Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: San Francisco, CA
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The bottom line is that Nielsen is the best we have and, in all probability, it is pretty accurate. And, since it is gathered consistently, it is good for trends.
The point that people seem to be ignoring is that there is no good reason to believe that the sales ratio at Wal-Mart is all that different than anywhere else. There are surely bumps due to BOGO sales or hardware sales that may be unique to Wal-Mart, but that is true of all retailers. To make much of a difference in the numbers, the ratios would have to be very different than the overall Nielsen numbers. That's the only way the math works out.
And, of course, given the limited selection of discs at Wal-Mart (at least currently) if people want to buy more than a handful of titles, they need to go to Best Buy or Amazon, etc. The Nielsen numbers will ultimately capture the impact of the Wal-Mart Toshiba sale (and the new 40 GB PS3 and whatever else develops).