North American market research firm NPD Group has helped gauge the performance and health of the gaming industry through its monthly sales breakdown reports. To compile its reports for both console software and hardware, NPD taps into sales data provided by of no less than 900 retailers across North America. You may be surprised to learn that up until now, mega-retailer Walmart actually wasn't included as one of those retailers, at least not officially.
NPD has thus far approximated any console hardware, software, and accessory sales made at the world's largest retailer using its own methods. Until last year, Walmart kept a tight lid on all its sales data meaning market research firms like NPD were locked out. NPD Group confirms it has at last reached an agreement with Walmart to acquire actual point-of-sale data from both retail and online outlets for use in its monthly industry reports.
With these sales figures from Walmart (not to mention all the other retailers, of course), NPD hopes to get an even better tally of console hardware and software sold at retail level. As always, these figures are then leveraged by both retailers and publishers to "identify high value market opportunities and monitor business performance."