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February 2008 NPD Data

Video game hardware sales in February were largely in line with the market's expectations. Total hardware units came in at 1.799 million units, 12.29% above the market's expected 1.602 million units. The slight surprise in total hardware sales were largely due to surprising strong sales of the Nintendo DS at 587,600 units sold compared to the expected 427,300 units.

For the second time in the United States, the PS3 outsold the Xbox 360 with 280,800 units and 254,600 units respectively. The PS3 was expected to sell 269,900, outperforming expectations by just 4.11% while the Xbox 360 was expected to sell 249,200 units, underperforming expectations by only 2.33%.

The Nintendo Wii sold 432,000 units, 7.81% ahead of the expected 400,700 units. Sony PSP sales came in at 243,100 units, just 4.71% below the expected 255,000 units.

Growth in video game sales were well ahead of expectations for February. Total video game software sales grew 47% from $453.7 million in February 2007 to $668.7 million. The simExchange prediction market expected $592 million.

The month's big winner was once again Activision's Call of Duty 4. The Xbox 360 SKU sold another 296,200 units.

Sales of Devil May Cry 4 (Xbox 360) and Devil May Cry 4 (PS3) underperformed expectations, with just 295,200 units and 233,500 units sold respectively. The simExchange prediction market had expected 438,400 units for the Xbox 360 SKU and 272,600 units for the PS3 SKU.

New titles Lost Odyssey (Xbox 360), Turok (Xbox 360), Frontlines: Fuel of War (Xbox 360), Professor Layton and the Mysterious Village (DS) all sold in line with the prediction market's expectations.

The following tables compare market expectations on the simExchange and actual results as reported by the NPD Group.

  • US Hardware in February 2008

    Title Actual units Expected units % From Expected
    Nintendo DS 587,600 427,300 +37.75%
    Nintendo Wii 432,000 400,700 +7.81%
    PlayStation 2 351,800 -- --
    PLAYSTATION 3 280,800 269,900 +4.04%
    Xbox 360 254,600 249,200 +2.17%
    PlayStation Portable 243,100 255,000 -4.67%
    Total Hardware Units 1,799,000 1,602,100 +12.29%

How exactly does this work?

Gamers and developers sign up on the simExchange for a free trading account. Using virtual currency called DKP, players buy virtual futures contracts that are under-predicting sales and short sell futures that are over-predicting sales. This concept is widely known as "the Wisdom of the Crowd" and this system is known as a "prediction market."

About the predictions

Predictions on the simExchange should become more accurate over time as (1) the diversity of the pool of traders increases and as (2) more accurate players are rewarded with more virtual currency for their accuracy (thereby enabling them to form more predictions) and less accurate players lose virtual currency (thereby discounting their ability to form more predictions).

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