You're misreading what I said.
Like it or not, FF13 was starved of resource by Square-Enix. But as any project manager will tell you, there is more than one kind of resource. FF13 had plenty of budget. It had no shortage of artistic talent. But it was deprived of the company's core games development talent and of any sensible kind of project management. Go read the interviews that followed FF13's launch, when Square-Enix realised it had a turkey on its hands and began the blame game (which we've seen even more pronounced on FF14). The game had a huge number of artists working for many years to produce assets for the game - artists who just aren't needed for the low-budget graphically primative handheld and Wii games. What it didn't have was anybody putting work into developing game mechanics or even a storyline to hold the game together. This is why we got a game that was graphically beautiful (on the PS3, at least), but which just did not work as a game.
I agree with that, but still it has nothing to do with DS games depriving HD games of resources.
This is nonsense and just plain false, as the HD engine for FFXIII and other SE games was being developed at the same time. DS game developers at Square-Enix didn't deprive HD game developers, this doesn't make sense, and sure didn't deprive DQ IX of resources.
Meanwhile, the people who knew how to design games were off doing stuff like 356/2 Days on the DS. Now sure, those games have some pretty neat gameplay elements, but they are always going to be constrained by the limitations of the hardware. It's not just graphics; a lack of RAM in these systems constrains the size of the play areas you can use and so on (hence the mission-based structure that a lot of these games tend to take).
So this can't be games that deprived FFXIII of game developers.
The results of Square-Enix's strategy have been plain in the performance of their games lately and their financial results for the last year or so (for which see google). The handheld and Wii games get ok-ish reviews and do not exactly set the charts on fire in terms of sales (they tend to do ok-ish in Japan and underwhelmingly in the West); they don't cost much to develop, but they're not exactly setting the world on fire.
I agree with that, except for DQ IX, they are crap games. This is the same for PSP games. Actually, you could say the same for most SE games released this generation, HD games included, except for DQ IX on DS, so I don't see the point here.
And no, no SE Wii game received OK-ish reviews.
At the same time, the big-budget main-series FF games take forever to develop (remember, no effective project management) and get panned on release. If I remember, FF13 had pretty decent initial sales, but these fell off a cliff as word of mouth basically torpedoed the game below the waterline.
Receiving 39/40 review from Famitsu is being panned on release? What nonsense is that?
FF13 was just far more frontloaded than any other FF main numbered release in Japan, that's all. It's first week amounted like 85+% of its LTD sales which is just insane.
In short, Square-Enix does need to put its resource focus back onto its big-budget AAA titles; but by resource, I mean development talent, not money.
What I can't accept is that I think you're saying that they put talent in their DS or Wii games, which I hope and believe, is completely false. If it were to be true, given how bad their games on these platforms are (except for Yuji Hoori Dragonquest of course), then Square Enix won't be able to pull out of the rut they're in nowadays.
As for Japanese gaming falling behind the West; wake up and smell the coffee. It's clear you're a Nintendo fanboy - and one of the minority who hasn't been through the disillusionment process yet. Don't worry, it's not necessarily a permanent condition; I was a Square-Enix fanboy until the last couple of years cured me.
It's clear lots of people in the west have bolders concerning this subject, it's clear you have too, and it's why what I'm saying is not popular here on Slashdot (despite what I'm saying being facts), which is very hardcore focused.
You know what, I feel exactly the same as the year before the Wii launch and the year after on Slashdot. People were as blinded as they are now. But I'll read your argument as to why I'm sleeping, surely I must have missed some things.
As a games developer, Nintendo have fallen comprehensively behind the West (and have now realised this and are trying to catch up; witness Metroid: Other M, though I wouldn't categorise that game as a success). They've fallen into another common Japanese gaming trap; failing to identify which elements of their old titles to preserve and which to discard. Hence we still get the antiquated lives system in Mario Galaxy 2, and hence we still get the same damned plot over and over in Zelda. You may like it, but the rest of the world is moving on.
For now you only show you had a knee-jerk reaction to me saying Nintendo puts western games to shame.
I don't own any Mario Galaxy games (but I'm supposed to be a Nintendo fanboy alright), as they have no appeal to me, so I'd be hard pressed to comment on it. I agree that Nintendo has made a huge mistake with Metroid Other M. Yet, just taking the real success (and not your straw man successes) like NSMB Wii which I actually bought, it shows you're partly wrong.
Nintendo's market these days are nostalgic 40 year old neckbeards who don't really like games, and new-entrants to gaming. I suspect they're not getting much in the way of repeat custom.
What does that mean?
Still, as I say, Other M (which does try to adapt elements from Western gaming in a fairly major way) is a first sign that they have, belatedly recognised this and are trying to adapt. Sure, Other M isn't great in itself, but it's a sign that there's hope for them.
I don't know why you insist on talking about Metroid Other M which is far from being a success for this company. Why don't you talk about Donkey Kong Country Returns instead ?
There's hope for Nintendo you say? Reading you, I would never believe Nintendo is the company that defined this gaming generation, both in hardware and software.
Still, it's unfair to harp on Nintendo. Other Japanese studios have been just as guilty of failing to adapt to the current generation; even those who had some early successes. Look at Sega; they put out the sublimely good Valkyria Chronicles, which was one of the absolute stand-out games of the current console hardware generation, which married artistry and technical prowess perfectly and which managed (almost uniquely for this console generation) to match the quality of what the likes of Bioware and Bethesda have been doing.
And then look at how they blew it. Sure, the original game is still out there and, in fairness, it is as good as ever. But they've now shifted the series squarely onto the PSP, where it is hampered by the poor specs of the handheld, forcing it to reduce the scope and scale of its battles, and to replace the beautiful cutscenes of the original (which complemented the gameplay perfectly, rather than overwhelming it) with a bunch of still images.
Did it occur to you that the sales were so poor that they couldn't sustain such a game on HD consoles?
Valkyria Chronicles wasn't even localized for the european countries, which should give you an indication as to why they switched to PSP. I still think that was a mistake, as they could have released it on the Wii, which has a far better exposure to the west than the PSP which was already dying there.
Capcom, one of the sole studio standing its own this generation (not posting losses after losses), put Monster Hunter 3 on Wii precisely because they saw they couldn't sustain the development of such a game on HD consoles. SE stubbornly went all out and now they're in trouble. I agree that most studios in Japan just were not ready for HD content. They needed to go there more slowly, and now they're all in big trouble.
It's not that I'm biased against Japanese gaming. Really, in the last console generation, if you took my top 5 console games, there'd only be one Western game in there (Knights of the Old Republic). It's just that the Japanese gaming industry is going through a really sick patch right now and needs some urgent interventions to turn it around if it doesn't want to become an irrelevance on the international scene.
But what I'm telling you is that it's the exact same in the west.
Bizarre Creations (under Activision, the sole western publishers doing well this generation) is just being shut down as we speak. So you think all that is better?
Western studios are closing left and right.
You're saying it's better to leave everyone behind in technics and graphics and then close shop (like lots of eastern and western developers).
I'm saying it's better to sell lots of games that people actually want to play and feel are fun, and be hugely profitable to go on (like Nintendo).
Activision/Blizzard is the only one being successful and catering to your needs of technics and graphics, and I just think that's because this model is just plain unsustainable for more than one player. All the big western publishers have started going the Activision way last year. I think they're precipiting their death, but we'll see.
THQ nearly died with this strategy, they've come back with uDraw which is their biggest success lately.
Technics and graphics are not what's driving the entertainment business, and Nintendo is the sole proof of that with their never-seen-before profits in the game console business, despite having a SD console and a handheld.