Blu-ray Wesley Novack on 15 Jan 2007

Blu-ray takes 96% of the Japanese market

A Blu-ray Japan
News from Japan indicates that the Blu-ray Disc format has taken a 96% market share of the next generation blue laser format in December, mostly thanks to the PS3 (PlayStation 3) gaming console. The PS3 has been extremely popular in Japan, where many consumers have purchased the new gaming console that was developed by Sony Corporation, which is a Japanese company. The Microsoft XBox 360 gaming console, which has been very popular in its’ own home country of the USA, is no where near as popular as the Sony PS3 on its’ home turf in Japan.

Blu-rayDiscBut we also have to look at the big picture. The Japanese / European / United States consumer markets are entirely seperate entities that have behaved completely different in times past. Just because one product or format is popular in Japan, it does not necessarily mean that the rest of the world will follow suit. For example, the DVD-RAM format is very popular Japan. Ask an average North American consumer if they have ever used DVD-RAM and they would probably not even know what it is.

But at least Sony can be statisfied that its’ new format and gaming console are doing well in at least one market. Recent reports from the USA indicate that the PS3 is not doing as well as expected in the North American market, where consumers appear to favor the Nintendo Wii and the XBox 360 console over Sony’s new creation. Now that the initial launch of the PS3 is over, some retailers are reporting that Sony PS3 consoles are sitting on the shelves while the Nintendo Wii console continues to sell out.

So for the moment, it appears that Blu-ray is the leading format in Japan. North America and European markets are still up for grabs as far as I can tell. Perhaps the HD DVD camp has a few tricks left up their sleeves. Only time will tell. For now there is no clear winner in the blue laser war out in the western markets. Check out itmedia.co.jp if you would like to read the Japanese article about Blu-Ray adoption stats in Japan.


11 Responses to “Blu-ray takes 96% of the Japanese market”

  1. on 15 Jan 2007 at 7:40 pm 1.AnnonaMan said …

    So what, big deal. Wouldn’t Japan be the “home” market for HD DVD as well since Toshiba (from Japan) is the major backer?

  2. on 15 Jan 2007 at 7:56 pm 2.Wesley Novack said …

    Yes but Japan is not the “home turf” for Microsoft, who is a backer of HD DVD and a competitor to Sony PS3 with its’ Xbox 360 console…

  3. on 16 Jan 2007 at 4:55 pm 3.DVD said …

    I hope the Japanese are happy with their DRM-hell by choosing Blu-ray.

  4. on 25 Jan 2007 at 2:04 am 4.DJ Doena said …

    Who says Blu-Ray will win just because the PS3 is well sold? Is there an analysis of how many gamers use it as HD Player?

  5. on 25 Jan 2007 at 8:20 am 5.Wesley Novack said …

    It doesn’t necessarily mean that Blu-ray will win the overall battle, but it is an interesting stat. Blu-ray could wind up being the dominant format in Japan, but HD DVD still has a good chance in North America and Europe.

  6. on 30 Jan 2007 at 2:28 pm 6.Steve said …

    DRM-hell of BD? It’s the same AACS HD DVD uses. Congratulations.

  7. on 30 Jan 2007 at 3:37 pm 7.Wesley Novack said …

    Hi Steve, it’s true that both HD DVD and Blu-ray both use AACS, but don’t forget that the Blu-ray Disc producers also have the option to implement an additional layer of security: BD+

  8. on 16 Feb 2007 at 6:39 pm 8.Steve said …

    This is true, but it’s not currently in use. There’s no evidence to suggest there will be “DRM-hell” in any event.

  9. on 30 Mar 2007 at 11:33 am 9.dobeeploop.com » Blog Archive » We (might) have a winner! said …

    [...] Blu-Ray being overwhelmingly dominant in Japan [...]

  10. on 28 Jun 2007 at 5:27 pm 10.Andy said …

    I have to wonder if this “war” will have any winners at all. Even if BluRay does take a majority market share in US/EU/JP, how big will that market really be? In the end will the majority of consumers shy away from buying $200 to $800 players in order to watch $20+ movies? There will be a market, but will it be anywhere nearly as big as DVD?

  11. on 28 Jun 2007 at 7:18 pm 11.Wesley Novack said …

    I hear you Andy. Mass adoption of either format won’t happen until players are low cost, movies are low cost and until consumers are convinced that there is a significant advantage in upgrading to HD DVD or Blu-ray.

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