I think a game as popular as Minecraft is bound to inspire other games. The retro, low-res cube style is simple and easy enough to be done almost anywhere, so it looks like a low barrier to entry, and the fact that everyone likes Minecraft means that people are not just willing to accept low graphics demands, but some actually crave it. It makes Generic Shooter 2012 with its trademark Fluid-modeled Mud Splatter System, Photorealistic Lens Flares(TM) and so on seem overblown. That's more like graphics getting in the way of games, and it also seems like those games put other things ahead of fun as well. Minecraft doesn't bother with flashy graphics at all - it has just enough for the game and that's it.
What will be interesting to see is whether it inspires more new games than modifications to standard Minecraft. That's the difference between "wouldn't it be great if Minecraft did this?" and "I like Minecraft, but what I'd really like is...".
Mokalus of Borg
PS - I have played a little more since my Christmas break.
PPS - Look at Cube World and tell me it doesn't owe something to Minecraft.