Nintendo's Wii is the most valuable brand in gaming, growing its worth by 21 percent in brand valuation year over year while the DS lost some of its brand power, says a new study from communications research agency Millward Brown Optimor.
The firm's fifth annual BrandZ Top 100 ranking of the world's most powerful brands found that Wii led the gaming category with brand valuation of $10 billion, taking over the number one spot from the DS -- although, according to the firm, both brands boosted their value by double digits.
It's the strength of the Wii that drove a 40 percent increase in Nintendo's sales, said the firm. At the same time, it noted that the approximately 3.8 million PlayStation 3 consoles sold in the last five weeks of 2009 led a 76 percent year over year increase.
Microsoft's Xbox 360 dropped 1 percent in brand valuation to $4.6 billion, making it the third-most valuable gaming console brand after the Wii and DS.
But Sony's PS3 is gaining in brand value, says the firm, as the console saw a 25 percent year over year increase in brand valuation to $426 million. It takes place as the PlayStation 2 declines, however -- "with a 58-percent drop in brand value, the PlayStation 2 could be looking at its last year on the rankings," says the agency.
The firm is taking a close look at brand power in the game industry, it says, as a response to gaming's evolution into "more versatile and convenient media centers where consumers rent and stream media, watch sports and access games on demand."
On Millward Brown Optimor's overall top 100 brands chart, Google came out on top with a brand valuation of $114.26 billion, followed by IBM (second), Apple (third) and Microsoft (fourth).
On the overall chart Nintendo came in 32nd with a valuation of $17.8 billion, a 2 percent drop. Sony was 94th with a brand valuation of $8.1 billion, a 30 percent increase.