JoshuaJSlone - Introduction


Hello all, JoshuaJSlone here. If you're reading this blog at this early point you've probably seen me around at someplace like NeoGAF. Before I get to posting regular sales information, though, I thought I'd quickly run through my recent history in this area, and thus why PantherLotus thought it worth asking me to join him here.

For years I followed the monthly NPD sales data at GAF and participated in the conversations. Probably the farther back you go the more spinning you'll see from me. A pretty big Nintendo fan, I'm probably one of the guys talking about GameCube month-over-month percentage improvement and generally meaningless stuff like that. It was the launch of DS and PSP in Japan that took things to the next level, though.

In the early months of DS and PSP we had a particularly interesting situation. Two major competitors launching a week apart. Two very different approaches to hardware. One hardware with a massive early lead, but starting to fall behind in the weekly numbers. This led to me making a weekly post about how long it would take the PSP to catch up to DS at that week's rate, and more other stats as I thought of them and added them as columns in my spreadsheet. I'd occasionally make an image to go along with these numbers, but I was dissatisfied with the apparent options in programs like My initial desire was to produce pie charts with a constant scale, so one could not only get an idea of weekly percentage splits, but also when a certain week's sales were particularly large or small. This was on the backburner for a long time, but eventually I found JpGraph, a software used for creating charts online. With a bit of discovering PHP (close enough to other programming languages I'd used) and rediscovering SQL databases (which I'd worked with a few years before), I was in mid-2006 able to make the pies of my dreams.

That complete, though, I realized that with JpGraph's other abilities there were many other display possibilities using the same sales data. Bar graphs, line graphs, pie graphs modified to look like Pac-Man, and variations thereof. With improvements and the occasional big addition like hardware shipment data or Japanese software sales data, that's what's become the set of tools available at Garaph.

Panther's focus is on making beautiful static images to display the facts in a large number of ways, while mine is more on a limited but versatile set of tools that can show some quite interesting things if you ask it the right questions with the right parameters. As the guy who set up the tools, I'm in a particularly good position to know what can be asked and how to do so.


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