The NPD Group, which provides monthly sales and hardware data about the consoles and hand-helds, has said those numbers will no longer be available to non-paying parties.

“At this time last year, it was made very clear that NPD will provide media with [hardware] sales figures, but that it would only be temporary. As you may recall, we never provided these numbers until November 2006, the first month when all three new consoles were on the market,” David Riley of the NPD Group told Ars Technica.

“It’s been a year, so it’s time to pull back. It’s better to pull back and leave it up to our clients to release their numbers. Or, if manufacturers tell us it’s okay to release their hardware sales numbers, then we’ll go back to providing them, but that shouldn’t be our call,” he added.

NPD figures long fueled speculation and argument among console partisans over which system was doing well or was on the verge of doing well in the market.

Now individual companies will be left to release data themselves, leaving open the possibility of selectively-presented statistics and confusion over sales trends.

Source: Ars Technica

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