The from scratch engine that's powering Final Fantasy XIII was originally known as the White Engine. That's all changed! Now it's known as Crystal Tools. While Japanese developers like Square Enix and Capcom have created in-house engines, how do they stack up against their Western counterparts? Says Crystal Tools general manager Taku Murata:
Until the PS3 was launched, regarding the 360 and PS3, it is true. I agree that maybe Japanese game technology is behind because there were no previous experiences, or a base in that PC market in Japan back then. Since then, things have changed. Now, I think it has come to a point when the PC architecture and technologies have advanced...
I do think that in terms of the language barrier, yes, it still is a challenge. We do face those challenges in terms of communication, but in terms of technology, I don't think we're behind. We probably have conquered that problem...or probably we have gone across that point and advanced.
So yes, tech no problem, language big problem. See, that seems like from what Murata is saying, Japanese engine architecture has caught up super quick... Well, at least at Square Enix, that is.
Crystal Tools Talk [Gamasutra]