After all of the discussions, rumours and speculations, Eiji Aonuma has confirmed that it won't be possible to play as a female Hero in The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. Despite the game showcasing an impressively dynamic world and freedom in gameplay approaches, it seems the game's narrative has fixed Link as a male hero - voice acting seems to establish Link as the fixed name, too.
Speaking to GameSpot, Aonuma-san explained (through a translator) that it had been explored, but didn't fit with what the team was trying to achieve.
So yes, there were rumors like that, and we did discuss as a staff as to what would be possible if we took that route.
We thought about it [making Princess Zelda the lead character], and decided that if we're going to have a female protagonist it's simpler to have Princess Zelda as the main character.
...if we have Princess Zelda as the main character who fights, then what is Link going to do? Taking into account that, and also the idea of the balance of the Triforce, we thought it best to come back to this [original] makeup.
In truth we doubt that response will satisfy everyone, though the story, plot and characters are currently unknown to the public. What's clear is that an optional swap wasn't on the agenda for long, but rather a simple switch to Princess Zelda as the playable hero. It seems the idea of a gender-choice Link that embarks on the same adventure didn't get far.
For those that felt it was 'time' for a gender choice, this is sure to be disappointing. On the other side of the fence, however, some fans may be pleased that the status quo is continuing.
Where do you stand on this? Let us know in the comments, though please be respectful and civil towards each other.