Perhaps it's a matter of intimidation combined with a lack of confidence. Maybe that would explain Square-Enix's lagging in the console department.
Many often compare the current Square-Enix to the S-E of yesteryear on the PS2, or the Squaresoft of the original PlayStation. And those same people point towards the evident shift in the company's goals, which now appear to be centered on one thing only: find a way to appeal to the Western audience. But that audience really enjoys open-world sandbox games like Red Dead Redemption and it seems you won't see such an experience from Square-Enix any time soon. Why? Because they feel they can't compete.
This from Hiroyuki Saegusa, director of the upcoming PSP title, Lord of Arcana . You can find his intriguing comment here :
"With our games, there’s more of a story focus most of the time. But with Red Dead Redemption, obviously it’s very free. There’s a free world and you create your world yourself. If we see that kind of game, we normally feel like ‘oh no, we can’t compete with those games’, and that kind of lets me down as a creator, because it’s so good. So I think it’s great."
You don't normally hear developers going, "oh, we can't compete with that." You will hear them praise other designers, certainly, but that almost sounds like a defeatist attitude, doesn't it? Not that we want an open-world adventure from Square-Enix, but there does seem to be a decided lack of confidence. It'd be one thing if the FF creators didn't take to the sandbox style but they obviously think it's pretty darn good.
To us, it just seems like Square-Enix is directionless these days. They've even admitted that they have no idea what they'll do with the next Final Fantasy . …we could give them some hints.