Sales of Blu-ray discs have climbed to such an extent in Europe that the high-def format is now officially "mainstream".

At least that’s according to the cross-industry trade body, Digital Entertainment Group Europe(DEGE).

Funded by the major Hollywood studios, the group says sales of Blu-ray software – which doesn’t include PS3 games titles – has increased five-fold in Europe, from 1.7 million units in 2007 to almost 8.5 million in 2008.

This has no doubt been helped in part by the falling price of the discs, which are now approaching the level of DVDs.

But the rising number of Blu-ray disc player owners is also fuelling demand for the software.

Dedicated deck sales in the UK reached 100,000 in December.

According to the DEGE, there are now over 2.1 million Blu-ray capable games consoles and standalone players in the UK, almost 1.4 million in France and over a million in Germany.

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