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February 2009 NPD Article (Gamasutra)

jvm

Gamasutra.
Jun 22, 2004
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Pretty long NPD thread this month, even with some possible leaked figures.

Meanwhile, I tried to put some thing together without using those, since we don't know we can trust them...
Direct link to Gamasutra article about February 2009 NPD.
I have some additional bits I'll post throughout the week on my Gamasutra blog. I was not able to get any additional information from NPD this month, but sometimes things come through this week that didn't come through on Friday.

One graph as a sample:

The point I was trying to make here was that the year-on-year comparison is certainly one to look at, but why is the PS3 still doing better compared to the pre-holiday months? It is possible that people wanted a PS3 just for Killzone 2, but given Killlzone 2 sales (compared to PS3 sales for the same period) I doubt it. I know you guys will have your own opinion, so let 'er rip.

Incidentally, there is one big chunk of data that NPD inadvertently sent out. I am working on posting that, but it's tricky...

As always, constructive criticism is welcome. If I made an error, kindly let me know and I'll get it fixed ASAP. Thanks, guys.

In case you'd like to review previous threads:
January 2009
December 2008
November 2008
October 2008
September 2008
August 2008
July 2008
June 2008
May 2008
April 2008
March 2008
February 2008
January 2008
December and all of 2007
November 2007
October 2007
 

Cheez-It

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jvm said:
One graph as a sample:

The point I was trying to make here was that the year-on-year comparison is certainly one to look at, but why is the PS3 still doing better compared to the pre-holiday months?
Is this (the '08 #s) a different trend than the typical yearly flow of consoles? Looking at that graph, I find myself thinking Jul-Sep '09 might not be so hot for Sony, barring extraneous factors (major price cut).
 

Hammer24

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Feb 15, 2007
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Thanks for the read, good work as usual.

jvm said:
Incidentally, there is one big chunk of data that NPD inadvertently sent out. I am working on posting that, but it's tricky...
Now you´ve made me curious... :D
 

Psychotext

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Jun 15, 2007
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So... I'm thinking that jvm might have inadvertently (or not) validated the LTD software figures we saw in the NPD results thread.

Unless this is something different.
 

szaromir

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Apr 26, 2006
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What's the point in comparing Q1 sales to Summer sales? Isn't Summer traditionally the slowest season of the year?
 

Hammer24

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Feb 15, 2007
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Just made it fully through the article, and the last page made me think - didn´t the Lost and Damend Point Card chart at #4 or something with the NPD group?
 

Gadfly

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Apr 16, 2007
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The point I was trying to make here was that the year-on-year comparison is certainly one to look at, but why is the PS3 still doing better compared to the pre-holiday months? It is possible that people wanted a PS3 just for Killzone 2, but given Killlzone 2 sales (compared to PS3 sales for the same period) I doubt it. I know you guys will have your own opinion, so let 'er rip.
In order for this to be an interesting question to ask, you should show that -in general- (i.e. looking at just about every console sales sans onetime events such as big releases, price cuts, etc.) Jan-Feb sales are -not- higher than July-Sept. Otherwise the difference can be explained by seasonal buying habits and nothing more. I am not saying this is the case here, I am just pointing out what is missing from your data to make the question a relevant one.
 

jvm

Gamasutra.
Jun 22, 2004
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Psychotext said:
So... I'm thinking that jvm might have inadvertently (or not) validated the LTD software figures we saw in the NPD results thread.

Unless this is something different.
Different. Sorry. Don't I wish I could validate those LTD figures...
 

Pachael

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Jun 8, 2004
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Hammer24 said:
Just made it fully through the article, and the last page made me think - didn´t the Lost and Damend Point Card chart at #4 or something with the NPD group?
Yeah I ask the same question as well, looking at the chart (via Kotaku)

1. WII NUNCHUK CONTROLLER NINTENDO OF AMERICA
2. WII REMOTE CONTROLLER W/ JACKET NINTENDO OF AMERICA
3. PS3 DUALSHOCK 3 WIRELESS CONTROLLER SONY
4. 360 LIVE 1600 POINT GAME CARD MICROSOFT
5. 360 LIVE 1 MONTH GOLD CARD MICROSOFT
6. 360 LIVE 12 MONTH GOLD CARD MICROSOFT
7. WII REMOTE CONTROLLER NINTENDO OF AMERICA
8. WII CHARGE STATION NYKO
9. WII WHEEL GRIP NINTENDO OF AMERICA
10. 360 HEADSET MICROSOFT

The 1600 point game card would have been used for TLAD, if I recall correctly - since the usual point cards are 100,500,1000,1500,2000 - not 1600, which was released just for TLAD.
 

Jonsoncao

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Pachael said:
Yeah I ask the same question as well, looking at the chart (via Kotaku)

1. WII NUNCHUK CONTROLLER NINTENDO OF AMERICA
2. WII REMOTE CONTROLLER W/ JACKET NINTENDO OF AMERICA
3. PS3 DUALSHOCK 3 WIRELESS CONTROLLER SONY
4. 360 LIVE 1600 POINT GAME CARD MICROSOFT
5. 360 LIVE 1 MONTH GOLD CARD MICROSOFT
6. 360 LIVE 12 MONTH GOLD CARD MICROSOFT
7. WII REMOTE CONTROLLER NINTENDO OF AMERICA
8. WII CHARGE STATION NYKO
9. WII WHEEL GRIP NINTENDO OF AMERICA
10. 360 HEADSET MICROSOFT

The 1600 point game card would have been used for TLAD, if I recall correctly - since the usual point cards are 100,500,1000,1500,2000 - not 1600, which was released just for TLAD.
no, the usual ones are 1600 and 4000
 

spwolf

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Feb 15, 2007
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you know, it is not just 2 days of KZ2... there was another big game that came out, that got great sales on PS3... Why is everyone focusing on KZ2 only? PS2 gamers might have moved to PS3 in order to play SF!

If not for those two games and RE5 coming out, i dont doubt for a second that PS3 would have had one of the worst months in the history, and that was 3x less sales than for Feb2009.
 

Struct09

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Pachael said:
The 1600 point game card would have been used for TLAD, if I recall correctly - since the usual point cards are 100,500,1000,1500,2000 - not 1600, which was released just for TLAD.
Points cards in the US are 1600 or 4000. If you buy points right from the XBL marketplace they come in increments of 500.
 

jvm

Gamasutra.
Jun 22, 2004
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I tried to pin NPD down last week on TLAD. My question:

"Provides sales are strong enough, will the GTA4 DLC retail cards show up on the top 10 accessories list?"

Answer:

"Yes, if it hits the Top 10 [...]"

Given the detail about what NPD tracks that was alluded to earlier in my email conversation, I was expecting TLAD to show up explicitly. If they piled it in with the 1600 point card, then I think that's contrary to the kind of granularity that was suggested to me.

That said, accessories were up significantly this month, but I have a hard time imagining that they were up just on the 1600 point cards bumping up in the rankings (based on the prices).
 

onipex

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Great read as always. I think Obama is helping the PS3 sales. People are more willing to spend the money since they know a big tax cut is coming.
 

Masklinn

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Sep 9, 2006
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onipex said:
Great read as always. I think Obama is helping the PS3 sales. People are more willing to spend the money since they know a big tax cut is coming.
I think Obama is helping the PS3 sales because both are black.
 

onipex

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Masklinn said:
I think Obama is helping the PS3 sales because both are black.
In that case he has to be helping the Wii sales too since he is half white.
 

Skiptastic

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NPD's not over til jvm gives the final word!

Always like reading these, will be perusing post haste!
 
Apr 4, 2008
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JVM, when Edge moved your articles to the main site did they not get the graphs and other images or is it just my wonky connection?
 

donny2112

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jvm said:
The point I was trying to make here was that the year-on-year comparison is certainly one to look at, but why is the PS3 still doing better compared to the pre-holiday months?
Every piece of hardware is up by a sharp amount in February over January. NPD apparently "upgraded" their software in February. I do not consider these two items as unrelated. If they are related, you could be comparing red apples to green apples here.

As I didn't post these in the NPD thread, they can work here, just as well. Hope you don't mind. :)

Actual





 

jvm

Gamasutra.
Jun 22, 2004
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CTLance said:
Isn't there an "in" missing somewhere? "made a strong showing in the top 20"?
Yep, I have another correction to make later. I'll get to it after work today. Thanks!
 

jvm

Gamasutra.
Jun 22, 2004
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lowlylowlycook said:
JVM, when Edge moved your articles to the main site did they not get the graphs and other images or is it just my wonky connection?
I think because of the format that I use for my graphs (PNG), Edge's CMS ate a lot of them. It's pretty annoying.

Fortunately, I have all the originals for my own use. :D

Is there one you'd like me to dig out for you?
 

jvm

Gamasutra.
Jun 22, 2004
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donny2112 said:
Every piece of hardware is up by a sharp amount in February over January.
Yes, that's true.
NPD apparently "upgraded" their software in February. I do not consider these two items as unrelated. If they are related, you could be comparing red apples to green apples here.
It is true that the delayed for a week to do some kind of adjustment. I hadn't considered that this might have affected the figures so strongly, but it is a good point.

As I didn't post these in the NPD thread, they can work here, just as well. Hope you don't mind. :)
Not one bit. The more graphs and data, the better.

Incidentally, I still haven't gotten a reply from NPD regarding my requests. I'll keep trying.
 

jvm

Gamasutra.
Jun 22, 2004
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w3stfa11 said:
Thanks for the analysis. Only skimmed it so far, but I did find one typo. "compatbility" should be "compatibility".
Thanks! I've fixed that and the other typos mentioned, and one egregious typo that, thankfully, no one else pointed out. :D
 
Apr 4, 2008
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jvm said:
I think because of the format that I use for my graphs (PNG), Edge's CMS ate a lot of them. It's pretty annoying.

Fortunately, I have all the originals for my own use. :D

Is there one you'd like me to dig out for you?
Well it's not exactly life or death but I was looking up your (linear) predictions from 2007.

I too was impressed about how linear these graphs always seem and was wondering just how much better these very simple extrapolations were than what we used to see from analysts.
 

andthebeatgoeson

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jvm said:
Thanks! I've fixed that and the other typos mentioned, and one egregious typo that, thankfully, no one else pointed out. :D
Did you type 'Reggie is a big fat pussy for not releasing Disaster' again?
 

Zzoram

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Why do so many people buy 1month Gold cards? Aren't they way more expensive per month than a full year card?
 

jvm

Gamasutra.
Jun 22, 2004
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lowlylowlycook said:
Well it's not exactly life or death but I was looking up your (linear) predictions from 2007.

I too was impressed about how linear these graphs always seem and was wondering just how much better these very simple extrapolations were than what we used to see from analysts.
Is this the one you're asking about?



Similar graphs were included in the Oct or Nov 2008 articles (on Gamasutra, use the links in OP).
 
Apr 4, 2008
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jvm said:
Is this the one you're asking about?



Similar graphs were included in the Oct or Nov 2008 articles (on Gamasutra, use the links in OP).
Wasn't their one projecting those into the (then) future?
 

donny2112

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Gamasutra said:
For the moment we know that the NPD Group is tracking sales of games online in some fashion, but it has declined to elaborate further.
I believe they said that they would be polling their panel of gamers for games downloaded and basing it off of their results. I want to say it was something like 2 million gamers in the panel.