Q&A: Mistwalker's Hironobu Sakaguchi

The role-playing game magnate took some time with GameSpot at GDC to share his thoughts on his company's latest games and life as an Xbox 360 developer.

by

Final Fantasy series creator Hironobu Sakaguchi has recently been a key figure in Microsoft's efforts to gain ground in Japan. That market has yet to embrace the Xbox 360, but Sakaguchi's Mistwalker Studios is one of Microsoft's most potent weapons in the battle against Japanese mainstays Sony and Nintendo. Mistwalker's Blue Dragon and Lost Odyssey are at the vanguard of Japanese-developed games for the Xbox 360, a crucial area Microsoft must continue to improve in to win more market share in that territory.

Mistwalker's Sakaguchi is at the forefront of Microsoft's development efforts in Japan.

GameSpot sat down with Sakaguchi-san at the Game Developers Conference in San Francisco last week to talk about his company's two projects, Microsoft's support of Japanese developers, and other development-related topics. On translation duties is Hees Kyung, Microsoft's global product manager for both Blue Dragon and Lost Odyssey, who also chimed in briefly with specific answers on those products. Sakaguchi answered a number of questions directly in English; those answers are also denoted as such.

GameSpot: Thank you for taking the time to talk with us. Let's start with Blue Dragon. The game has been out for a little while now in Japan. Are you personally satisfied with how development turned out?

Hironobu Sakaguchi: I was satisfied with the initial goal that we set for Blue Dragon, which was 100,000 units in Japan, but now it's on the road to sell through the 200,000-unit mark. So I'm highly satisfied with the sales, and it has proven to be one of the key platform drivers in the Japanese market. So I feel that our objective has been accomplished.

GS: What was the feedback you got from Japanese players? How was the game received?

HS: There's a big [Japanese] community Web site called 2channel. It's the biggest online messaging board, a huge community, and BD is often talked about. I often check the threads, the message boards, and the responses have been overwhelmingly great.

GS: You're showing the localized English version for the first time here [at GDC]. Aside from the standard voice acting and text changes, are you making any updates to the game for the American market?

HS: There's no change. There are actually two songs out of the total five that we're modifying, localizing into English. So those two songs in the game are the only things that we're making any changes to.

[in English] And we fixed some bugs. [laughs]

Hees Kyung: We also adjusted the difficulty level around the mechat shooting. That was one of the [pieces of] downloadable content in Japan. But we're actually including that as part of the [North American] game.

GS: Speaking of downloadable content, do you have plans to release more content after the game comes out in the US?

HK: There are plans, and I can speak to that on behalf of Sakaguchi-san. Over the course of five to six months, postlaunch there will be more downloadable content: a set of three [pieces of] downloadable content, the last of which is going to be a dungeon with a lot of randomized patterns. By randomized patterns, I mean each time you enter into the dungeon, you encounter a different environment, a set of new characters, and monsters. So there are eight-plus patterns that have actually been set for the dungeon. So it is a completely new experience, in addition to this great game that we have.

Also, when you go to the start screen, you see [a new difficulty level] "impossible." This is for the gamers who have completed the game, know the game backward and forward, and have their character's levels above 50 points. A lot of other bosses and new items appear in this impossible mode.

GS: Will we see a playable demo on Xbox Live Marketplace?

HS: [in English] Yeah, we are making a playable demo--maybe for June or July.

Blue Dragon: Demo this summer, release in August.

GS: Moving on to Lost Odyssey, you're showing that game here as well. Can you give us an update on how development is going? What stage are you at? Is it progressing as you'd hoped?

HS: It's going very well. The development process is going quite smoothly. In fact, there is a beta version coming out next month. So we're hopeful that we're going to get the game out at the end of the year. And it boasts the great graphical enhancements that come from Unreal Engine 3.

GS: Can we expect to see a demo for Lost Odyssey as well? If so, will that be available in both territories?

HS: Currently, there is no plan for a demo, which is still to be determined. Our objective is to get the game in the hands of our consumers and really let them see what this game is about. So, in light of that, with that goal, we would like to get trailers out on Marketplace just to enhance the users' understanding of the product.

GS: OK. So you've been working on Lost Odyssey and Blue Dragon at the same time. Did you find it difficult to change your mind-set between the two? They're obviously visually, stylistically, very different games.

HS: It keeps me highly saturated. It keeps me busy, and that's really fulfilling. There's no problem there.

GS: What are your thoughts on developing for the Xbox 360? What do you think of the hardware in general? Has it enabled you to do things in terms of game design that you weren't able to do on past consoles?

HS: I think that in general it's great hardware and has a great software development environment. Take, for example, the stunning water effect you see in Blue Dragon. That's the result of a collaboration between Artoon, our developer, and Ensemble Studios, the studio behind the Age of Empires series. So working collaboratively with the talented game developers from the Age of Empires series and from many other Xbox 360 teams, I've been able to benefit a lot from the hardware, as well as software, offerings.

Mistwalker is working to get Lost Odyssey out in 2007.

As soon as I started seeing a lot of beautiful effects with the water, I actually increased the number of ponds and lakes. So there are a lot of watery scenes because it's so graphically stunning. [laughs]

GS: What do you think of Microsoft's support of Japanese developers? Do you think that, in terms of its support or its documentation of the system, there's anything Microsoft could be doing to encourage more Japanese teams to work on 360 games?

HS: It's very good overall. Support has been outstanding. But the problem is, for example, Epic's Unreal Engine 3. It's developed in English, of course. And unless you've got programmers who can understand English or are bilingual...we've got numerous bilingual staff, programmers who are highly capable of speaking and understanding English, so they can understand the updated information and versions with respect to the development of UE3. But unless you've got programmers who can understand English, they actually can't read the materials. And even though translation takes place, there is a lag. Oftentimes when they read [about] a version, the very version that they read is outdated. So those are some of the challenges associated with the language barrier. That's one area that Microsoft is poor in: documentation.

GS: The Xbox 360 is the only console that currently has a really solid integrated online platform. The PlayStation 3 and Wii are certainly less fully featured in that sense. How important do you think the online stuff is for this generation of consoles and also for the games that you want to make?

HS: You know, when working at Square, I tried, or in fact, we tried to set up numerous servers and create live environments, but it was very costly, and the operations were very difficult. But Microsoft has solid ground in the online feature aspect. It has got the solid Live servers that developers, including myself, can rely on. So it makes it really easy for me to create games that cater to the audience that likes online connectivity.

GS: You mentioned that Blue Dragon has been one of the top sellers on the 360 in Japan, but the system's success in Japan still hasn't come close to what it has reached in the United States. What else do you think that Microsoft and developers have to do to bring the 360 up to that level of success in Japan?

HS: [in English] Good marketing. Japanese marketing guys are not so good. Marketing is important, most important.

GS: How do you think they could strengthen their marketing in Japan? What are they doing wrong? Is there a different strategy they should pursue?

Sakaguchi: don't don't don't.

HS: Just to give you an example...the "jump in" statement, right? Jump in...the tagline. Nobody can understand it or knows what "jump in" means. So it has to be localized to cater to the audience in Japan, to get them to understand what that's about. So paying particular attention to [the marketing]--not just bring everything as is over to Japan--it's not going to do any good. You have to really think about the market, market needs and demands, and then really tailor it to that audience.

HS: [in English] If you say "jump in" in Japanese. Jump in. It's not so cool in Japanese.

GS: It doesn't make sense.

HS: [English] Yeah, makes no sense.

Microsoft PR rep: "Do, do, do." [the recent Xbox 360 slogan in Japan]

HS: [English] "Do, do, do" is not so good either. [laughs]

GS: So they need to try harder then.

HS: [English] Yeah, it's not so cool. [laughs]

GS: With this generation, Sony and Nintendo are doing different things from each other and also from Microsoft. Each has its own strategy this time. What do you think of their individual approaches? Do the things they're doing make you want to develop for either of their systems?

HS: [in English] Ah, Kutaragi-san's architecture...seven DSPs and a low-powered CPU. I don't like the PS3's architecture.

[in Japanese] First off, with Sony, programmers want to do well and want to create good software, but Kutaragi-san makes the final call and [designs] the [hardware and software] environment himself. So that's been really challenging.

Sakaguchi may one day find himself competing against his own former franchise.

And with the Wii, the system is not that powerful, and it's not HD. But the fact is that there are not a lot of homes that have HD TVs. So I feel, for example, at my place, the screen I have is not in HD. So when I play the games, both for the Wii and 360, it's hard to tell the difference. But with the Wii, it's relatively cheaper to make. It's less costly. So that's one of the attractive things about the Wii.

GS: Both of those companies are using motion sensing in some way. Does that seem like an essential feature for future game development?

HS: On the motion-sensor front, I've been intimately involved in creating role-playing games. It's all I've been doing, so when I look at the RPG space, there's not a huge need for motion sensing. So I'm not that interested in that aspect of the technology. But take the 360 controller, for example, which is actually the best one that I've seen, especially the analog. And it's easy to operate, and it's really reactive, unlike the Sixaxis.

GS: What do you think about what Square Enix has been doing with the Final Fantasy series since you've left? Because we're seeing more games go multiplatform these days, if it ever came to pass that the Final Fantasy series came to the Xbox 360, how would you feel about competing against it with your own games?

HS: [in English] Like Dragon Quest going to the DS.

GS: Right.

HS: I feel that the Final Fantasy series should come to Xbox 360 as well. This is wise. It makes so much sense to me...it has so much potential in North America and in Europe. So there's a great chance for the series to succeed on 360 as well.

[in English] And I heard they made the White Engine open platform as well. [Final Fantasy XIII is being developed on the White Engine; if the engine is indeed cross-platform, an Xbox 360 port would be a simple matter. -ed.]

GS: So you wouldn't have any problems competing against a series that you helped create so many years ago?

HS: I'm willing to break them into pieces, crush them at my feet. [laughs]

GS: Good answer. You've been working on RPGs for so many years. Do you ever get tired of it? Are there other genres that you'd like to explore? What are those genres?

HS: I like simulation games. And I wasn't a great fan of first-person shooters...didn't think they were that good. But after playing Gears of War, I loved it and felt really good about playing it. So I'm actually interested in creating something like Gears of War.

GS: That's interesting because we've seen the Japanese version of Gears of War with its localized Japanese voice acting and everything. How well do you feel Microsoft brought that game to the Japanese market? America obviously has a great appetite for Japanese games, but perhaps that's not so much the case in the other direction. Do you feel that Microsoft did a good job of localizing and marketing Gears of War for the Japanese market?

HS: [in English] Yeah, the localization is good, but the marketing is too bad...too bad. [laughs]

GS: Still no good?

HS: [English] Nobody knows about Gears of War.

Next from Mistwalker: a third-person shooter?

GS: [to Microsoft PR] You should be taking notes here. [to Sakaguchi] So they just need to raise awareness then? Do you think the games would sell themselves if people knew about them? If they were better informed?

HS: [in English] Yeah, sure, sure.

GS: Lastly, what's something in the game industry that has inspired you recently? One thing you saw in game design or development that really made you say "wow" or really impressed you?

HS: Gears of War. [laughs]

GS: Any others?

HS: [English] I like Zelda. I don't like Wii Sports. [laughs] But I do like Zelda.

GS: What don't you like about Wii Sports? Is it too simple?

HS: The characters are bad. They look like dolls.

GS: Fair enough. Thanks again for your time.

GS: What are your thoughts on developing for the Xbox 360? What do you think of the hardware in general? Has it enabled you to do things in terms of game design that you weren't able to do on past consoles?

HS: I think that in general it's great hardware and has a great software development environment. Take, for example, the stunning water effect you see in Blue Dragon. That's the result of a collaboration between Artoon, our developer, and Ensemble Studios, the studio behind the Age of Empires series. So working collaboratively with the talented game developers from the Age of Empires series and from many other Xbox 360 teams, I've been able to benefit a lot from the hardware, as well as software, offerings.

Mistwalker is working to get Lost Odyssey out in 2007.

As soon as I started seeing a lot of beautiful effects with the water, I actually increased the number of ponds and lakes. So there are a lot of watery scenes because it's so graphically stunning. [laughs]

GS: What do you think of Microsoft's support of Japanese developers? Do you think that, in terms of its support or its documentation of the system, there's anything Microsoft could be doing to encourage more Japanese teams to work on 360 games?

HS: It's very good overall. Support has been outstanding. But the problem is, for example, Epic's Unreal Engine 3. It's developed in English, of course. And unless you've got programmers who can understand English or are bilingual...we've got numerous bilingual staff, programmers who are highly capable of speaking and understanding English, so they can understand the updated information and versions with respect to the development of UE3. But unless you've got programmers who can understand English, they actually can't read the materials. And even though translation takes place, there is a lag. Oftentimes when they read [about] a version, the very version that they read is outdated. So those are some of the challenges associated with the language barrier. That's one area that Microsoft is poor in: documentation.

GS: The Xbox 360 is the only console that currently has a really solid integrated online platform. The PlayStation 3 and Wii are certainly less fully featured in that sense. How important do you think the online stuff is for this generation of consoles and also for the games that you want to make?

HS: You know, when working at Square, I tried, or in fact, we tried to set up numerous servers and create live environments, but it was very costly, and the operations were very difficult. But Microsoft has solid ground in the online feature aspect. It has got the solid Live servers that developers, including myself, can rely on. So it makes it really easy for me to create games that cater to the audience that likes online connectivity.

GS: You mentioned that Blue Dragon has been one of the top sellers on the 360 in Japan, but the system's success in Japan still hasn't come close to what it has reached in the United States. What else do you think that Microsoft and developers have to do to bring the 360 up to that level of success in Japan?

HS: [in English] Good marketing. Japanese marketing guys are not so good. Marketing is important, most important.

GS: How do you think they could strengthen their marketing in Japan? What are they doing wrong? Is there a different strategy they should pursue?

Sakaguchi: don't don't don't.

HS: Just to give you an example...the "jump in" statement, right? Jump in...the tagline. Nobody can understand it or knows what "jump in" means. So it has to be localized to cater to the audience in Japan, to get them to understand what that's about. So paying particular attention to [the marketing]--not just bring everything as is over to Japan--it's not going to do any good. You have to really think about the market, market needs and demands, and then really tailor it to that audience.

HS: [in English] If you say "jump in" in Japanese. Jump in. It's not so cool in Japanese.

GS: It doesn't make sense.

HS: [English] Yeah, makes no sense.

Microsoft PR rep: "Do, do, do." [the recent Xbox 360 slogan in Japan]

HS: [English] "Do, do, do" is not so good either. [laughs]

GS: So they need to try harder then.

HS: [English] Yeah, it's not so cool. [laughs]

GS: With this generation, Sony and Nintendo are doing different things from each other and also from Microsoft. Each has its own strategy this time. What do you think of their individual approaches? Do the things they're doing make you want to develop for either of their systems?

HS: [in English] Ah, Kutaragi-san's architecture...seven DSPs and a low-powered CPU. I don't like the PS3's architecture.

[in Japanese] First off, with Sony, programmers want to do well and want to create good software, but Kutaragi-san makes the final call and [designs] the [hardware and software] environment himself. So that's been really challenging.

Sakaguchi may one day find himself competing against his own former franchise.

And with the Wii, the system is not that powerful, and it's not HD. But the fact is that there are not a lot of homes that have HD TVs. So I feel, for example, at my place, the screen I have is not in HD. So when I play the games, both for the Wii and 360, it's hard to tell the difference. But with the Wii, it's relatively cheaper to make. It's less costly. So that's one of the attractive things about the Wii.

GS: Both of those companies are using motion sensing in some way. Does that seem like an essential feature for future game development?

HS: On the motion-sensor front, I've been intimately involved in creating role-playing games. It's all I've been doing, so when I look at the RPG space, there's not a huge need for motion sensing. So I'm not that interested in that aspect of the technology. But take the 360 controller, for example, which is actually the best one that I've seen, especially the analog. And it's easy to operate, and it's really reactive, unlike the Sixaxis.

GS: What do you think about what Square Enix has been doing with the Final Fantasy series since you've left? Because we're seeing more games go multiplatform these days, if it ever came to pass that the Final Fantasy series came to the Xbox 360, how would you feel about competing against it with your own games?

HS: [in English] Like Dragon Quest going to the DS.

GS: Right.

HS: I feel that the Final Fantasy series should come to Xbox 360 as well. This is wise. It makes so much sense to me...it has so much potential in North America and in Europe. So there's a great chance for the series to succeed on 360 as well.

[in English] And I heard they made the White Engine open platform as well. [Final Fantasy XIII is being developed on the White Engine; if the engine is indeed cross-platform, an Xbox 360 port would be a simple matter. -ed.]

GS: So you wouldn't have any problems competing against a series that you helped create so many years ago?

HS: I'm willing to break them into pieces, crush them at my feet. [laughs]

GS: Good answer. You've been working on RPGs for so many years. Do you ever get tired of it? Are there other genres that you'd like to explore? What are those genres?

HS: I like simulation games. And I wasn't a great fan of first-person shooters...didn't think they were that good. But after playing Gears of War, I loved it and felt really good about playing it. So I'm actually interested in creating something like Gears of War.

GS: That's interesting because we've seen the Japanese version of Gears of War with its localized Japanese voice acting and everything. How well do you feel Microsoft brought that game to the Japanese market? America obviously has a great appetite for Japanese games, but perhaps that's not so much the case in the other direction. Do you feel that Microsoft did a good job of localizing and marketing Gears of War for the Japanese market?

HS: [in English] Yeah, the localization is good, but the marketing is too bad...too bad. [laughs]

GS: Still no good?

HS: [English] Nobody knows about Gears of War.

Next from Mistwalker: a third-person shooter?

GS: [to Microsoft PR] You should be taking notes here. [to Sakaguchi] So they just need to raise awareness then? Do you think the games would sell themselves if people knew about them? If they were better informed?

HS: [in English] Yeah, sure, sure.

GS: Lastly, what's something in the game industry that has inspired you recently? One thing you saw in game design or development that really made you say "wow" or really impressed you?

HS: Gears of War. [laughs]

GS: Any others?

HS: [English] I like Zelda. I don't like Wii Sports. [laughs] But I do like Zelda.

GS: What don't you like about Wii Sports? Is it too simple?

HS: The characters are bad. They look like dolls.

GS: Fair enough. Thanks again for your time.

Discussion

622 comments
TC_Squared
TC_Squared

His central focus on Xbox360 and refusal to work with the PS3 is going to cause him to fail. It doesn't matter if the Xbox360 is the better console; PS3 is still a good console and the center of JRPGs. This is sad, because I love his work. He's getting ahead of the game though (just as he did with Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within). He can aim for tilting the JRPG franchise toward MS while still making games for Sony, but to think that he can immediately shift the JRPG franchise toward MS with a few games is a dream. After all, despite how good Lost Odyssey is, many MS gamers said that it had too much dialogue. That's what you get when a JRPG is put onto what's primarily a military/FPS console. Those same things would never have been said about Lost Odyssey if it were a PS3 game. He can make the coolest RPGs, but if not enough Xbox360 owners are purchasing them Mistwalker will never get as big as Squaresoft/enix. After all, selling 200,000 copies of Blue Dragon is not that much. It's not a failure, but in no way does it compete with FF. FFXII sold 1,764,000 copies the first week in Japan alone. He needs to focus on expanding Mistwalker more than anything else.

magusat999
magusat999

Boy - GS put the online gaming full court press on this guy. I thought it was about his strategies as a game developer, not whether or not he will be jumping in (or Do,do, do) to the online market. There is planty of money to be made offline, and i'm just looking for some real RPG's from a person who actually knows how to make them. (I don't know what's going on at Square but they certainly are losing thier minds with thier latest so-called RPG offerings. I like how he said without actually saying that the FFXIII is more of a FPS than an RPG - did you all get that? He just slid right into it without "punching" the point. I know that Square owns the rights to all of the games he worked on while he was there, but I'm looking forward to similar offerings (he was the character creator for CHrono Trigger and most of the Dream Team is at Mistwalker now). Yes, Akira - crush Square. Square has been making some dumb moves for quite a while now - leaving wide gaping holes for a quality RPG developer to pop right in. I hope you can squeeze in there and serve up what we have all been missing.

Kenji_Masamune
Kenji_Masamune

Hopefully they will release these games on the PS3 or something. With about 50% of all xbots owning halolz, and not to mentions it's almost no RPGs on either system, a game like this was a mistake bringing it to the 360. I very much doubt that it will break a million in sales in it's lifetime. Can't blame the FF crew though, MS did pay all costs for this game. If you want RPGs then look no futher than any playstation or nintendo DS.

SgtSilock
SgtSilock

Good luck to him indeed, he has made 2 great games and will continue to do so with the 360 platform!

PS3Compass
PS3Compass

"HS: I'm willing to break them into pieces, crush them at my feet. [laughs] " Well...good luck with that.

dustopants
dustopants

He's a smart man... I hope Lost Oddyssy actually has some creativity to the story and characters... cause I think he tried too hard on Blue Dragon...

Zion82
Zion82

This man is a living legend!

zhevox
zhevox

when i heard that Sakaguchi-san quits SQ, i thought he retried or something..i thought no more Final Fantasy..but Blue Dragon....such an amazing game.....BD2 coming soon to your Xbox360!!!

angkawsw
angkawsw

lol wii sport characters look lie dolls he said.. true enough..

Knightmare_King
Knightmare_King

You have to respect Sakaguchi-san for a man that created the biggest franchise in history im pretty sure he knows what he's doing for mistwalker and microsoft needs to listen to him about publicity for the 360 in japan if they want better ratings and more sales. As for the future, I can see more good J-RPG games coming from him and i'm sure they will be just as good as the games he made from his own mind; i just hope Squareenix will get on the bandwagon and utilize the white engine for 360 if its really that open ended cause if they do i see a good if not great future for microsoft and its xbox 360.

guitarwiz78
guitarwiz78

sakaguchi is a genius ive completed blue dragon on my japanesse 360 and it is the best rpg i have ever played rpg games are my genre ive been playing them for about 17 years now from ultima to final fantasy to dragon quest to star ocean to panzer dragoon saga i could go on and on but this is my favorite i had hi hopes for the game but it went way beyond my expectations and completey blew me away i need a sequel to the greatest game ever

azad_champ
azad_champ

This guy knows the industry. It's a pity for Square that they lost him.

V-Nine
V-Nine

Hmmmm...White engine is open platform. Multi platform Final fantasy is seeming more likely.

Omega3210
Omega3210

it feels so wierd to talk about Sakaguchi Against Final Fantasy! I can't imagine it yet !

Impostorzim
Impostorzim

"I'm willing to break them into pieces, crush them at my feet." What an awesome guy. He sure is wise though I gotta say, I'm really liking Mist Walker now with their announcements and their point of view.

WarTime71
WarTime71

ssdemon w/e da hell ur name is u need 2 read da interview again cus he bashes microsoft as well as square but ur not a complete idiot i aqree wit ur thoughts on final fantasy

ssDemonInuyasha
ssDemonInuyasha

action_ramboXXX that was a long comment. Try to make that kinda stuff shorter. And SquareEnix isn't milking FF7, fans keep asking for more so they give it to them. And if you don't like FFX andand either of the other ones you said, then that your loos. They're still great games. And SquareEnix makes the best RPGs period. I don't like Hironobu Sakaguchi comments though. It seems like he decided to make the 360 sound really great because Microsoft is now the one giving him a chance at making games. And FF doesn't need to go to the 360 to continue it's success. They game can go anywhere and be gold. I can't trust a guy who made things such as Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within.

Axe_336
Axe_336

Sakaguchi-san is awesome!

action_ramboXXX
action_ramboXXX

Square Enix hasnt been doing a great job with their franchise and Final Fantasy as a whole. Don't get me wrong I do love FFXII, but I feel as though Square Enix is disregarding the leaps FFXII made and is centering the FFXIII games around anime convention. Normally my philosiphy has always been where Final Fantasy goes, I go. The consoles I have over the course of my life are the Nes, SNES, PSone, and PS2. And made it my decison to follow the FF series since playing FFVI on the SNES. Unfortunatley post FFX has not been too kind to the series, with Square Enix milking FFVII, FFX-2, and their obession with anything Final Fantasy, it seems the title "Final Fantasy" has lost its magic on me. That said I will be looking at Mist Walker in the upcoming months. And Judging from the staff and vision of the game (Mist walker is composed of many former Squre Soft employees). It looks like Lost Odyssey could be the game that the FF series would have strived for if it didnt take the anime or teen demographic. If Lost Odyssey lives up to the hype, than I may just consider getting a Xbox 360 instead of a PS3. I already have a Wii, but I always knew I would be getting another console afterwards. My only problem with the Xbox 360 now is that I dont know where their priorities lie. Im not a big fan of FPS, Shooters, and mainstream violent titles (like GTA), and if this the course Xbox 360 want to focus on, JRPG titles may be comprimised in the console. The thing is the only games I am eyeing on the PS3 are FFXIII and MGS4. While Xbox 360 already caught my eye with Blue Dragon, Lost Odyssey, Oblivion, Cry On, Gears of War, and Symphony of the Night in Xbox Live arcade. That said, if I do get a Xbox 360. I will probably make history and become the first 360 owner not to ever own Halo 3. :P

WarTime71
WarTime71

his works are cherished by me and my family hironobu is a great game designer he is not a lap dog of microsoft read da whole interview eh bashes there marketing plan he has da balls and da courage to make da 360 da winner of da console wars

Tetsuphil
Tetsuphil

Kingdom Hearts 3 will decide wich console I'll choose.

Seram
Seram

Blue Dragon is going to be awesome.

massvideogames
massvideogames

This is great news! The only thing the 360 is lacking in america, JRPGS!! I actually really liked Enchanted Arms, and now I get to look forward to more!! And now DMC4, and possibly MGS4 is coming to 360 (not to mention GTA4 with extra content), PLUS the newly released Castlevania Symphony of the night on Arcade, why in the WORLD anyone would want anything other than a 360 is beyond me!

Arcade_Legend
Arcade_Legend

Lost Odyssey is much better than Final Fantasy, but Xbox 360 owners will be playing both of them, because the White Engine was recently made multi-platform, specifically so Square Enix could make Final Fantasy 13 for the Xbox 360, because Square Enix started using the Unreal 3.0 engine, and they said Final Fantasy 13 would be the last game to use the White engine. There will be a celebration meeting in May, where the 20th anniversary of Final Fantasy will be celebrated, and that is where it will be announced that Final Fantasy 13 and Dragon Quest will be released for the Xbox 360. After all, Microsoft have been invited to that party, so it seems very logical.

nobeaner
nobeaner

I respect the mans work, but not enough to go and pre-order BD or LO yet. I also like how he just laid it on the line with M$ problem in Japan. The marketing their sucks for the 360. Nice job GS in pointing out to the PR rep that they need to be taking notes. That was hilarious.

MagnaderOmega
MagnaderOmega

Why is everybody complaining about Toriyama's childish looking characters? If you're so insecure about the way characters look, that shows how "mature" you really are. If you ARE a true adult, you can look past a character's appearance and enjoy a game for what it is, be the characters cartoony or realistic. So much damn babies around her. Whine whine whine. I give the Gooch a hand. Not many developers set off to create games just because they enjoy it(at least not anymore). It's all about making money. The "dream" is over. I recall Sakaguchi and Uematsu talking about how, when they worked on FF, it was all about the "dream". It was first and foremost, the love of gaming and making good games. You gotta respect someone who is creating something because he loves to on oppose to those that crank out titles just for the mula. Last, I hope Mistwalker DOES give Square Enix a run for it's money. It's been a while since Square Enix has had any competition. In that time, Square has gotten rather lazy. They continue to release crappy to mediocre titles and because no one else is around to challenge them, they can. At least, if another company challenges them, they'll have to get their game up, step it up and work harder on their games. No more SaGa Frontiers, mediocre Mana titles, or Bushido Blades.

w4rgasm
w4rgasm

mmm... thats all i have to say

Arkinsweets
Arkinsweets

[quote="ElmorePOW"]The interview sounds like he really had the gun pointed at his head, and even that MS public relations guy sitting next to him, checking he is not saying anything out of the line.[/quote] Haha, I liked that :)

ElmorePOW
ElmorePOW

CoMaNdOmUsKa, Akira Toriyama is mangaka, I'm not sure if he has anything to do with Dragonball Z tv-series. Sakaguchi left Square so he could continue making games, MS gave him the money and the opportunity, so he owns them a big time. The interview sounds like he really had the gun pointed at his head, and even that MS public relations guy sitting next to him, checking he is not saying anything out of the line.

CoMaNdOmUsKa
CoMaNdOmUsKa

All right!! i know the main history of BD: you are a kid if a unknowed village and you have to find the seven orbs (instead of dragon balls) to sumon a blue dragon called something like Shinlen ( O.o almost Shenlong that is a green dragon!!) to ask for a wish that will save the world, but a gang of evil guys comanden by dr. Makichiro ( Dr.Gero spoiler sorry) wants the "orbs to destroy the world. What i wonder is how they will rename the Kamehameha? Thanks Akira Toriyama,!!!!!. What was thinking Sakaguchi, the old style child-like graphics is not more pleasant, im sure that the majority that are in this forum are mature people. We dont want kids-like games ( at least the owners of 360 and PS3, because the wii....). We want mature themes so as graphics and scenes, an this doll like system, doesn't semm very good Akira Toriyama, you better stay on your TV series and leave videogamers, we dont want to be in your matinee theme world And you Sakaguchi, if you were capable of leave SE, who was your first and long time company, who gives you your work, better think before independisize, to do childful games

ElmorePOW
ElmorePOW

terrabreak13, Arkinsweets, Vorador47 No, I don't hate 360, that is the best thing MS has ever done! Please don't take me as a fanboy cause I just wan't to have discussion, and what I said about MS in japan, it was only the truth I've seen here. And I am sorry not to stick in the topic but I was asked about why I am anti-MS so I had to reply. Vorador47, you seemed to understand what I had in mind. And about what Tetsuphil wrote, FFXII would have been even better game and felt more like true FF if it had Uematsus musics. I always get chills with the prelude of FF which starts the whole game, it brings back so many memories. Square has many talents, but it has been a long time since they have really concentrated their talents in a one project. Compilation of FF7 took the team apart, and it seems like Fabula Nova Crystalis is going to do the same... I think that this generation of FF's is going to really show what is going to happen with the series. I like the fact that Tactics/FFXII team is working together with other FF-staff. Sakaguchi is a revolutionary game maker story-wise, but I doubt he will see the day when he crushes the Square-Enix's products at his feet.... with sales atleast.

CoMaNdOmUsKa
CoMaNdOmUsKa

Hire the Dragon Ball series designer?!!. What's this Sakaguchi thinking about, if i want play kids games, i prefer buy a Wii

Somini
Somini

Tetsuphil wrote: But I liked Nobuo's music,I would like to have his music in the future final fantasies,because he kicks ass Agreed. Although again, there is plenty of new talent to take his place. I hope Yasunori Mitsuda will work with Sqaure Enix again, he's produced some really good music. ________________________________ I read an interview with Nobuo where he said that he most likely will work with Square again. He's not "owned" by Mistwalker, he's more like a free agent.

Arkinsweets
Arkinsweets

[quote="Tetsuphil"]But I liked Nobuo's music,I would like to have his music in the future final fantasies,because he kicks ass[/quote] Agreed. Although again, there is plenty of new talent to take his place. I hope Yasunori Mitsuda will work with Sqaure Enix again, he's produced some really good music.

Tetsuphil
Tetsuphil

I will decide witch console I'll get when Kingdom Hearts 3 comes out.I dont want to insult Sakagushi, but he cant do the work only with Nobuo without the original team: Tetsuya Nomura, Yoshinori Kitase,Ken Narita, Kazushige Nojima,Yousuke Naora, Yoshitaka Amano and so on, most of these people works in Final Fantasy projects and Kingdom Hearts. The real Fantasy is not him, but the team he made some time ago. And now he starts again, with a new team, thinking that he can wipe away final fantasy.If the ff real teams(older one and the fftactic ,ff12)works together and Sakagushi stops his cry of freedom, Square Enix could shine again with great games and no Final Fantasy rip offs made by some other team instead of working together.But I liked Nobuo's music,I would like to have his music in the future final fantasies,because he kicks ass.Sakagushi doesnt mean greatest Rpg.But of course, BD an LO looks great but his way to do it is so not nice, I dont want japanease to become american, because they rule so mush with their games...Saka, stop acting like a kid and return home with Square Enix and the original team. You may think taht i'm a complete adept to Anime Rpgs made by the Final Fantasy and KH team and you're right, I care so mush about it.

Akaneiro
Akaneiro

Debute of Final Fantasy: The spirits withing (when I lost respect for HS), LO is looking bad *** though, I'm don't care at all for BD. I'm a pretty traditional RPG player myself (which most people would just translate into PS3 fanboy... cause they're ignorant.) the Xbox rpg's didn't hit with me I didn't like KOTOR or Fable, and FPS's arn't really my cup of tea; to me it's all 'bout games like Shadow of the colossus, God of War, KH, and MGS. At least I can understand it's not that way for everybody. Right now I own all three systems and the amount I play them is like this, PS3 - Xbox360 - Wii, I used to play Wii the most until I beat Zelda: TP, after that I haven't touched it. I said it earlier, it's a thing of oppinion it won't change overnight and MS will have to work REALLY hard to get the Japanese gamers to enjoy their system more. I hate reading these reviews and just seeing lots of people saying stuff like "FPS are the way of the future!" cause they're not, don't get me wrong it's not RPG's either, but without a stable dosage of both, it's hard to move forward. PS3 doesn't have any really strong FPS's (in comparison), thus it's lack of want in US, 360 doesn't have any really strong RPG's (in comparison), thus it's lack of sells in Japan. Both companies need to be better in my opinnion I'm just open to playin' some good games, the only reason I support different systems having different styles of games are the graphic engines and the hardware available for use.

Toadstool1969
Toadstool1969

[quote="Mikeh_515"]Randomised dungeos suck man, i hope there isn't to many of those in the games other wise i might not get the game. Instead stock up on more Wii games[/quote] Randomized dungeons do not suck. Heck, the original Diablo used randomized dungeon layouts to great effect. The unknown factor really boosts a games replayability.

aim04
aim04

I AGREE COMPLETELY WITH terrabreak13. He has a good point. The 360 is being enjoyed by many people in ways that other systems can't deliver. For example, games like Gears of War perfecting the art of shooters, Oblivion IV adding to an already fantastic Fantasy world, and Worldwide Soccer Manager 2007an excellent sports game AND NOT to mention NBA Street Homecourt since it is available for both the PS3 and the 360, but still and awesome game.

Arkinsweets
Arkinsweets

@ ElmorePOW Okay, if that's the case, then Spirits Within shows him slipping! There was a decline. You can't say FFVII or IX was as good as Chrono Trigger or FFVI - although they were still amazing games. More has changed than just Sakaguchi in FFXII, but I believe his departure was still a contributing factor; even if it was just to bring in some new talent. I still love how there are such rivalries between the two corporations' fanbase. Maybe if enough people say "grow up", they might. So Microsoft is a money-grubbing empire... but you still use Windows, and Sony is in a perilous monetary state... but they sell more than just PS3s. Why is it so hard to stick to the topic in hand!

DawnII
DawnII

aim04: I think that even if Final Fantasy stayed on the Playstation consoles, Sakaguchi and SE would still be competing against eachother, only in a broader sense. Since both specialize in RPGs, they are essentially the forerunners of their fields on each respective system. Therefore, it's basically which game is better and thus results in more systems sold. So there is still competition, although not exactly direct competition.

terrabreak13
terrabreak13

ElmorePOW You are just a stupid fanboy. You are a MSFT hater and that's it. Everyone knows about the Gates Foundation and how much he has done for charity. What has Steve Jobs done other than make arrogant commercials about Mac and PC? If you can't afford XBL you probably shouldn't be spending $600 on a console in the first place. You get what you pay for, there is no other unified online service that compares. The 360 might not be doing well in Japan but they are still not giving up and they have a lot of support from Capcom which is hands down the best company there. The fact is a lot of people are enjoying their 360s in ways the competitors can't deliver.

Mikeh_515
Mikeh_515

Randomised dungeos suck man, i hope there isn't to many of those in the games other wise i might not get the game. Instead stock up on more Wii games :P

aim04
aim04

In response to 2w-sephiroth: I hope that the FF series does in fact go to the 360. Some people say the Bill Gates (Microsoft) is only concern with money, but in fact all three companies main focus is to sell their console, in order to make money. Its the only focus of any entrepreneur in this world. If they weren't concern about making money then they wouldn't sell their console, bottom line. On the other hand, FF series needs to go to the 360 in order to attract other gamers whom do not have there eyes on RPG's in general. Moreover, it makes sense to join itself with the 360 because they will then sell more games, duh. I mean the far loved FF series has launched games for Nintendo for as long as I can remember, even now with the (even though is old) Crystal Chronicles on the Gamecube. So why not add the 360 to its dominion. I aside from many other people would love to buy a FF game for the 360 or any system in which they decide to launch a game. In addition, I am a Sony Playstation fan and have owned all of their systems so far, aside from that I have been affiliated with them in many ways since the start of its domination some time back in 1996 and have always supported them as well as loved what they do with their games and marketing. So don't think I am against them, I am just saying that there is nothing wrong with a little friendly competition against our lovable Square-Enix and Sakaguchi. I look forward to any responses from any one.

2w-sephiroth
2w-sephiroth

I so very hope that FF series does not come out for the 360. Seriously. And I am going to get a Sony I am going to suport both japanese companies, both from japan where they have given me the games that I so much enjoy toguether with Sega. Microsoft is all money they give a damn. I will give some times until heavently sword and some other nice game comes out for PS3 and I am going to buy it. while for the Wii... I hope they release something cool soon too.

Vorador47
Vorador47

"ElmorePOW Bill Gates may be donating astronomically-astounding amounts of money to charity, still, they are leading world towards 1984 with their Windows Vista. They are restricting individuals rights and privacy. I will support someone else x) ... I'm just sorry Sakaguchi is in their side." yeah all the restrictions in Vista sucks, but its not all down to MS. its MS buckling to pressure from all the Movie and Music companys. of which sony are pretty bad for. like the fact they will go hey, we are putting a new copy protection on our music to stop you putting it in a PC and encoding it to MP3. but hey buy our brand new MP3 player. sony are one of the worst for loading thier software and products with crap. thankfully most of the copy protections they companys spend millions on are usually defeated by a felt tip pen or holding down the Shift key :P so really you cant blame MS for that stuff, however you can blame them for trying to force Vista on us, by making game and apps vista only and making DX10 vista only. and then charging a small fortune for it. i've been pretty impressed witht he way MS has handled the 360, but they are still the Devil when it comes to PC's. which was something that put me off buying a MS console for a long time. but in the end realised the 360 was the best console for me, and i wanted to get back into consoles. my only complaint is thier are to many shooter (all be it good ones) but thats more of a trend than anything. so as soon as some other genre gets a highly acclaimed game, we will start seeing lots of that genre insted (personly i hope someone reinvents the Beat em up soon)

Captainintendo
Captainintendo

"Yet tell any rabid fanboy (MS or Sony) that you don't like MGS or Halo and you're immediately dismissed as being a fanboy of the other system." Lol, I like MGS a lot. But its understandable if you dont like it, no game is perfect.........(except for Ocarina of Time).

TTDog
TTDog

Agreed Halo sucks, the ending to 2 was horrific, and MGS3 i couldn't be bothered to paly having been bored to tears by the first 2 and skimmed the magazine pages when MGS3 was picking up steam. Yet tell any rabid fanboy (MS or Sony) that you don't like MGS or Halo and you're immediately dismissed as being a fanboy of the other system.