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March 2009 NPD Data

Video game hardware sales in March 2009 significantly underperformed market expectations. Total hardware units (excluding PS2) sold were 1.88 million, over 21% worse than the market's expectation for 2.39 million units sold. This is a stark contrast to February, when console sales strongly outperformed expectations. Every console underperformed their respective expected sales. The market had likely guided March higher after February's robust results, and the declining economy has finally hit the video game business.

Growth in video game sales was negative year-over-year. Total video game software sales contracted a massive 17% from $952.14 million in March 2008 to $792.83 million. Traders on the simExchange prediction market expected $899.0 million in sales.

For comparison, March 2008 had seen the blockbuster release of Super Smash Bros Brawl (Wii), that far outsold this month's leading Resident Evil release, with 2.7 million copies for Brawl vs 1.5 million copies for RE5. March 2008 also had the release of Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six Vegas 2 and Army of Two, which performed better than this month's Halo Wars (Xbox 360). The strong anticipation for Brawl likely skewed March 2008 higher, but the sales of March 2009's leading titles may have sold better in a better economy considering how other new titles sold in March 2008.

The market also tracked the sales of Grand Theft Auto: China Town Wars (DS), which did not make the top 10. The Monthly Sales Future will cash out at 20.50 DKP.

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

  • US Hardware in March 2009

    TitleActual unitsExpected units% From Expected
    Nintendo Wii 601,000 767,000 -21.66%
    Nintendo DS 563,000 665,900 -15.45%
    Xbox 360 330,000 413,100 -20.12%
    PLAYSTATION 3 218,000 319,700 -31.81%
    PlayStation Portable 168,000 225,000 -25.33%
    PlayStation 2 112,000 -- --
    Total Hardware Units 1,880,000 2,390,900 -21.37%

Where do the expected sales numbers come from?

The simExchange is the video game stock market. Gamers and developers sign up on the simExchange for a free trading account. Using fantasy money, players buy virtual stocks in video games they believe are under-predicting sales and short sell stocks they believe are over-predicting sales. This concept is widely known as "the Wisdom of the Crowd" and this system is known as a "prediction market." Sign up and play today.

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).

About Us - The simExchange is the video game stock market and the source for video game sales forecasts.

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