Blu-ray is now officially more popular than plain ol’ DVD in Japan. Wait, let me rephrase that: there are now more Blu-ray disc recorders in Japan than there are DVD recorders. More than 50 percent of disc recorders in Japan are now of the Blu-ray variety.
The distinction is important. It’s not that Blu-ray disc sales have overtaken their DVD counterpart, but that people there are now buying more Blu-ray recorders than DVD recorder. Considering I don’t know anyone who bought a DVD recorder to begin with—DVR and TiVo rule the day—I’d say this info isn’t nearly as important as, say, the Blu-ray Disc Association would have you believe.
Again, for the 80 billionth time, Blu-ray has hell of a fight on its hands, despite the fact that HD DVD has been dead for nearly a year. There’s the perception that DVDs look and sound “good enough,” the fact that Blu-ray discs don’t offer the same practical improvement that DVDs did over VHS (no more rewinding, chapter selection, commentaries, fun but useless extras, etc.) and that Blu-ray discs are still regularly $10-$15 more expensive than their DVD counterpart. In this economy, folks are looking to save as much money as they can, and who could blame them?