Wow! This is a really notable point considering that Sakaguchi believes Ito can once again make FF a leading and respected series in gaming. It really puts things into perspective of why console FF has failed this gen.
The last game Ito actually worked hands-on with was FFXII IZJS, released on PS2 in August 2007. Since then he has only worked hands-off (i.e. supervisor, special thanks, original concept) on games. In other words, Hiroyuki Ito has not had a hands-on with a single game this gen (DS, PSP, iOS, 360, PS3, Wii). I find that really shocking. Anybody that knows what this man has done for FF should. If you don't know Hiroyuki Ito's track record then read the top of his Wikipedia page:
There is only one possible reason why Hiroyuki Ito has not had any hands-on roles for Square Enix games this gen:
Hiroyuki Ito is too busy designing, producing and directing Final Fantasy XV. The scale and ambition of the game is so great that he can't work hands-on with any other game.
Is this a deluded belief or is it a realistic mentality? As of me typing this, Hiroyuki Ito is still a Square Enix employee and he's not a low rank one, either. He was promoted to Producer/Director by Yoichi Wada back in 2006. This is the exact same role Yoichi Wada gave Naoki Yoshida in 2010 when he took over FFXIV. Hiroyuki ito must definitely be working on something as Producer/Director and Yoichi Wada and the rest of Square Enix management are keeping whatever it is as classified as the inside of Area 51.
I would appreciate if somebody made a NeoGAF thread about this issue as I would be interested in reading their opinions on the matter. Seriously, will an entire console generation really go past with Hiroyuki Ito not working hands-on with a single game?