The Nintendo Switch Story

This is a data analysis and visualisation based on the data set provided by MakeOverMonday : Nintendo Switch.

What does it tell you?

What works and what can be improved?

As the unit for measurement is same i.e. ten thousand units, the intervals in the scale are different for both charts which makes it a little confusing the compare when both the graphs are compared in relation to one another as they are fairly disparate even though they have a similar growth pattern. Also due to the large intervals, getting to know the exact value of sales at that point is difficult.

The use of color for the column bar graph works well to denote the sales in hardware for the particular places but fails in the line bar graph as the overlapping and the subtle differences in shapes on the points on the line graph tends to get lost when imposed over the already colorful bar graphs.

The denotations for the columns is not shown on the graph itself but below the chart so finding out what each color represents is not known right away.

The baseline for each rectangle in the column in unclear. Individual quantities of the stacks are not mentioned in the static chart. On further inspection it shows the x-axis is taken as the baseline for the whole column in the static chart and not for the individual rectangles which make up the chart. The individual values are only available on the dynamic chart when a cursor is hovered over it.

The division of the years works well as it is been placed fairly far apart and helps in reading it better.

Background Info/Context:

Possible personas and their problems :

  1. Government item:

Name: Jeremy Clarkson. Role: Senator

US Senator Jeremy Clarkson has to attract FDI (Foreign direct Investment) as he is facing direct pressure from to government to increase jobs in his State. This visualization will help him understand the average market size and potentially the number of jobs he can bring to his state, if he has to attract any one of the above businesses by favorable policies.

2. Software Developers:

Name: Rahul Patil. Role: Developer

Rahul Patil is a developer from Pune who is a software developer in the Bay Area. He wants to make games for a new market probably for Nintendo switch. This visualisation will help him understand where the highest opportunities in the field are and if it is a reliable and profitable area to invest his time and effort.

3. Contract Manufacturer

Role: Contract manufacturer of spare parts for Nintendo switch

Name: Foxconn

Foxconn are leaders in manufacturing. They manufacture for companies like Apple. As Foxconn is looking to expand their business, they are looking forward to collaborate and give a proposal to Nintendo to contract manufacture Nintendo switch for them. Foxconn can give them a lucrative proposal based on the visualisation in order to attract them and get the business.

4. Competition Marketing

Role: Business Strategist/Internal consultant

Name: Sony

Sony’s sales for PlayStation portable are down. Sony wants to capture Nintendo’s market and this visualization gives them a good view of Nintendo’s market size in different areas. This will help Sony targeting an area and design marketing strategies in order capture the market share.

Chosen Narrative:

A software developer who could use this data visualisation to gauge if developing games for Nintendo Switch would be profitable to him and worth investing his time to develop new software and games.

Understanding the type of data :

  • The data presented for the sales in a year is Quantitative (discrete).
  • It is also classified based on the sales in particular region which makes it Categorical (nominal).
  • Since the sales have been plotted based on no. of units sold it is also Quantitative (Continuous)

Data Trends:

All Units mentioned in the charts below are in Ten Thousand


Chart #1 shows the regionwise sales in hardware from 2017–2020.

The Americas and Europe acquire a majority of the sales as compared to the other regions which shows it has the largest market as of 2020.


Chart #2 shows the hardware sales in the various regions from 2017–2020. Its evident that ‘the Americas’ have the highest hardware sales with a significant margin between them and the region with second largest number of sales that is Europe with Japan having a similar trend and the ‘Other’ with the least number of sales.

Also ‘the Americas’ have had a consistent increase in sales over the years better than any other region, suggesting the market is stable and growing consistently.

The ‘Other’ region has had a stable growth rate compared to the other region even if the sales were low in comparison.


Chart #3 shows the regionwise sales of software from 2017–20, similar to the hardware sales, the software sales market is also dominated by ‘the Americas’ and Europe.


Chart #3 shows that the software sales have had a steady growth upwards with very minimum stagnation in sales.

All the regions have had a stable growth rate in software sales.

Compared to the no. of hardware sales the software sales are around 4 times the hardware sales in each region.


The software sales have consistently increased for each region over the years compared to hardware sales which has irregular growth as seen when charts #2 and #4 are compared.

Also there is a stark difference between the total hardware sales and the total software sales which infers that there has been in higher growth in no. of sales in the software market than the hardware market based on chart #5

Insights and observations:

  • Software sales have been consistently higher than hardware sales almost 4 fold regionwise as well as in total of all regions.
  • ‘Other’ has the least sales compared to the other regions but the highest growth rate.
  • Sales in ‘The Americas’ has dominated the market in both hardware and software sales.
  • Based on the growth rate, although there has been a steady increase in hardware as well as software, but the amount of growth difference between each here has been reducing each year.

Chosen Insight :

Based on the data trends, it is evident that the software market is stable and growing consistently. It is also has higher sales than the Hardware market which infers that there is a higher demand for software than hardware. with respect to the persona chosen, the software market is a feasible option to invest in. Since ‘the Americas’ is the largest consumer of software, based on the graphs and has had the most stable growth in the software market since launch, it is on the best regions to invest into the software market as compared to the other regions.

Visualising the Data:

It would be necessary to show the consistent increase in software sales compared to hardware sales. It would also be required to consider the chosen insight that is based on region ‘The Americas’ are the strongest in the market so investing into it is a safe and stable choice for maximum returns on investment.

Explorations :

Final Visualisation :

A Graphic design student in her final year at The National Institute of Design, India

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