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Does VGC report console sales figures too often?

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Part of the original appeal of VGChartz was its ability to offer sales numbers guidance in the West at a greater rate than any other publication. Over the years a very strong community has built up through the sites forums, game database and publications which is fantastic.

In recent times, despite VGChartz consistently providing very accurate short and medium term sales estimates for most consoles, the degree of vitriol it attracts for 'guessing,' 'making the numbers up' or for being 'biased' (in favour of any number of consoles!!) has anecdotally increased dramatically. There is some suggestion that this might be a by-product of a new generation starting, which is in some way supported by the majority of vitriol being directed at Xbox One numbers over the last couple of months.

However, I would suggest that one solution would be to cut back numbers reporting to once every two weeks.  This would have multiple advantages, without sacrificing VGChartz unique selling point in consistent reporting. For starters, it would double the amount of data available for each iteration of numbers, allowing greater opportunity for anomalies to be detected.  Ultimately anyone with an understanding of the numbers knows that for the most part, VGC has a remarkable solid medium and long term strike rate for hardware reporting.  But having a two week reporting schedule would cut back (but of course not eliminate) some of the ill-informed knee-jerk responses week-in and week-out, arguments over the degree of impact 2 day versus 5 day price cuts should have had etc.

This is not an idea I am firm on, but a suggestion that has occured to me. I'd welcome other people's opinions.

Edit: Lets keep it to hardware, software is a whole other kettle of fish.

I should stress that though I am a forum moderator, I have no major links to the editorial team and all (vague) opinions expressed above are my own inane thoughts.



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I wouldn't say that using the word "guessing" is vitriol, as it is obvious that the weekly US figures, which are later compounded into monthly sales, are so far off from the "official" NPD numbers that it cannot by any reasoning be attributed to "margin if error". To be over 100% off on occasions, and even close to 2000% as is the case for Vita last month, is alarming.
It is alarming, when in a thread in which forum members are purely guessing the NPD sales numbers, VGC scores in the bottom 25% of users.

But the most alarming are instances in which VGC tracks sales of games (sorry, I know you said to forget software) that have not been released (Spiderman on X1), or those that are available only in a bundle (Borderlands 2 on Vita).

I don't think slowing down reports is the answer, the solution should be a comprehensive retooling of the data accumulation methods.

Burek said:
I wouldn't say that using the word "guessing" is vitriol, as it is obvious that the weekly US figures, which are later compounded into monthly sales, are so far off from the "official" NPD numbers that it cannot by any reasoning be attributed to "margin if error". To be over 100% off on occasions, and even close to 2000% as is the case for Vita last month, is alarming.
It is alarming, when in a thread in which forum members are purely guessing the NPD sales numbers, VGC scores in the bottom 25% of users.

But the most alarming are instances in which VGC tracks sales of games (sorry, I know you said to forget software) that have not been released (Spiderman on X1), or those that are available only in a bundle (Borderlands 2 on Vita).

I don't think slowing down reports is the answer, the solution should be a comprehensive retooling of the data accumulation methods.

I should clarify that I dont think the word guessing is vitriol.  People display vitriol towards the site *for* allegedly guessing.

Also, there are no offical sales numbers through to consumers. NPD uses the same methodology as VGC, they just do so on a much larger sample size.  As such by definition there is nothing for VGC to be 'off.'  The only official numbers are shipped, which we receive quartely.  

To your last point, I agree.  But I am sure some degree of retooling is ongoing.



starcraft - Playing Games = FUN, Talking about Games = SERIOUS

starcraft said:
Burek said:
I wouldn't say that using the word "guessing" is vitriol, as it is obvious that the weekly US figures, which are later compounded into monthly sales, are so far off from the "official" NPD numbers that it cannot by any reasoning be attributed to "margin if error". To be over 100% off on occasions, and even close to 2000% as is the case for Vita last month, is alarming.
It is alarming, when in a thread in which forum members are purely guessing the NPD sales numbers, VGC scores in the bottom 25% of users.

But the most alarming are instances in which VGC tracks sales of games (sorry, I know you said to forget software) that have not been released (Spiderman on X1), or those that are available only in a bundle (Borderlands 2 on Vita).

I don't think slowing down reports is the answer, the solution should be a comprehensive retooling of the data accumulation methods.

I should clarify that I dont think the word guessing is vitriol.  People display vitriol towards the site *for* allegedly guessing.

Also, there are no offical sales numbers through to consumers. NPD uses the same methodology as VGC, they just do so on a much larger sample size.  As such by definition there is nothing for VGC to be 'off.'  The only official numbers are shipped, which we receive quartely.  

To your last point, I agree.  But I am sure some degree of retooling is ongoing.

Can you show me some proof of this statement?



Had a bet with eFKac on whether or not Valve will be at Sony's E3: I lost.

starcraft said:

I should clarify that I dont think the word guessing is vitriol.  People display vitriol towards the site *for* allegedly guessing.

Also, there are no offical sales numbers through to consumers. NPD uses the same methodology as VGC, they just do so on a much larger sample size.  As such by definition there is nothing for VGC to be 'off.'  The only official numbers are shipped, which we receive quartely.  

To your last point, I agree.  But I am sure some degree of retooling is ongoing.

Yes, I guess I misread the vitriol part. I also put official in quotation marks just because of that fact you stated. Though, by the manner in which companies use and interpret NPD numbers, they are by far the best numbers in existence.

Surely, had NPD reported sales at a level higher than the shipment figures (as happened recently to 3DS here) the companies would not be as inclined to trust that data. Or undertracked significantly as X360 recently proved to be.



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Fusioncode said:
starcraft said:

I should clarify that I dont think the word guessing is vitriol.  People display vitriol towards the site *for* allegedly guessing.

Also, there are no offical sales numbers through to consumers. NPD uses the same methodology as VGC, they just do so on a much larger sample size.  As such by definition there is nothing for VGC to be 'off.'  The only official numbers are shipped, which we receive quartely.  

To your last point, I agree.  But I am sure some degree of retooling is ongoing.

Can you show me some proof of this statement?

Please clarify, what part of that statement are you questioning?



starcraft - Playing Games = FUN, Talking about Games = SERIOUS

The advantages are huge and apparent but the drawback would be cutting the fun on this site in half(at least), which is what I'm strongly against.

 I don't think that way, I just type that way.

starcraft said:
Fusioncode said:
starcraft said:

I should clarify that I dont think the word guessing is vitriol.  People display vitriol towards the site *for* allegedly guessing.

Also, there are no offical sales numbers through to consumers. NPD uses the same methodology as VGC, they just do so on a much larger sample size.  As such by definition there is nothing for VGC to be 'off.'  The only official numbers are shipped, which we receive quartely.  

To your last point, I agree.  But I am sure some degree of retooling is ongoing.

Can you show me some proof of this statement?

Please clarify, what part of that statement are you questioning?

That NPD uses the same methodology as VGC. 



Had a bet with eFKac on whether or not Valve will be at Sony's E3: I lost.

Fusioncode said:
starcraft said:
Fusioncode said:

Can you show me some proof of this statement?

Please clarify, what part of that statement are you questioning?

That NPD uses the same methodology as VGC. 

Apologies I thought this was general knowledge, maybe I should have outlined it more in the OP.

VGC: http://www.vgchartz.com/methodology.php

NPD: NPD market research is based on responses from nationally representative samples. Our Research Science team’s extensive expertise in sampling and weighting techniques ensures return samples are demographically balanced to reflect the total population.

VGC uses slightly different language to say the same thing - that is that the majority of their data set is retail and user-polled data that is extrapolated based on an understanding of the historical trends in market size. The reason that NPD is held to be more accurate is that it has a (substantially)  larger sample size, meaning that using the same tecniques, they'll normally (but statistically, not always) arrive at more accurate 'guesses.'



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I wouldn't really mind if it went bi-weekly instead of weekly. As long as the updates are still coming I'd be happy

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