Japan counts of course. But, I think that these sales figures are boosted a bit as compared to the US for a couple reasons. The Bejing Olympics created a good demand for the blu-ray recorders in Japan as we read this spring and summer. We have even read comments where folks from Japan like to use Blu-ray for recording their HD programming over there. If you prefer this method to capture your programs, then it is easier to justify the decision and to consider building a BR movie library, as it serves a dual purpose.
In the US- I think set top DVRs are more the norm and this hurts Blu-ray recorder sales. I would not want one for instance as I got a HDDVR subsidized by my satellite subscription. It is dovetailed with the satellite services guide and makes schedualing recordings a snap. Until satellite or cable starts offering a BR recorder- it will not fly here. And with them (cable/satellite) offering streaming goods- it ain’t gonna happen IMHO. This hurts Blu-ray.
So in short- since the unlinked article above lumps players and recorders together for the sales figure, I can see it. Especially if it includes PS3. If your kid over there plays games and you got him one- then you can always say- what the heck…I can also play Blu-ray movies on it when he/she is not using it. It all adds up.
I think the wait for preferences to change in the US- to mirror those of Japan- could take a very long time if ever…