The Nintendo Wii is the most valuable brand in video gaming, overtaking Nintendo's handheld DS console following a growing trend for socially-oriented video games, according to a new report profiling the world's top 100 brands.

The Brandz Top 100, compiled by market research group Millward Brown, also identified a trend in transformation of games consoles "from toys for boys to entertainment centers for individuals and families."

Music-based games such as those in the Rock Band, Guitar Hero, and SingStar series also helped sell consoles, and there was increased coverage of the pastime as mainstream news media increased the placement of video games news and reviews within the domain of general or home entertainment rather than that of technology.

Following the Wii and DS, Microsoft's Xbox 360 was the third most valuable console brand with the PlayStation 3 in fourth - though the PS3 showed the biggest increase as compared with other modern consoles.

Nintendo was also ranked as 32nd in the overall Top 100 of Most Valuable Global Brands. Microsoft, whose business empire covers much more than games consoles, was fourth (behind Google, IBM, and Apple), and Sony were ranked 94.

Apple's iPhone, iPod Touch, and iPad also helped to increase the popularity of games that rely on micro-transactions for revenue, a huge number of tiny payments from their many users, in tandem with the rise of mass-market friendly games on Facebook and other social platforms.

The complete games console ranking is as follows:

1. Nintendo Wii
2. Nintendo DS
3. Microsoft Xbox 360
4. Sony PlayStation 3
5. Sony PSP
6. Sony PlayStation 2