Blu-ray Wes Novack on 15 Jan 2007
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.
But 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.