According to rentailer giant Tsutaya (imagine Blockbuster if they were big enough at their height to have an 8-level store in Times Square, and never went out of style), 55.9% of their customers now have Blu-ray players, up from 33.7% in 2010, and 19% in 2008. The Blu-ray disc association predicts that Blu-ray shipments will pass DVD in Japan by 2013.
Driving the increased adoption of Blu-ray players in Japan is the fact that, while standalone disc players are almost impossible to find in the Land of the Rising Sun, discs recorder/DVR combos are all the rage. And with analog TV having seen its final sunset this past summer, a lot of Japanese consumers have headed to retail for new high-def equipment. Even though Japanese providers have expanded their streaming and VOD rental offerings, physical rental is, and likely will continue to be, a very important segment of the Japanese market for years to come.