Zelda: Spirit Tracks Aims For “Wider Age Group”

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Nintendo’s newest Zelda game for the DS, Spirit Tracks, will be released in the latter half of this year and aim for a “wider age group,” according to remarks made by Nintendo in its new fiscal year report.

We don’t know much about Nintendo’s newest handheld Legend of Zelda game aside from what little the company revealed during its GDC press conference: it borrows the same stripped-down Windwaker art style used in Phantom Hourglass, and instead of sticking Link on a boat, he’s on a train. Thus, Spirit Tracks.

Well, now we know just a little bit more about where Nintendo is taking this train. Buried in the company’s fiscal year earnings report, stashed underneath a morass of boring figures and business talk, is an interesting little tidbit about Spirit Tracks: “Nintendo is developing software, such as ‘The Legend of Zelda: Spirit Tracks (tentative name)’ which will appeal to a wider age group of people, and will launch in the latter half of this calendar year.”

The most pertinent thing, obviously, is the bit about a “wider age group of people” being the demographic. Zelda already has a pretty wide appeal, at least among gamers it speaks to almost everybody, young and old, Nintendo fanboy or not. “Wider age group,” then, could mean non-gamers who are older, maybe people like the older women who help make up the elusive “casual” demographic. Or it could mean the series will skew even younger in its appeal, and Link will be riding around on Thomas the Train and singing songs with Barney to rescue Zelda. Who knows.

The other two info nuggets – the bit about the name being tentative (I think Spirit Tracks is a pretty good name but “tracks” might be too loose a term) and the part about the game coming out later this year, are no real surprises. In any case, there’s a look at the future of Zelda, whatever it may hold.

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