A lot of users have been asking about what is going on with NPD. We intended to post about this briefly but forgot :). The story behind the whole saga is that NPD started disclosing hardware sales data last year as the console war was heating up. At the time, they got permission from the Big 3 (the hardware makers) to disclose the hardware sales temporarily. However, temporarily became indefinitely as NPD disclosed this data to the media every month.
Last week, NPD decided they wanted to make sure the hardware makers were still fine with NPD breaking out these numbers and put a hold on the hardware data releases. Although NPD was taking a hit on the PR front, they were looking out for their clients. It appears they were able to get approval from the hardware makers to continue disclosing the data and so we will still be getting hardware sales data to settle the NPD Futures.
So this wasn't a marketing stunt of any sort as some folks speculated. NPD was just making sure its partners were on board.