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 if you would like to read the Japanese article about Blu-Ray adoption stats in Japan.

About Wes Novack

Wes is a Technologist working in the software industry, with extensive experience building and managing highly available applications, services, and systems in the public cloud. He has extensive experience with online publishing and building internet communities. Wes enjoys hanging with his family, getting outdoors, skateboarding, hiking, pickelball, tennis, the vegan lifestyle, and a good cup of tea. You can find him on X (formerly Twitter) @WesleyTech.

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11 Comments on “Blu-ray takes 96% of the Japanese market”

  1. 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. 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.

  3. 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+

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

  5. 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?

  6. 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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