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Armchair Analysis: February 2012 NPD—A tale of two portables

Hot Shots Golf: World Invitational Screenshot

Lots of you are probably wondering who "won" the portable showdown last month. Early estimates of 300,000 units for Vita seemed likely to nudge it past the 3DS, which would have made sense given that Vita is the newer platform and that early adopters would push it to a respectable launch number. That didn't happen, however.

Armchair Analysis: February 2012 NPD—Sea of red

Final Fantasy XIII-2 Screenshot

In a way, it's good to see that there hasn't been the reaction to February's NPD data that I anticipated. On the flip side, February was another month of deep Year-over-year (YOY) negatives and presents questions to me about just how long the current console cycle can remain viable.

Armchair Analysis: Vita price cut—a risky assumption

Rayman Origins Screenshot

It's interesting to read a prediction from Strategy Analytics that more than 12 million Vita units are expected to sell worldwide in 2012. That's a pretty lofty number for one year, especially considering weak sales in Japan and that we're still in the launch window in other territories this week. The prediction comes with one caveat, however: There needs to be a price cut for the Vita this year.

Armchair Analysis: Weak Modern Warfare 3 sales and Activision stock downgrade

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 Screenshot

Call of Duty has arguably been the biggest and most successful IP that this console generation has seen. Yearly releases have set sales records and the first-person shooter genre reached heights never before seen. Activision has had a great run, and the publisher has become dependent on the success of Call of Duty to carry it to success.

Armchair Analysis: Final January 2012 NPD hardware sales data analysis

Sony PlayStation 3 Image

I talked about the Xbox 360 last night in my preliminary analysis, and the unit sales number had already been made public. There's not really much to add to what I said. I expected a Year-over-year (YOY) decline, but a 29% drop was sobering to see.

Armchair Analysis: Preliminary January 2012 NPD hardware sales analysis

Microsoft Xbox 360 Dashboard Image

At first glance, the preliminary NPD sales data that has been shared with the public for January 2012 incite fear and panic. Sales fell from $1.14 billion in January 2011 to $750.6 million in January 2012. That's a stunning 34% Year-over-year (YOY) drop and is the lowest number since 2004.

Armchair Analysis: Pre-NPD thoughts

Mario Kart 7 Screenshot

Nintendo will be looking to the 3DS remain strong in January. Expected residual interest in Mario Kart 7 and Super Mario 3D Land can be cited as factors, and there's a certainly a chance that the 3DS can stay close to Xbox 360 numbers.

Armchair Analysis: Five burning questions — February 6-10

The Darkness II Screenshot

How will this week's releases fare? Kingdoms of Amalur headlines this week's slate of new releases, which is solid for a second consecutive week after a mostly dormant month of January. Early reviews have been quite positive for the game, which would be a boon to Electronic Arts. The Darkness II hits this week as well, although it seems to be flying under the radar a bit.

Armchair Analysis: January 2012 NPD hardware sales predictions

NeverDead Screenshot

January has flown by and it's time for the first NPD predictions column of the year.

Armchair Analysis: GameStop and the case of coincidence

GameStop Logo

GameStop stock values are in the midst of a four-day losing streak, as shares have fallen from $25.00 on January 25th to $23.36 at the closing bell today. It's likely that any number of factors could be attributed to the slump. Maybe there's a fear that sales are weak after the holidays. Maybe there's some basic profit-taking going on. It's hard to really pinpoint anything.

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