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Vib-Ribbon is finally coming to North America

Michael McWhertor is a journalist with more than 17 years of experience covering video games, technology, movies, TV, and entertainment.

Cult classic musical platformer Vib-Ribbon is finally coming to North America for PlayStation 3 and PlayStation Vita, the president and CEO of Sony Computer Entertainment America announced today. The game, released on PlayStation in 1999, will be available as a download from the PlayStation Store on Tuesday, Oct. 7.

In a post on the PlayStation Blog, SCEA president Shawn Layden apologized for his E3 2014 tease, when he took the stage at Sony's PlayStation press conference to wax nostalgic about Vib-Ribbon. Layden's mention of Vib-Ribbon was interpreted by some to herald a revival, sequel or re-release, but — much to the disappointment of Vib-Ribbon fans — was actually nothing more than a fond remembrance. Until today.

"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," Layden wrote. "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."

Layden says Sony's engineering team is bringing Vib-Ribbon to PS3 and PS Vita, and is currently working to make it available on PlayStation 4. The PS3 version will support the use of audio CDs to build unique levels. The price, he says, will be "attractive to both Vibri virgins and the rare few amongst you who found a way to experience the Singing Spline back in the day."

The U.S., Canada and Latin America will get the game digitally this week. Europe gets Vib-Ribbon next week.

"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," Layden said. "Sometimes you get behind a project because, well, you gotta believe."

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