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Sakaguchi praises Xbox, unimpressed with PS3

Speaking with GameSpot during GDC, Final Fantasy creator and head of Mistwalker Studio, Hironobu Sakaguchi, had some interesting things to say about his recent projects, Blue Dragon and Lost Odyssey, as well as a few choice thoughts on Sony, Nintendo, Microsoft, and game development in general. One nice bit of info: There will be a playable demo of Blue Dragon available on Marketplace before the game ships in August (Sakaguchi hopes for a June or July release for the demo).

Speaking about the Xbox 360 itself, Sakaguchi believes it to be an excellent development platform. Sakaguchi notes his collaboration with Artoon and Ensemble Studios, stating that it has been very beneficial to his development process. Sakaguchi says that once he saw how well the 360 handled water effects, he actually created more ponds and lakes in Blue Dragon just because they looked beautiful. Sakaguchi is also impressed by the Xbox Live network, noting the expense and difficulty that Square encountered in building networks for its games.

As for the 360's performance in Japan, Sakaguchi says it's all about marketing. For instance, he loves Gears of War (we already knew that), but says it was so poorly marketed that it's virtually unknown in Japan. Sakaguchi believes that Microsoft still hasn't latched onto a marketing campaign on par with "Jump In," and he says that "Do! do! do!" isn't cutting it.

Concerning Sony's PS3, Sakaguchi is unimpressed, stating, "Kutaragi-san's architecture ... seven DSPs and a low-powered CPU. I don't like the PS3's architecture." Sakaguchi believes that programmers want to create good software, but PS3 designer, Ken Kutaragi, has made it very difficult. The PS3 disses don't stop their either. When questioned about motion control, Kutaragi says that he finds it unnecessary for the kinds of games he develops (RPGs). Furthermore, he notes that the 360 controller is the "the best one that I've seen, especially the analog. And it's easy to operate, and it's really reactive, unlike the Sixaxis."

When questioned about Final Fantasy and how he would feel about competing with it should it ever grace the 360, Sakaguchi welcomes the challenge. Furthermore, he believes the series should be ported to the Xbox 360, as it would be very successful in North America and Europe. He also notes that the White Engine (Final Fantasy XIII's engine) is multiplatform, implying that a 360 port would be relatively easy.

Finally, Sakaguchi says that Gears of War impressed him so much, he's interested in developing a shooter himself. Hit the "read" link for the full interview.

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