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Forums - Sales Discussion - April NPD 2021 thread

No leaks atm, thread update with official informations

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Ryng said:

No leaks atm, thread update with official informations

Come on leaks!! 

VGChartz Sales Analyst and Writer - William D'Angelo - I stream on Twitch and have my own YouTubeFollow me on Twitter @TrunksWD.

Writer of the Sales Comparison | Weekly Hardware Breakdown Top 10 | Weekly Sales Analysis | Marketshare Features, as well as daily news on the Video Game Industry.

New Pokémon Snap seems to have done well with an overall 3rd place for April. It's great to see Mario 3D World at YTD #2, such a great game.

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With hardware dollar sales being down 30 % my guesses were definitely too high. Should still be a "big month" for Switch according to Mat, so with the new systems having significantly higher dollar pr. unit sales than the PS4 and Xbone had last year I would expect they had a rough month.

Major Switch Titles Launch Aligned

2022 predictions:

  • Switch - 24m
  • PS5 - 15.5m
  • Xbox Series - 10m

"Monthly sales ... that were impacted by pandemic-driven consumer spending increases."

*It's just a joke. Please don't @ me on this.

"April video game hardware dollar sales fell 30% when compared to April 2020."

This is why I don't like the NPD group these days. I miss the days when they'd readily divulge actual unit sales for all hardware as well as at least the Top 20 software. Now we have to rely on leakers for everything, and that's increasingly intermittent, esp. since the PS5 & XBS came out. All we have is dollar grosses, which wouldn't be too bad if we had figures besides just sector-wide (HW, SW, or accessories) totals. Dollar grosses are fine enough for movies where we can at least estimate admissions from average ticket prices. But if all we got each weekend was the total grosses of all films currently running in theaters it wouldn't tell us a damn thing about how well any specific movie did, just as the NPD's number-less press releases tell us nothing about how well any specific game or system did.

In any case, if hardware grosses are down 30% despite the average price of new hardware being up significantly because of new-gen PS & Xbox, that indicates a pretty steep drop from last year in unit sales, one that is going to be a good bit higher than 30%. However, without specifics on the actual split between the various SKUs of each system as well as a total lack of leaks about the PS4 & XBO to even guess as how they're selling, it's impossible to make any exact calculations for this month, though we can probably make some decent guesses.

We do know that in April 2020 total hardware sales grossed $420M on 1548k units sold, for an average spend of $271 per unit of hardware sold, and as mentioned that number has increased this year. Based on non-exact numbers for this year so far, we can estimate that spending on hardware has probably averaged at least $350 per unit sold (if we only used NSW+PS5+XBO estimates the average is a good bit higher than that, but there is the PS4 & XBO to account for, which is going to drag the average down at least a little bit even if they're only 5-10% of the market). So, if the average per-unit spend this April was about $350, we're looking at about 846k units for hardware (if it's closer to $375/unit, the total would be about 790k units).

If that is a reasonably close estimate, then since the Switch has been accounting for about half of all unit sales on average this year based on what numbers we do have, it had to have sold around 420k units, leaving maybe around 340-380k left over for the PS5 & XBS assuming the PS4 & XBO are about 5-10% of the hardware market. It could be a good bit more for the Switch and less for the others depending on how bad PS5 & XBS stock were in April. For example, we could see something more like 500k for the Switch and only about 300k combined for the PS5 & XBS, assuming the Switch took 60% of the hardware market and the PS5 & XBS took only 35%.

Of course, all of these estimates come with a likely non-trivial margin of error, but I think it's probably a good ballpark figure (also, pardon me if I flubbed the math on anything; I just woke up and haven't eaten yet). But despite the margins of error, there has definitely been a significant drop in the hardware market both from last year and from March 2021, and I'll leave it at that.

Now we just wait to see if some noble soul out there will release the actual numbers over the past several months from their dungeon.


In accordance to the VGC forum rules, §8.5, I hereby exercise my right to demand to be left alone regarding the subject of the effects of the pandemic on video game sales (i.e., "COVID bump").

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We're begging for more than simple crumbles of bread NPD !!
Can't wait for actual leakers to reveal actual useful info

Switch Friend Code : 3905-6122-2909 

Ryng said:

New Pokémon Snap was the 3rd best-selling game of April 2021 and was the month's best-selling game on Nintendo platforms. Launch month physical sales of New Pokémon Snap more than doubled those of Pokémon Snap, which debuted in the July 1999 tracking month.

This means that New Pokémon Snap sold at least 302k units in April, because according to this IGN article at the time, in its launch week, at the end of July 1999, Pokémon Snap (N64) sold around 151k units.

It sounds good when you say "For the People", but what you really want is... a stronger army than the Knights, and the evil power to control the people.

(Ramza Beoulve, Final Fantasy Tactics)

No news or anything I presume ?

Switch Friend Code : 3905-6122-2909 

For what it's worth, I was the #1 predictor at Era. I was the only one there who predicted that total Switch+PS5+XBS sales would be under 1M, which it would have to be if the total hardware revenue was only $296M (my revised prediction here, posted after the ones I posted at Era, were a bit higher). In fact, it looks like total HW might not have exceeded 900k units in April. It looks like the Switch probably had about 55-60% market share, leaving Sony & MS to split the rest. Another poster at Era suggested total PS5+XBS sales were at least 330k total, likely favoring the PS5 at least slightly.

Figuring the exact numbers from the revenue figures isn't an exact science. We'd still have the unknown factor that is the exact split between the models of the Switch, PS5, & XBS. Based on the admittedly inexact figures we've been getting it looks like the average spending per console for the PS5+XBS combined looks to be on the order of $450, give or take, which assuming 330k units between the two of them would mean they took up about half of April's HW revenue. Based on Nintendo shipment data, given the average split between the hybrid and Lite models in NA, we're looking at around $270 on average per Switch sold in recent months. So, even if the PS4 & XBO sold zero units in April the ceiling for the Switch would be 546k if the PS5+XBO floor is 330k, assuming the Lite's share Switch sales wasn't higher than average. If the PS4 & XBO sold something like 40k combined (less than 40% what the 360 & PS3 sold total in April 2014) and also averaged $300/unit between the two of them (revenue per system assumes only in-production models sold at MSRP), the Switch sold somewhere around the 500k mark.

Overall, April could've been something close to this:

Switch: $135M (500k units @ $270/unit)
PS5+XBS: $148.5M (330k units @ $450/unit)
PS4+XBO: $12M (40k units @ $300/unit)
Total: $295.5M (870k units @ ~$340/unit)

That still gets us within rounding range of the $296M total revenue figure.

Of course, we could fudge the numbers to get different results while still ending up with the ~$296M revenue figure. If the PS5+XBS unit total was about 300k, then assuming $450/unit for them, $270/unit for the Switch, and my 40k @ $300/unit for the PS4+XBO, the Switch would be around 550k. If the PS5+XBO unit total was, say, 350k, then the Switch figure would be about 470k if we retain the same assumptions from the previous sentence. Unless the PS5+XBS total was considerably less than 330k and/or broke heavily towards PS5D and Series S, and/or the Lite was a much higher portion of Switch sales than normal, the total amount of hardware units for April is extremely unlikely to be any higher than around 900k given the known total revenue.

If only we had some kind of indication of what the PS4 & XBO were actually selling (October was the last time we got any kind of numbers for them), we could reduce those error bars a good bit. But even then, there' still going to be a non-trivial margin of error because we'll never quite know what the exact model split is each month for each system. Hopefully we get more concrete numbers at some point, but until then this should give us some ballpark figures to work with.


In accordance to the VGC forum rules, §8.5, I hereby exercise my right to demand to be left alone regarding the subject of the effects of the pandemic on video game sales (i.e., "COVID bump").

damn late as fuck, haven't follow much sales thread last week sorry guys. Apparently from ERA
Switch < 543k
164k < PS5 < 204k
163k < XBS < 167k