The goal: To compare consoles that were released on different months of the year.
When analyzing sales, there is no real correct way of doing it. Different methods give us different perspectives. I want to test out a different way of comparing consoles every month. I call it “Month Aligned”.
I have followed @trunkswd sales articles for a long time, they are fantastic. In particular I enjoy seeing every month the gap comparisons of the Switch and the PS4.
For a long time this was very exciting as both consoles would be constantly passing each other.
One particular thing that intrigued me was that the switch would always pass the ps4 near November until March. Here is a visual representation of month#
Basically every time it was December for the switch, it would take the lead, and every time it was December for the PS4, it took the lead.
This can be explained because in console sales (as in many retail sales) the end of the year represents an especially important amount of the yearly sales. Here is how much each month represents for all console sales combined:
If you look at the previous table, when it is December for the switch it compares to August for the PS4, and when it is December for the PS4 it compares with April for the Switch.
Because of this, I thought that it is most fair to compare both consoles every 12 months. This way both consoles have had each month to be considered for their totals. Here is what the same gap chart looks like if we only look at every 12 months:
Suddenly, the chart seems quite different, the switch has never been behind the PS4 and it is growing its lead every year. What once seemed like a back-and-forth battle, now seems like a consistent lead for the Switch.
But… Is there a way of noticing this without having to wait for 12 months?
Here is where I have my proposal for a Month Aligned chart.
This is what that chart looks like:
Just like the “Every 12 Months” chart, this chart can show that the Switch has been ahead of the PS4 every month, it was never falling behind. If you look closely, every 12 month you see the exact same values as the previous chart, the difference is more in between the 12 months.
How is “Month Aligned” Calculated?