Christopher Farmer

The NPD numbers for June are in, and there’s a new market leader in the US: the Wii has now officially surpassed the Xbox 360 as the top-selling home console in the last major market. But there’s a lot more to this month’s numbers than just that one tagline, so let’s jump in.

The NPD retail month of June is a 5 week month that started on Sunday, June 1st and ended on Saturday, July 5th. Since the time period covered is 5 weeks long instead of the 4 weeks like 2 out of 3 months, comparing weekly averages from month to month allows for a more accurate comparison of sales shifts. We’ll start at the top of the list and work our way down. The first number will be this month’s sales, followed by the weekly average in parenthesis, then last month’s sales with the weekly average, and finally June 2007’s sales and weekly average. READ MORE

After taking last month off due to a family emergency, I’m back and ready to dissect the latest round of NPD numbers. First, I’d like to take a moment to again try and explain the purpose of these articles, since there was still some debate about them last time. These are not meant to be buyer’s guides. They are not meant to tell people to buy or avoid any game or system because it does or does not sell well. In fact they aren’t meant to sway people at all. Their purpose is to illuminate some of the larger trends that influence the industry and the decisions that are made relating to it. It’s a lot easier to understand why it’s taken so long to see a sequel to Beyond Good and Evil when you know the the first one didn’t sell well at all. Also Activsion’s attempt to churn out a new Guitar Hero game every other day makes perfect sense when you realize that Guitar Hero 3 has sold over 8 million units (and counting) across the four platforms it appeared on. If all you want to do is play games then these numbers mean nothing to you. But if you want to know the likelihood of a platform getting better software support, or if a game is more likely to get a sequel, then looking above your own enjoyment of a system or game to its impact on the industry as a whole makes perfect sense. READ MORE

March has come and gone, and with it a number of major new game releases. Now NPD has released the numbers for the month, so we can take a look at them and  try to dig deeper into what they mean for the industry at large. READ MORE

The February NPD numbers have been released, so as usual every gaming website is talking about just what they actually mean. I would like to thank Snackbar Games for giving me the opportunity to write my analysis for them.

First, it’s worth considering what these numbers actually represent. NPD uses a retail calendar instead of the traditional one, which means that the “month” of February is actually the four-week period that began on Sunday, February 3rd and ended Saturday, March 1st. Also, since four of the twelve months are five weeks instead of four, it’s useful to look at weekly averages and not just total sales. This makes it easier to compare months without being misled by the differing lengths. READ MORE