Apologies for choosing such a shamelessly eye-grabbing headline, but bear with me. Yes Chris Hecker's statistic about Nintendo's lack of the phrase "art-form" on their websites is silly, and yes he himself uses the phrase "suck ass" to describe the Wii (just pipped to the crude post by Brad's recent description of the PSP), but there are two perfectly valid points being made underneath the rant rage.
The first is that the Wii is clearly underpowered in some developers' eyes, and not just in its ability to throw millions of hi-def polys around. The GameCube was crippled by its memory capacity, with only the in-house and big budget titles really unlocking its potential (Zelda, Metroid, Resident Evil), and all the Wii adds to that base technology is another chunk of hard to access memory. As a developer, reigning in your ambition because of the hardware you're working with is never fun, and Nintendo have just gifted Wii developers with another few years of such frustration.
The second, more interesting point was Hecker's suggestion that Ninendo's party line of making and styling games as fun playthings rather than aspiring works of art is actually debilitating to the industry, which is forever fighting prejudice and aiming for the credibility and artistic freedoms of other mediums. Of course, many will rightly argue that there is room for both notions of videogames to co-exist and that games like Brain Age and Nintendogs are doing more than any other recent 'mature' title to spread the appeal of gaming and encourage wider cultural acceptance. But if Nintendo becomes the market leader of the next few generations then it has the potential to shape and re-shape the mainstream perception of gaming. What would GameCritics readers think if Nintendo spent the next 10 years effectively reversing the 'PlayStation effect'?