game developers are less lazy than game players
I think advancements, especially in graphics are more a representation of hardware limitations than the work ethic of developers.
The post about the FF series illustrates this. Not that I have played or would play an FF game. The great advancements of that series (according to kipabc123) came with new systems. This should not be a surprise. This is also why PC games show a more steady increase in...well, all areas. I am not saying faster increase but one without major leaps and dry spells.
Claims that developers are responsible for lousy graphics are unfounded. Fog is actually a good example. Fog is a technique devs use when a system's hardware can't process/draw/store in RAM the entire "map". As far as graphics are concerned the limit is not the developerís intelligence(or work habits) but hardware capabilities.
I work for a development shop. We don't make games but I can tell you I don't know a single lazy developer. Also, I am not writing this because I am offended in any way. I think I am being fairly unbiased.