoning…) Masaya Matsuura will vouch for me.

Also, historical proof:
http://thegia.com/archive/news/0003/n13b.html

http://www.gamespot.com/articles/campaign-for-vib-ribbon/1100-2541907/


42

+ Blkant on October 6th, 2014 at 11:58 am said:

Love the idea of getting it for PS4, and will get it for vita in the mean time.

Absolutely love the idea of seeing more PSOne classics and titles coming back in the current gen, I hope this will encourage many more to come. :)


43

+ jutke13 on October 6th, 2014 at 12:17 pm said:

@11:

If it truly is a PSOne classic, then that explains why you can’t do custom songs on Vita… no way to use a physical CD.


44

+ nixice on October 6th, 2014 at 12:22 pm said:

So awesome! Vib Ribbon is such a great game and it is so exciting to see it brought out to a worldwide audience after years as a coveted import. (It would have been great if the game could have been adapted to play off MP3/MP4 audio in addition to CD tracks as that would have been amazing to have the full Vibri experience on a portable, but maybe we can pray for a sequel if this does well…)

Years ago, I worked at the e-tailer version of PlayStation.com and we were in the planning stages of an initiative that could have brought over Japanese games just like Vib Ribbon to import-happy consumers through the shop, but it never got off the ground. Spectacular to see this finally coming to light!


45

+ jimmyfoxhound on October 6th, 2014 at 12:39 pm said:

Wow, that is a very cool thing to do. Major props to Sony for doing this!! Esp for the CEO to be up front about what happened and trying to make things right. That is just super cool. I’ll def buy the game. I do remember hearing the buzz about the game back in the day and was disappointed I never got to play it.


46

+ Nevi901 on October 6th, 2014 at 12:50 pm said:

Cooooooooooooooooool!!!


47

+ sfbsfb on October 6th, 2014 at 1:02 pm said:

Looking forward to finally trying this. Nice backstory as well.


48

+ Rainwater on October 6th, 2014 at 1:35 pm said:

Pretty classy apology. Wish Sony execs would make a similar apology on this blog about not giving Vita any time at E3 or Gamescom. It’d just be nice to know they realize and understand our disappointment.


49

+ VinsanityV21 on October 6th, 2014 at 1:39 pm said:

CD’s? Man… good thing I recently started buying some albums physically in that format again. Hope Weird Al’s Mandatory Fun, or Michael Jackson’s Xscape, make some good Vib Ribbon levels :)


50

+ MrPonuraski on October 6th, 2014 at 2:00 pm said:

Finally, a worthwhile post on this blog!

I like your attitude and style, Shawn Layden.


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