3D Blu-ray players already dominate in Japan

Posted by Mike Luttrell

Ask someone in America if they have a 3D Blu-ray player and they'll probably either say they can't afford one, don't have a 3D TV, or - the most likely - they have no idea what you're talking about. But ask the same question in Japan, and your response is likely to be very different.

The technology-forward country now has more 3D-enabled Blu-ray players than non-3D players, according to a report from local research firm BCN.

The firm says about 57% of the Blu-ray players shipped in Japan are now 3D-ready. That's an enormous increase from just 6.7% last September.

In Japan, Blu-ray players without 3D cost around the equivalent of $600. Those with 3D technology are at least 30% more than that, or $900. Here in the US, it's possible to get a Blu-ray player for around $100, while 3D players will run as high as $300. So unlike in Japan where the premium is about 30%, in America it's more like 300%. That would explain why the adoption rate is so sluggish over here.

Japan is latching on to 3D at a faster pace than us, but not overwhelmingly so. The country has the same concerns as everyone else, including the lack of comfort in wearing 3D glasses and cost associated with buying those glasses.

Nevertheless, the market seems to be doing well enough over there such that the 3D side of things is overpowering the non-3D side. That's encouraging for manufacturers that have poured countless resources into making the leap to 3D.