Nintendo philosophy dominates U.S. video game charts

Microsoft (MSFT) and Sony (SNE) placed big bets that gamers will pay more for muscular consoles that deliver hyper-realistic, fast-paced games – that’s what the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 are all about. From a look at a recent list of the top-selling games in North America, though, that bet doesn’t seem to be quite right.

The list of the top 10 games for the week ending August 11 from VG CHARTZ is dominated by titles for Nintendo’s Wii console and DS handheld – Nintendo has 7 of the top 10 titles.

Further supporting the “graphics aren’t everything” idea: The PS3 and Xbox 360 titles to make the list are Guitar Hero games, which tend not to be graphically demanding. In Guitar Hero, players typically use a guitar-shaped controller to try to play songs accurately. The gameplay experience is similar to that for the Nintendo Wii, a console that uses a motion-sensitive controller.

The tide could turn

More intense titles did show up further down the list. The Electronic Arts (ERTS) title NCAA Football ’08 for the Xbox 360 came in at #11, and the PS2 version was at #14.

All of this could change, of course, in the coming months as the holiday season approaches. Microsoft next month will release the latest installment of its Halo game series, a graphics-rich title that has already done more than 1 million pre-orders, making it the most anticipated game of all time. And if such games spark sales of the Xbox 360 and PS3, that could boost demand for the games that run on those consoles.

The full list:

1. (DS) Pokemon Diamond/Pearl

2. (Wii) Wii Sports

3. (Wii) Mario Strikers Charged

4. (Wii) Wii Play

5. (PS2) Guitar Hero Encore Rocks the ’80s

6. (DS) Megaman Star Force

7. (PS2) Guitar Hero II

8. (Wii) Mario Party 8

9. (DS) Nintendogs

10. (X360) Guitar Hero II

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