Bioshock is exactly the type of thing we need/want, indeed. I think sometimes developers do have original ideas, then step back and run away from them, sometimes. Like, take the world seen in HL2, but rather than a linear and rather straight shooter-with-zombies, spin it to be a tale of surviving within the shadows of a dystopia formenting a rebellion.
Of course, let's not forget the likes of Spore or Electroplankton, I guess.
Hl2's a good example of originality, particularly the new episodic content, i think it's a good way to go for such a thing, since they can release one chunk, guage the fan reaction, tweak it to suit, and so on, i haven't forgotten spore, either.
herin lies the issue, though, while these are original, there isn't enough originality out there, i mean, a while ago, we all saw psychonauts (at least you guys did, i have yet to lay eyes on it), touted as truely original, and yet, we haven't heard a peep out of their developers since.
Interplay, in its heyday was host to some really unique games, Giants, Fallout, baldur's gate, Freespace, while not really, really, original since xwing was about, it was refreshing and different enough in scale to be a sleeper hit, just didn't sell all that well.
of course, when you do original, you gotta do it right, there's been a great many of "different" games out there that got a lukewarm reception from the gaming community, or after releasting a unique, refreshing game, the developer goes bust trying to release another title (see Troika development, whom, after releasing Arcanum, developed Vampire: bloodlines, and soon went bust).
also, you don't see enough of a follow-through of what could've been a really good franchise, Take Freelancer, Starlancer, and even crimson skies, for instance, both really nice concepts, but wasn't given a chance to really follow through with a 'proper' sequel (i don't count "CS: high road to revenge" a sequel) to fix whatever flaws it would've had in its first iteration (with the lancers, it was more of an issue of ship scale, and since the devs went bust/assimilated by MS, no more from them), etc.
the Star-Trek: Bridge commander was another good concept with fairly 'meh' execution, just not followed through correctly.
all this talk about devs has reminded me of something i've thought about in the past, since "Halo 3" is gonna be Bungie's final in that franchise, what are they gonna do after that?.. keep going with that franchise?, or Resurrect the "Oni" franchise from gaming limbo?, etc