Peter Skerritt Avatar Posted on 5/1/2012 by Peter Skerritt
Games
Features

Peter Skerritt makes his pre-NPD predictions for what could possibly be the top-selling videogame hardware for April 2012.

Written by Peter Skerritt (editor-at-large)

Another Day, Another Dollar!

Welcome to Armchair Analysis, with your humble host, Peter Skerritt. This ongoing feature will discuss console video game industry sales news, trends, and data. While full NPD data access is limited, "armchair analysts" such as myself are able to pull data from reliable sources and draw conclusions based on recent trends, existing data, and industry experience. Personally, I've been covering NPD analysis for nearly four years. I got my start writing about the numbers back in the summer of 2008, and have had stops at a couple of different websites before happily landing here to share my analysis with you.

Full disclosure: while I do have a fair amount of experience in the prediction and numbers game, I'm not a professional analyst; therefore, any conclusions and observations that I make are mine alone and do not necessarily reflect those of Popzara Press, its writers, or other editorial staff. I call things as I see them, and I leave the decision of credibility to you - the readers - to determine.

Having said all of that, it's time to look at my hardware sales expectations for April 2012:

With April being a weak month for significant new software releases (Kinect Star Wars, The Witcher 2), there were few drivers to get consumers looking into buying new consoles. It's fair to argue that Kinect Star Wars may be a hardware driver by itself, but Microsoft needs to have moved nearly 300,000 Xbox 360 units to break even with last year's number. I just don't see that happening. I think we could see another month of more than 10% YOY (Year Over Year) declines for Xbox 360 hardware and this would extend Microsoft's losing streak in this stat to five straight months. Microsoft can take solace in the prediction that the Xbox 360 will likely once again be the best-selling hardware platform, but there's increasing confidence that Microsoft is starting to see its bubble leaking a bit of air.

Sony has a smaller YOY target to hit for the PlayStation 3 - about 200,000 units or so - but the lack of new software hurts in this case, too. A temporary price cut for the PS3 late in April may help move some units, and I think that helps YOY comparisons stay reasonable. A similar YOY number to last month (about -9%) sounds about right. The Wii is in the same boat as the PS3. The YOY target of 172,000 units is attainable, although the pull of Xenoblade Chronicles is hard to read in terms of how it will equate to moving hardware.

Turning to portables, the PlayStation Vita has been an interesting case so far. Over 400,000 units sold in the platform's first six weeks on the market, but there is fear that interest is waning and that April numbers could be quite low. New games have been slow in coming for Sony's PSP successor, and this isn't helping to motivate consumers to buy in. The big question to be answered will pertain to how far sales will fall. Anything less than 125,000 units would be troubling, and if that number dips below 100,000, fear escalates. The Nintendo 3DS isn't setting the United States on fire, either. After moving a little less than 200,000 units last April, Nintendo will be hard-pressed to match that number this year. Pricing has been flat and new game releases have been rare. (Yes, there's a bit of a theme here.) In order for handhelds to break even with last year's totals, over 450,000 combined units of 3DS, Vita, DS, and PSP would have to sell. I really don't think that happens.

Here are my projected hardware sales rankings for the month of April 2012:

01. Xbox 360
02. PlayStation 3
03. Nintendo 3DS
04. Nintendo Wii
05. PlayStation Vita


We'll see how these rankings and predictions bear out when The NPD Group releases its April sales data in the upcoming weeks. In the meantime, I invite you to jump into the analyst role and leave your own predictions for what the NPD numbers might reveal for April in the comments below, and feedback or questions are always welcome at the Armchair Analysis inbox at vgarmchairanalyst@gmail.com or on my busy Twitter feed right HERE!








This next-gen COD style mech adventure is one best experienced with equipment that can make it shine, even if the underlying product is still kind of dull.
April 14, 2014Read More!
A great example of a 'clone' of popular genre games done right, especially those unavailable on platforms they make the most sense on.
April 14, 2014Read More!
A streamlined version of 999 that doffs the need for convoluted gameplay, presenting the same events and chilling twists that make the game accessible to anyone. In short, it's awesome.
April 14, 2014Read More!
While commendable to see a darker take on familiar archetypes, fans may want to stick with a different strategy-RPG that doesn't try so hard to be edgy.
April 14, 2014Read More!
A new act, class, loot system and more await fans in the first expansion to Blizzardís Diablo 3.
April 8, 2014Read More!
See More From Games...
Sausage factory fiction writing personified; not a bad book, but not a very good one either. It just exists, and nothing more.
April 18, 2014Read More!
Pure silliness, wrapped around a history lesson thatís largely apolitical; stars persons and places more recognizable than the first book.
April 7, 2014Read More!
Stories written between 2003 and 2010 that are bagatelles; not bad, but not memorable; not the Waldrop collection to start with, but buy it anyway.
April 3, 2014Read More!
An exemplary vision spanning 192 pages, with plenty of juicy information about Respawnís wondrous new world to sate even the most jaded of gamers.
March 21, 2014Read More!
Even if its source material wasn't to your liking, thereís plenty to enjoy about this accompanying tome, especially if you can appreciate great art when you see it.
March 21, 2014Read More!
See More From Culture...
Katsuhiro Otomo and three other directors serve up a wild anime anthology in this wonderful and bizarre collection.
April 18, 2014Read More!
Lacks the nostalgic pulp magazine atmosphere that made its predecessor so much fun, but as a Marvel film it gets the job done.
April 4, 2014Read More!
More audacious than volume one, mostly because of von Trierís willingness to delve into the darker, often unexplored recesses of the mind.
April 4, 2014Read More!
In spite of Berry's incredible performance(s), the film cannot escape its controversial subject matter or its melodramatic plot.
April 4, 2014Read More!
Disney returns its Peter Pan spin off series to the high seas in The Pirate Fairy.
April 4, 2014Read More!
See More From Movies...