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VGChartz Methodology

Data-Collection Methodology

Since the end of 2018 VGChartz no longer produces estimates for software sales. This is because the high digital market share for software was making it both more difficult to produce reliable retail estimates and also making those estimates increasingly unrepresentative of the wider performance of the games in question. As a result, on the software front we now only record official shipment/sales data, where such data is made available by developers and publishers. The legacy data remains on the site for those who are interested in browsing through it.

On the hardware front we continue to produce weekly estimates, based on retail sampling and trends in individual countries, which are then extrapolated to represent the wider region. This typically allows us to produce figures that end up being within 10% of the actual totals.

This data is regularly compared against official shipment figures released by the console manufacturers and figures estimated by regional trackers with greater market coverage than ourselves (such as Famitsu in Japan or NPD in North America). We then update our own estimates to bring them into line with those figures. This can result in frequent changes often within a short space of time, but we feel it's important to prioritise accuracy over consistency.

Our weekly hardware estimates break down into the following regions (individual countries/regions tracked are shown in brackets):

  • - Americas (US, Canada & Latin America)
  • - Europe (UK, France, Germany, Spain, Italy, Benelux & the Nordic countries)
  • - Asia (Japan, mainland Asia & the Middle East)
  • - Oceania (Australia & New Zealand)

Note that our estimates are based on sell-through data (units sold to consumers). In almost all cases the figures released by console manufacturers are based on shipment data (sell-in), where as soon as a device has left the factory and entered the supply chain for delivery it is considered a sale. This is why there is always a difference between the companies’ figures (sell-in) and VGChartz estimates (sell-through), even after we’ve made adjustments. The one exception to that is when a console has been discontinued and the remaining stock has finally sold out – at that point the figures will match.

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