By Jon Fortt
September 26, 2006

CNET’s got this story that details Nintendo’s coup, which makes it the first-ever game system to make the retailer’s “Fabulous 15” list of toys for the season.

As long as this latest console war (PlayStation 3 vs. XBox 360 vs. Nintendo Wii) has been brewing, I’ve found Nintendo interesting to watch. I’ve wondered whether Microsoft and Sony – particularly Sony – might be making a mistake similar to the one Intel recently made in microprocessors: taking their dominance for granted, and assuming that more horsepower always equals a better experience.

So far, it seems that’s exactly what’s happening. Microsoft and Sony are poised to get outplayed by a gaming system that’s less powerful (the Wii has an IBM PowerPC CPU, ATI GPU and doesn’t support HD) and less expensive ($249 vs. $299 for XBox 360 and $499 for PS3).

More and more these days, we want devices and experiences that are efficient, simple and affordable, not hulking, complicated and power-hungry. Maybe it’s because technology has become so much a part of our lives that people are no longer satisfied with technology that makes them feel stupid. Maybe it’s because the expensive systems of the past that promised to be future-proof never quite delivered.

In any case, my bet is that companies and technologies that keep things simple and affordable will win big this holiday season. That means a good end of the year for the Wii, the iPod, HD-DVD, Netflix, and other cool stuff that’s not hard to understand.

Here’s the full list of 15 top toys, from Toys ‘R’ Us:

Following are the Toys ‘R’ Us “Fabulous 15,” representing the best new toys of the holiday season (listed in alphabetical order):

Blue Man Group Percussion Tubes from ToyQuest®

Designer’s World™ from Tiger® Games

Dora’s Talking Cash Register™ from Fisher-Price®

ESPN® Fast Action Football™ from Fisher-Price®

Kid-Tough™ Digital Camera from Fisher-Price®

Laugh & Learn™ Baby Grand Piano from Fisher-Price®

Mindstorms® NXT from LEGO®

My Scene™ My Bling Bling™ Styling Head from Mattel®

Pink Nitro Notebook™ from VTech®

Power Rangers Deluxe Manticore Megazord from Bandai®

Speed Stacks® StackPack® from Play Along®

Sound City Railway from Imaginarium

Tap Dancing Mumble from Thinkway

“T.M.X.” ™ Elmo from Fisher-Price®

Wii™ from Nintendo®

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