VGChartz vs. NPD, the argument to end them all

It’s debated very heavily and passionately amongst fanboys, bloggers, and forum jockey’s everywhere,  is the data found on VGChartz up to par with NPD reported numbers?

For starters let’s look at the similarities. Both have their methods for attaining the data.  Both are really just glorified estimates of projected sales. And both crunch numbers. Beyond that, it would take an expert in the field to draw a clear line of contrast in the “which one is better” argument.

Robert Passarella, an 18 year Wall Street veteran has weighed in with his professional assessment on the issue and he paints in contrasts — the main difference between the two organizations is that VGChartz is a user-based community, offering their data for free, while NPD is a market research company that charges deniro (thanks guys) dinero for access to their numbers.

We all know that NPD is the industry standard, but Robert sums up the points for why VGChartz is in fact a reliable site to references based on these key reasons:

  • The data is weekly as opposed to monthly — time is a big advantage. (I saw Sony’s changing future thanks to VGChartz much quicker than if I’d waited for the monthly NPD numbers)
  • It is the only place to get as close as possible to worldwide figures on console and game sales.
  • The best part of using or working with VGChartz data is that they give you their biases upfront along with a comparison of their numbers against NPD and key analysts like Michael Pachter.
  • There is a community that has arisen around the numbers; one that is willing to have an open exchange about the shortcomings, and methodologies in VGChartz’s multiple forums. You really don’t get that with NPD.

Passarella warns skeptics and those unsure of what exactly it is they’re seeing to observe the site at their own risk, but based on his professional assessment, it looks like VGChartz data isn’t as bad as some would make it out to be.