Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Blu-ray Set to Take Over in Europe

While sales of Blu-ray players remains relatively sluggish in North America, sales of the format are heating up in Western Europe. In fact, research company Futuresource Consulting reveals that sales of Blu-ray players are actually ahead of where sales were for the standard DVD format when it was at its same point of introduction into the market.

Futuresource anticipates that more than 10 million Blu-ray players will be in use by the end of 2008. By contrast, only 1.5 million DVD players were in homes by the end of the third year that this format hit the market. Going forward, the company sees Blu-ray performance out-doing DVD consistently, with almost double the growth in year 5; closing at just slightly higher in year 6 (45 million units shipping in 2011 vs. 37 million shipped for DVD in 2002).

Naturally, we have to take the Sony PlayStation 3 into consideration, which is purchased as a gaming system first and foremost, with the built-in Blu-ray player as merely a secondary feature (for the majority of consumers, at least).

"The timing of the PS3 launch has clearly provided a big boost to the initial uptake of BD," explains Jim Bottoms, MD Corporate Development at Futuresource. "With a number of hot titles now starting to emerge and console prices continuing to fall, we can expect to see continued strong uptake."

Bottoms also notes that the competitve nature of retailers trying to get as much market share in the category as they can is also helping sales. Not only are retailers exposing consumers more and more to the technology, but product pricing is also coming down, making Blu-ray a more affordable option to the every day customer.

This is impressive news for the Blu-ray camp. Hopefully, in time, we'll experience the same sort of growth in North America. Bottoms is confident that Blu-ray will eventually "mirror the trend we saw with DVD players replacing CD decks." We may be closer to that time than we think.

Bookmark and Share

No comments: