Penetration of DVD players in Japanese households rose to 22% by September 2001, a gain of 10.5% from July 2000, according to a survey by the Japan Video Association. The Association calculates that 25% of Japan's nearly 44 million households owned a DVD player by the end of 2001 and predicts that nearly half will have one by 2005.

Meanwhile, between January and November 2001, domestic shipments of DVD players reached 1.36 million units, representing a 110% gain compared with the same period the previous year. The Japan Electronics and Information Technology Industries Association, which released the figures, said the gain was due to lower retail prices for players and a larger selection of DVD titles. The average price of DVD players has fallen to the $76 - $151 range (Y10,000 to Y20,000), while prices for DVD software now average between $15 - $30 (Y2,000 - Y4,000).

The Association expects DVD player shipments for 2001 to reach 1.7 million units, assuming sales of 229,000 units in December. This represents an upward revision of 400,000 units from its original forecast of 1.3 million for the year. This total is for stand-alone units only and does not include personal computers and game consoles with built-in DVD drives.