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How reliable are VGChartz?

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VGChartz vs NPD Recently I have noticed a strange phenomena going around, whenever I publish anything that relates to or mentions VGChartz there is a small but vocal group of people who then refuse to believe anything else that the article contains.

I am not sure why this has started happening but I can only presume that it is based on the fact that VGChartz use estimated figures whilst NPD use solid figures from the suppliers.

At first glance that makes sense but in fact it is not actually correct. Yes VGChartz use estimates but they also reconcile their figures when the factual figures are released and adjust their future estimates accordingly. This basically means that they can get things horribly wrong at times but when you look at the figures over time you will start to see that their estimates are very accurate and VGChartz is actually a perfectly reasonable place to gather statistics from.

Don’t believe me? Well don’t take my word for it but rather head on over to O’Reilly Radar where Robert Passarella has done a scientific and factual comparison between the two and has come to the conclusion that NPD is a perfectly valid place to gather statistical data from.

Source: O’Reilley

[Thank ewie for the tip]

Last Updated: November 12, 2008


  1. ewie

    November 12, 2008 at 11:32

    Just on topic,

    BOth VGchartz, NDP, Charttrac etc, use sampling to get to the numbers.

    Last week Vgchartz reported that gears2 sold 2.1 million in the first 2 days. today Microsoft reported 2 million .


    so they do correlate.


  2. ewie

    November 12, 2008 at 11:38

    O and the conclusion is that vgchartz can be used as a estimation.

    But there will always be people that say – because vgchartz is free online it is not reliable, what is the difference between this and ndp which is a market predictor that sell the information to the users, only thing can be that the sample they use are bigger.

    Because at the end of they they all use just statistical methots to get to an answer.


  3. SlippyMadFrog

    November 12, 2008 at 12:42

    There isn’t a 100% accurate way of tracking sales. The only way imo is the shipped figures released by companies. Those figures more or less indicate the need for the system although it diesn’t directly represent sales. Also, if stores are not selling Systems, they won’t order stock.


  4. gazza

    November 12, 2008 at 12:56

    You know these things always turn into arguments but may i just ask for a second why any of us really care about Console sales as a whole? I understand people need justification for buying a system, but surely unless that system is not selling at all does it really make a difference, Sont, Microsft and Nintendo are not just going to drop out the market if they have a bad maonth. This whole tracking, statistics and esimation of sales is really just a tool for fan boys to throw numbers at each other.


  5. ewie

    November 12, 2008 at 13:17

    Supply and demand, say I am in the market for a PS3, and they were selling like hotcakes (wii) then I know I would not be able to get one cheaper in a few months, but if sales
    are not good, a price cut might be in the pipeline in a
    few months.

    But you are right the only thing this show is that all the platforms are viable, and will be supported in the near future.


  6. Ace

    November 12, 2008 at 15:11

    One of the problems i’ve had with VGChartz is the fact that they often dont correct there sales numbers after something like the NPD sales figures come out.

    Thats a big problem because that can cause the results to spiral out of control. yes there error may be low but it really adds up. so when the sony or microsoft say that a console has sold 2 million hardware units then they really should set there stats to 2 million.


  7. ewie

    November 12, 2008 at 15:53

    Not always, microsoft use ship to retailer and sony use ship from warehouse, so there will always be stock in channel differences.


  8. Ace

    November 12, 2008 at 23:06

    well that used to be the case but sony have been using ship to retailer for awhile now.

    i could be wrong – will try to find a source sometime. but they have been using ship to retailer for at least the last 6 months.


  9. Roger

    November 13, 2008 at 10:43

    Being in the industry I would like to clarify some question on the tracking methodology. Retail tracking as an instrument tends to be fairly accurate. While extrapolation is used by all players in the market one has to consider that this is usually only applied to small specialists. For example the tracking in South Africa is based around 70% on census level data meaning there is absolutely no extrapolation behind it. As a matter of fact it tends to be more accurate than publisher data because the market research companies involved have no vested interest. Again in South Africa the tracking for gaming software has a coverage ratio between 85% and 90%, on consoles it comes close to 96%


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