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Japan: Summer Blu-ray Shipments Rise Dramatically

Shipments of Blu-ray Disc video recorders and players to retailers in Japan are growing noticeably, sometimes dramatically, on a month-to-month basis this year. The surge in shipments (and subsequent sales) no doubt is at least in response to Blu-ray’s sole disc competition, HD DVD, having fallen off the CE map last February.

According to new figures announced by the Japan Electronics & Information Technology Industries Association, Blu-ray players/recorder shipments reached the 122,000 mark in June—the first time monthly numbers have broken the 100,000 level (or even the 90,000 mark, for that matter) since the disc format was introduced.

In fact, shipments from May to June jumped nearly 50 percent.

Various Asian industry observers note that July could be even healthier for Blu-ray unit sales because apparently millions of Japanese workers receive traditional mid-year bonuses about now—and in August the Olympics in Beijing will get underway, perhaps prompting a desire by some consumers to capture part of the games in HD on disc.

Monthly Japanese Blu-ray shipments for the past six months:

  • January – 35,000
  • February – 58,000
  • March – 77,000
  • April – 81,000
  • May – 82,000
  • June – 122,000