Kirby (星のカービィ, Hoshi no Kābī?, lit. "Kirby of the Stars") is the ninth platform installment of the Kirby video game series, in development by HAL Laboratory for the Wii. Early in development, the game was planned to be a Nintendo GameCube title; however, after failing to be completed in time, development was shifted to focus on the GameCube's successor console, the Wii, instead. First announced in 2005, few details have been confirmed about the title, leading a number of sources to challenge the game's existence. In 2007 Nintendo itself denied that the game was in the works; however, a press release made public on July 31, 2009, insists otherwise.
As shown in screenshots, levels in Kirby were rendered in 3D, but the gameplay was a side-scroller, like Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards. Kirby also used an attack system which allowed Kirby to ride on the backs of up to three other characters, a technique not used since Kirby's Dream Land 3. Kirby was also able to receive abilities from partners or enemies, as in Kirby Super Star. Another return from Kirby Super Star — as well as Kirby & the Amazing Mirror and Kirby: Squeak Squad — was the multiple moves for a certain ability. Furthermore, Kirby was to support up to four-player multiplayer.
Kirby was first announced at E3 2005, and was then set for the release on the Nintendo GameCube. However, after its first announcement, little information was revealed about the game, and it soon appeared that the game was now set for release on Wii.
On May 26, 2006, IGN released an article stating the release of a "generically labeled Kirby Legend of the stars, based on information found "in a recent Japanese release list found on Nintendo's corporate site". Furthermore, on September 14, 2006, the game appeared on a list of upcoming Wii games set for release in Japan, named Hoshi no Kābī (Kirby of the Stars) in the region. The December 2006 issue of Nintendo Power removed Kirby from its list of GameCube releases, but did not place it on its list of Wii releases.
Matt Casamassina of IGN, posting on his blog, furthered the idea of a Wii release by stating that Kirby would indeed be released for the Wii in 2007. Casamassina compared Kirby to Donkey Kong Barrel Blast, another game that was originally announced as a GameCube title, but eventually released on Wii. Finally, however, at E3 2007, although Kirby was not shown by Nintendo, it was confirmed to "have not been abandoned on the Wii" by Beth Llewelyn of Nintendo of America. However, when asked about the GameCube version, she said "not to forget about Kirby" either.
In the December 2007 issue of Official Nintendo Magazine, it was stated in the "Ask Nintendo" section that a Kirby game for Wii was not currently in development. This is questionable, however, since a press release by Nintendo as late as July 31, 2009 includes the title Hoshi no Kābī as an expected 2009 release. Its release in Europe is also pending confirmation.