Will GCN's last lifeline be severed?
Gamer forums and fan sites have been rumbling with rumors this past week that Super Paper Mario will be delayed and released on Wii rather than GameCube, the system it was announced for at E3 2006. Several sites, including GameSpot, have changed the release date for Super Paper Mario from October 9th to Q1 2007. NOA's site has kept the October 9th date even though the Japanese version was delayed and is currently without a release date. Fueling the fire was a confirmation of the game's move from GC to Wii by IGNWii's Matt Cassamassina in a recent Wii Mailbag update.
The evidence seems to be mounting, but at this time every report has been mere speculation. When asked about the release date for Super Paper Mario, Nintendo reps defaulted to previously released information that indicated the game would release in Q4 2006. Interestingly, the Nintendo rep we spoke with did not specify October 9th, the date originally given by Nintendo in a post-E3 press release. Nothing was mentioned about a move to Wii, but of course Wii is scheduled for a fourth quarter release as well.
Although it is entirely possible Super Paper Mario could be moved to Wii, no evidence currently supports this. The rumor is unsubstantiated and the statements seem to be mere speculation. A delay is also possible, but there is something important to note: Nintendo is more than willing to release a game in the US before Japan, for example Mario and Luigi: Partners in Time. At this time, October 9th is what we're being told by Nintendo, and at the very least we can depend on Q4 2006 no matter which system it comes out on. If Nintendo does release Super Paper Mario on GC it should not effect sales since GameCube games can be played on Wii. If Nintendo opts for a port to Wii, anticipate it before year's end.