Blu-ray wins 97 per cent of HD recorder sales

The blue bars represent Blu-ray recorder sales in Japan, whereas the tiny green tips show HD DVD.

It's hard to know what to make of the latest statistics on the battle for supremacy between Blu-ray and HD DVD because of the fact that they're from Japan, home of so many of Blu-ray's backers. Nevertheless, the degree to which HD DVD has fallen behind in Japan in sales of the crucial high-end HD TV recorders is stark.

According to the Blu-ray Disc Association, the figures from the week ending 12 November for sales of next-generation machines capable of recording show just 2.8 per cent of them were HD DVD units. The remaining 97.2 per cent were, of course, Blu-ray devices.

Standard DVD still selling

Naturally, the availability of Blu-ray machines plays its part - there are more models available in Japan - but the HD DVD Promotion Group will obviously be worried.

Both formats still have some work to do in the home-recording market as a whole. Considering the older DVD format as well, the two newcomers account for just 19.8 percent of total recorder sales, with plain-vanilla DVD accounting for over 80 per cent.

Although fewer than a quarter of purchases are of next-gen recorders, the corresponding figure was a mere 5 per cent as recently as mid-October, so it can't be long before DVD has to take a back seat, but will HD DVD be joining it?

J Mark Lytle was an International Editor for TechRadar, based out of Tokyo, who now works as a Script Editor, Consultant at NHK, the Japan Broadcasting Corporation. Writer, multi-platform journalist, all-round editorial and PR consultant with many years' experience as a professional writer, their bylines include CNN, Snap Media and IDG.