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Personally I think it comes down to what players want (this is more in reference to the n00b effect). More and more gamers are looking for that familiar cinematic interactive experience as opposed to the challenge of the old school design mentality. Even the 'hardcore gamers' from back in the day are aging and thus, have less time to dedicate to training up on their favorite game. Western developers realized this first (or so it seems, I could be wrong) and have catered to that audience. Japan looks like it's playing catch up in this respect, and now we have grind free RPGs and simplified mechanics with lots of hand holding to make sure people of lower skill levels/people who have less time to spare can all enjoy the same game.
I don't necessarily see it as an Eastern philosophy vs Western philosophy; more of an attempt to maximize return on investment for the insane cost of making a AAA title these days. It's more of a global approach to making games accessible to a larger player base (with Western devs taking the first steps). Problem is, this approach runs the risk of transmogrifying the new generation of gamers into a bunch of noobs. In not providing an easy mode at all for the games we were raised on, it forced players to learn or die. And it would appear I've gone rather off topic
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Flocke of D.I.C.K.'s Cheerleader
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