It's not necessarily a technical thing — the game is definitely pretty, but certainly not on par with the likes of Uncharted or Killzone. It's something to do with the art, colour palette, and perhaps, most importantly, the animation. There's an endearing soft look to it.
As such, if there's anyone qualified to tackle the "games as art" discussion, it's Team ICO's Fumito Ueda. Speaking with Kotaku, the legendary developer had two important distinctions to make:
There are usually two classifications of art: high art and low art, he said. Ueda stated that he believes 'high art' is based on the classical sense, with 'low art' being movies and anime.
But when you are talking about art, the word art, people tend to think you are talking about the first definition, which is a narrow definition. So if we are using that definition, then I do not think video games are art.
Its an interesting stance for Ueda to take, especially when much of his work is the reason for the discussion in the first-place. Speaking with GameSpot, Ueda noted that he perceives his games as "computer entertainment", though he did add that Shadow Of The Colossus had a stronger "video game element".
There's an interview with Ueda embedded after the jump with a few tid-bits of new footage. Watch and enjoy.