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December 2018 NPD (U.S. Hardware) Predictions - Closes Tuesday, January 15th

Oct 27, 2017
259
#1
ITT, predict for the NPD December 2018 retail period (December 2, 2018-January 5, 2019) for U.S. hardware sales.

What is NPD?: NPD is one of the main retail tracking firms in the U.S., and also about the only one who specifically goes into detail on video games sales. This thread is to predict what the NPD hardware sales will be for the most recent month. NPD months are defined by the National Retail Federation (find calendar links here).
What do I win?: Bragging rights. We also keep track of predictions over the year and have an annual contest using "points." Still just bragging rights, but SalesEra followers have fun seeing how well we can do with it. See here for details on the point calculations.
Why are there still predictions when official NPD numbers are not released?
Trust me said:
To have fun? To share thoughts and speculation with a like mined group of people? To be able to communicate directly with individuals who study this industry for a living?
ethomaz said:
Since 2010 I guess we don't get official numbers anymore... that doesn't mean we don't get the numbers.

The ranking and results are based in real numbers.
Prediction entries must be in and finalized by 8 p.m. EST on Tuesday, January 15. Format use is required if you want your entry counted.

NPD Coverage: December 2, 2018-January 5, 2019 (5 weeks, November was 4 weeks)
NPD Physical Results Release: Thursday, January 17th @ 4 p.m. EST (public thread with physical+digital posted 5 days later on January 22nd ~6:30 p.m. EST)

Format:

[NSW]
[PS4]
[XB1]

Good/Bad Formatting
Code:
Good              Bad
[XB1] 1200K      [XB1] 1.2 million
[XB1] 1200K      [XB1] 1200 thousand
[XB1] 1,200,000  [XB1] 1.200.000
[XB1] 1200000    [XB1] - 1200000

Potential hardware impacting events in December:
Christmas + Post-Christmas buying/sales (35 days)
Super Smash Bros. Ultimate (NSW) - December 7 (30 days)

Prediction Format: (repeating to emphasize to use this format)

[NSW]
[PS4]
[XB1]

November's Resuts
PS4: ~1480K
NSW: ~1360K
XB1: ~1340K

November 2017 NPD thread
December 2017 NPD thread

NPD Prediction Thread Archive
 
Oct 25, 2017
8,267
#2
this is it
the final countdown

[NSW] 2,400,000
[PS4] 750,000
[XB1] 1,100,000
 
Last edited:
Oct 27, 2017
3,447
#4
It’s time I take a stab at this and fail miserably.

[NSW] 2,600,000
[PS4] 700,000
[XB1] 1,150,000

Edit:
Oh wow. It’s pretty clear who hasn’t kept up with the November NPD thread.
 
Last edited:
Oct 30, 2017
40
#17
[NSW] 2,000,000 (It is the prediction I made ages ago, I should stick with it)
[PS4] 1,000,000
[XB1] 1,150,000
 
Oct 26, 2017
1,221
#24
Hello! This wall of numbers will be comparing the weekly average of November and December. This is where comparing weekly averages is better than simple month to month because December is a 5 week month while November is only 4. I have gathered high selling software and any hardware deals for December to help show how the month might be impacted. You can go to previous prediction threads for the previous month's potential impacts.

Code:
2012

Xbox 360 November: 1.259M / 4 = 314,750
Xbox 360 December: 1.4M / 5 = 280,000

Weekly average -11%

PS3 November: 762K / 4 = 190,500
PS3 December: 635K / 5 = 127,000

Weekly average -37%

3DS November: 540K / 4 = 135,000
3DS December: 1.25M / 5 = 250,000

Weekly average +85%

Notable Events in December

Xbox 360
Numerous Monthly Deals / Cyber Monday / Christmas 

PS3
Numerous Monthly Deals / Cyber Monday / Christmas

3DS
Numerous Monthly Deals / Cyber Monday / Christmas

Mario Kart 7 Blue XL bundle $199
Code:
2013

Xbox 360 November: 647K / 4 = 161,750
Xbox 360 December: 643K / 5 = 128,600

Weekly average -20%

PS3 November: 407K / 4 = 101,750
PS3 December: 299K / 5 = 59,800

Weekly average -41%

3DS November: 741K / 4 = 185,250
3DS December: 1.06M / 5 = 212,000

Weekly average +14%

Notable Events in December

Xbox 360
First full month of Xbox One launch

Numerous Monthly Deals / Cyber Monday / Christmas

PS3
First full month of PS4 launch

Numerous Monthly Deals / Cyber Monday / Christmas

3DS
Numerous Monthly Deals / Cyber Monday / Christmas

Mario & Luigi: Dream Team Special Themed Silver + Black XL bundle $199
Code:
2014

Xbox One November: 1.231M / 4 = 307,750
Xbox One December: 1.297M / 5 = 259,400

Weekly average -16%

PS4 November: 831K  / 4 = 207,750
PS4 December: 1.065M / 5 = 213,000

Weekly average +3%

3DS November: 515K / 4 = 128,750
3DS December: 810K / 5 = 162,000

Weekly average +26%

Xbox 360 November: 306K / 4 = 76,500
Xbox 360 December: 309K / 5 = 61,800

Weekly average -19%

PS3 November: 89K / 4 = 22,250
PS3 December: 174K / 5 = 34,800

Weekly average +56%

Notable Events in December

Xbox One
Numerous Monthly Deals / Cyber Monday / Christmas

PS4
Numerous Monthly Deals / Cyber Monday / Christmas

3DS
Numerous Monthly Deals / Cyber Monday / Christmas

Xbox 360
Numerous Monthly Deals / Cyber Monday / Christmas

PS3
Numerous Monthly Deals / Cyber Monday / Christmas
Code:
2015

Xbox One November: 1.296M / 4 = 324,000
Xbox One December: 1.376M / 5 = 275,200

Weekly average -15%

PS4 November: 1.539M / 4 = 384,750
PS4 December: 1.582M / 5 = 316,400

Weekly average -18%

3DS November: 350K / 4 = 87,500
3DS December: 581K / 5 = 116,200

Weekly average +33%

Notable Events in December

Xbox One
Numerous Monthly Deals / Cyber Monday / Christmas

$50 price drop - 500GB Bundles $299 / 1TB Bundles $349 / Kinect $449 December 9 - December 26 [3 weeks]

PS4
Numerous Monthly Deals / Cyber Monday / Christmas

$50 price drop - 500GB model $299 December 6 - December 19 [2 weeks]

Call of Duty Black Ops 3 500GB Bundle $349 [3 weeks]

3DS
Numerous Monthly Deals / Cyber Monday / Christmas
Code:
2016 / Apparently the November numbers are off so this comparison is off

Xbox One November: 1.007M / 4 = 251,750
Xbox One December: 1.511M / 5 = 302,200

Weekly average +20%

PS4 November: 1.112M / 4 = 278,000
PS4 December: 1.568M / 5 = 313,600

Weekly average +13%

3DS November: 556K / 4 = 139,000
3DS December: 593K / 5 = 118,600

Weekly average -15%

Notable Events in December

Xbox One
Numerous Monthly Deals / Cyber Monday / Christmas

$50 price drop - 500GB Bundles $249 / 1TB Bundles $299 December 11 - December 24 [2 weeks] 

Final Fantasy XV [5 weeks]

PS4
Numerous Monthly Deals / Cyber Monday / Christmas

$50 price drop - 500GB model $249 December 11 - December 31 [3 weeks]

Final Fantasy XV Luna Black 1TB Bundle $449 [Gamestop] [5 weeks]
Call of Duty Infinite Warfare Deluxe Edition 500GB Bundle $299 [1 week]

Final Fantasy XV [5 weeks]

3DS
Numerous Monthly Deals / Cyber Monday / Christmas
Code:
2017 

Switch November: 775K / 4 = 193,750
Switch December: 1.5M / 5 = 300,000

Weekly average +55%

Xbox One November: 1.38M / 4 = 345,000
Xbox One December: 1.365M / 5 = 273,000

Weekly average -21%

PS4 November: 1.69M / 4 = 422,500
PS4 December: 1.08M / 5 = 216,000

Weekly average -49%

Notable Events in December

Switch
Cyber Monday / Christmas

Xenoblade Chronicles 2 [5 weeks]

Xbox One
Numerous Monthly Deals / Cyber Monday / Christmas

Xbox One X Second Month

Month long continuation of Black Friday prices [5 weeks]
500GB bundles $199 December 17 - December 31 [2 weeks]
PUBG with every Xbox One X December 17 - December 31 [2 weeks]

PLAYERUNKNOWN'S Battlegrounds [3 weeks]

PS4
Numerous Monthly Deals / Cyber Monday / Christmas

PS4 Pro $50 price drop December 10 - December 16 [1 week]
PS4 Slim 1TB $249 December 17 - December 24 [1 week]
Code:
2018 November Weekly Averages

PS4: 1.48M / 4 = 370,000
Switch: 1.36M / 4 = 340,000
Xbox One: 1.34M / 4 = 335,000

Notable Events in December

Switch
Numerous Monthly Deals / Christmas

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate [5 weeks]

Xbox One
Numerous Monthly Deals / Christmas

Xbox One S $249 / Xbox One X $399 / Xbox One X Bundles $449 December 2 - 15

Xbox One S $199 / Xbox One X $399 December 16 - 25 *Walmart started this on the 14th

PS4
Numerous Monthly Deals(?)/ Christmas
Notes
The biggest month of the year in terms of absolute sales. However, December has fallen from November in terms of weekly average as sales concentrate more towards Black Friday in recent years (if you’re not Nintendo). December usually has three massive sales days, Cyber Monday (Monday after Thanksgiving), Green Monday (Smaller Cyber Monday, second Monday of December) and Super Saturday (Saturday before Christmas). After Super Saturday, holiday spending is over, so there are 4 weeks of holiday sales and 1 post holiday week.

This year is not like the others. Due to 2018 being a 53 week year, this pushed Black Friday week to November tracking, the first time in 10 years. The final week of December this year could be treated like the first week of January.

Xbox
The Xbox One sees standard weekly average drops, similar to the Xbox 360, in 2014, 2015, and 2017. 2017 had the lowest drop thanks to November having the launch of the Xbox One X. 2016 actually saw the only increase during the years covered. This could be because November was an incredibly weak month in terms of software moving consoles and the One S hit $249.

As noted above, Cyber Monday week is not included in December this year. This will mean a disadvantage for the weekly average this year compared to previous years.

Xbox One this December actually had better deals than Black Friday, where every One S bundle was $199 and every One X bundle was $399 for the Christmas period. This deal ended on Christmas unlike 2017 where it ended in early January. I’d argue XB1 is in store for a good December period because of how it sold in November but I’m expecting a total sale decrease from November.

Playstation
PS4 in 2014 actually saw a small increase of 3%, but in 2015 had a drop of 18% despite dropping the price $50 for 2 weeks thanks to hardware bundle launches in November. 2016 also saw another increase thanks to the PS4 slim which I think sold much more for the same reason as the Xbox One. Weak November leading to a much better December because of weak software launches and price cuts pushing sales.

2017 saw a massive decrease due to weak price promotions and a comparison to the PS4’s highest ever November.

December 2018 is probably going to be even worse than 2017 in terms of weekly average drop. Not only is Cyber Monday week in November this year, Sony had absolutely no deals on the PS4. I don’t even know if retailers had specific deals for the PS4, which is why I put a question mark in the 2018 section above. Holiday shopping will guarantee hundreds of thousands of sales, but I don’t think 1M is realistic this year.

Nintendo
Merry Switchmas and have a great Newtendo Year.

The 3DS averages a rise of +27% with the only drop being -15% (2016) thanks to supply constraints, and the largest rise being +85% (2012).

Honestly, Nintendo does massive numbers in December. Their products are Christmas gift fodder, essentially. Always a reliable product for the younger demographic.

Nintendo consoles usually see December double November in total sales or around there and it isn’t limited to handhelds. Even the Wii U saw these increases.

Code:
Wii U  2013 2014 2015
November 223K 240K 240K
December 481K 575K 463K
% increase +116% +140% +93%
Switch had a +93% MOM increase in December 2017 with a weekly average increase of +55%, and that was just purely on the selling power of the Switch as a product and evergreen software. No price cuts, no special game launches in the month, and it nearly outsold what the PS4 and XB1 have done in their peak December’s.

Not only is Switch still a highly desired item this holiday, Super Smash Bros Ultimate launched at the beginning of the tracking month. Ultimate sold over 3M units in the US in just 11 days. We also know Switch did an incredible 1.36M in November, higher than every Wii November except its 2.04M in 2008, and is the highest November for a Nintendo product since the DS in 2010 with 1.5M.

Recap
December usually increases in total sales from November, but weekly averages see a decrease, unless you are Nintendo.

The biggest December ever recorded in the 7th gen was the Wii with 3,810,000 back in 2009. Second biggest? Wii again with 2,360,000 back in 2010.

The biggest December ever recorded in the 8th gen was the PS4 with 1,582,000 in 2015. Second biggest? PS4 again with 1,568,000 in 2016.