Wired’s NPD Analysis
If all those number from yesterdays NPD release, is making your head spin…No?..me either… Well then you can just check out the Analysis below to find out what the numbers mean to Microsoft, Sony, and Nintendo.
This month’s NPD results leave us with a lot of unanswered questions, but one thing’s for sure — Nintendo has bounced back nicely from its post-holiday inventory drought. Remember, last month’s numbers brought Wii and DS down within spitting distance of their rivals. Sure, they were still in first place, but it was practically a statistical tie.
But they found their footing in February, and they’re back to selling unbelievable amounts of hardware — especially for this time of year. And Wii’s dominance is only going to continue. Super Smash Bros. Brawl
in March. Mario Kart in April. Wii Fit in May. It’s looking as if Nintendo’s supply situation with Wii isn’t going to resolve itself before 2009, at this point.
Despite Microsoft’s lengthy spin, every month that goes by where they come in third is a bad thing. First, they’re basically letting Nintendo run away with it. When most pundits look at the NPD numbers this month, the first thing they’re going to see isn’t the closer race between PS3 and Xbox — they’re going to see Wii selling practically twice as many units as either of the other two.
And of course, it takes away from their position that they’re trouncing Sony in the U.S., and adds to the perception (if not quite the reality, yet) that Sony will inevitably take a worldwide lead over Microsoft.
Sony has certainly strengthened its position, regardless of Microsoft’s numbers. They’re doing qualitatively better. The question that remains is not whether Sony can keep this up — they can — but whether or not Microsoft is about to pull a move that sends Sony back to a more distant third place. I still don’t buy the notion that they simply screwed up and forgot to make enough Xboxes. With Grand Theft Auto IV on the horizon and the SKUs still way, way too expensive for the true mass market, one would hope that all this shortage ridiculousness is the prelude to a new price structure or a new hardware configuration.