Last week, Brian Shiau sent out an e-mail predicting what the NPD Group, the perceived authority on the performance of the video game market, would report about the industry's April console sales when it delivered its assessment Thursday.
It turned out that Shiau's predictions weren't perfect--on average he was about 15 percent off on the sales of Nintendo's DS and Wii, Sony's PlayStation 3 and PlayStation Portable and Microsoft's Xbox 360. But he also wasn't that far off predictions from Wedbush Morgan's Michael Pachter, one of the most quoted industry analysts, who himself had been about 10.6 percent off sales on the same consoles.
And a month earlier, Shiau's predictions had actually been better than Pachter's. Shiau had been off by about 15.8 percent, while Pachter had missed by 34.9 percent.
Actually, Shiau's predictions weren't his own. They were those of the more than 4,000 members of SimExchange, the prediction market that Shiau started in November that is likely the first such market devoted entirely to the video game industry.