Wii U's New Paper Mario Leaks Early on the EShop [UPDATE]

The next big Wii U release is still a couple weeks away.

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Update: Nintendo has acknowledged this morning's error but indicated it has no plans to adjust the planned release date for Paper Mario: Color Splash.

"For a brief period of time, Paper Mario: Color Splash was inadvertently made available to the public via Nintendo eShop on Wii U, and a small number of consumers were able to purchase and download the game," a Nintendo of America spokesperson told GameSpot. "Access to the digital version of the game is no longer available. The digital version of the game will be available for download in Nintendo eShop on Wii U, and consumers can purchase the physical version at retailers nationwide, when Paper Mario: Color Splash launches on Oct. 7.​​"

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Now Playing: Paper Mario: Color Splash - 11 Minutes of Gameplay at PAX West 2016

Original Story: Paper Mario: Color Splash is scheduled for release early next month, but for a brief period of time earlier today, a number of people were able to begin playing the full game.

As first shared by Twitter user Electivirus (and relayed by NeoGAF), those who preloaded the game from the Wii U eShop--a process simply meant to avoid waiting for a download on launch day--received access to the full thing. This has been corroborated by others on GAF and Twitter, though it seems access was cut off early this morning, not long after word began to spread of its availability.

Electivirus and others have been sharing screenshots of the game. These include one of a Shy Guy teasing Mario about his mustache and a look at the manual, which reportedly plays in-game music and has some kind of developer commentary.

We've followed up with Nintendo to see if this accidental release will prompt it to offer it early to other players, unlikely as that may seem. We'll report back with anything we learn.

As announced at E3 in June, Color Splash is due out for Wii U on October 7. It's the last major Wii U release of the year for Nintendo, with The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild not due out until sometime in 2017. For more on what to expect from Color Splash, check out our impressions.

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