I really like reading your post most of the times and you are one of my favourite user in those threads.
I hope you'll see this comment as an advice and not criticism.
I think something you are missing as a predictor is the "fantasy". That's actually a very important factor. Fantasy does not mean making unrealistic and stupid predictions, it just mean that you can see things outside of the written story. I talked about something very similar in a youtube video, where people were saying "NO YOU CAN'T SAY AC NH WILL SELL FOR SURE 10 MILLION IN JAPAN, THAT'S MORE THAN THE BEST SELLING GAME", and is very worthless to say i was right.
Looking at the history of the market is very important for predictions, i totally agree, and that's why i think you are a very good analist. (yes i just used the word analist)
but lack of fantasy is a big problem, and if you wanna be one of the best, you really should start to be more brave with your predictions. Fuck if something seem insane, if you find reasons to something crazy happening, and you have the felling of a crazy prediction happening, then just do it. Look at me and Tbone. We don't give a fuck what people say, and we keep doing a lot of good predictions.
I will not reply to every points you made, because you can understand is just so much to read. if you want my opinion on the whole Animal Crossing, COVID, and Switch sales, i'll just say this:
COVID or not COVID, there's no way Switch would have sold less in 2020 than in 2019. Switch is not just slighly up YOY, it's massacring last year peformance, WITH SHORTAGES, there is no way that withouth COVID Switch would be down YOY right now. 2020 was destinated to be up YOY.
Now, if the biggest reason for this increase is COVID, or Animal Crossing, i don't really care. All i know is that both had a very important role, and made those insane numbers possible.
I believe the word you are looking for is "imagination" instead of "fantasy". (I am just saying this, because I am aware that English is not your first language.) The overall point of your first two paragraphs is, "Looking at past history is important, but under unusual circumstances imagination is also very important."
I also agree with the point of your last paragraph. The main problem with the conclusions of @Shadow1980 is that he is ignoring the magnitude to which the Switch is up YoY. People who study a lot of data are actually the most susceptible to confirmation bias, because we all naturally tend to focus on the data which reinforces what we already believe. It can happen to the best of us. Normally the way to get around this is to make a prediction. If your prediction is right, then your explanation becomes stronger. If your prediction is wrong, then you are supposed to change your beliefs about what is happening. Here is what happened with Shadow1980.
He predicted, "PS4, XB1 and NSW will all be down YoY in 2020." Here is what the data (worldwide) is currently saying:
|2019 YTD||2020 YTD||growth|
His prediction was right about PS4, wrong about XB1 and massively wrong about Switch. COVID alone would be enough to explain why XB1 is up YoY, but that isn't sufficient to explain the Switch's massive growth. He wants to explain everything away with COVID, because he wants to stick to all of his current assumptions about how the video game market works. That is confirmation bias. He also tends to only use US data only, and the US just happens to be where the effects of COVID are the largest and longest lasting. That further fuels his confirmation bias. NPD data isn't even that reliable anymore, because it all comes from leaks at this point, but he insists on using US data.
Now I do agree with Shadow1980 on one thing. Animal Crossing alone doesn't explain the Switch's massive growth. However, the idea that COVID alone expains the Switch's sales is an even worse explanation. There is actually more going on here than COVID+Animal Crossing, but Shadow's explanation is that it is less going on. He thinks it's COVID alone.