NPD Day

I know I really shouldn’t care about them. As an owner of all three consoles it doesn’t matter in the slightest which outsells which because I can buy the games wherever they end up going. Particularly so with American numbers, given that I don’t live there.

And yet… NPD day is like Christmas every month.

At about 11:30pm on the second Thursday of the month you’ll find me refreshing NeoGAF, waiting for someone to post the freshly released numbers and the fanboys to come out to play. The NPD threads are a smorgasbord of gloating, graphs, desperate spinning, meltdowns, animated GIFs, clever¬†Lord of the Rings¬†analogies, historical revisionism, and a terrifying glimpse into the psyche of those with an emotional investment in a brand when confronted with the oft-bitter truth of cold, hard numbers.

I consider this my soap opera. While some rush home for the more socially acceptable pleasures of Eastenders or Hollyoaks, or even the WWE for those men for whom puberty was a purely physical exercise, I like to pore over launch-to-date and year-to-date figures and to know exactly how the PS3 is tracking compared to the GameCube. Seeing just how someone will try to spin the worst numbers into a positive is infinitely more exciting than finding out who killed Liam.

I’m not a smoker or a heavy drinker, and I don’t do drugs, so this can be my vice; my secret shame. I hope I’m not the only one who doesn’t care but somehow really does.

2 thoughts on “NPD Day”

  1. My name name is giant_fry…(well no, it’s Paul…) and I am also an addict.

    NPD and Media Create threads are pure entertainment for those of us not entirely tethered to their type of toy purchased.

    Over the past two years, the creative dissemination and analysis of these numbers on GAF by both thread starts and contributors is very impressive. And of course, it’s good GIF fodder.

    That said, I am partial to a bit of the old wrasslin’…

  2. Really I think it’s this generation that’s made it interesting because it allows so much analysis of numbers and trends. Last gen we knew that the PS2 was going to win and while it was probably surprising to see the new guys at Microsoft win out over Nintendo, it wasn’t that surprising in retrospect. We were only one generation removed from another new kid, Sony, taking the industry by storm.

    This one’s been surprise after surprise, though. PS3 went from a sure thing to a damp squib in the space of one E3; Nintendo seemed to lose its mind but then showed us that it’s actually the only one that knows what it’s doing. Microsoft is probably the least interesting because it’s got a slightly improved version of the original Xbox’s performance. Good going, but a safe mid-table finish doesn’t make for good entertainment.

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