This is not a story that we forgot to run fifteen years ago, I assure you.
Sony has announced, now, in 2015, this year, that they will stop producing Betamax video tapes. In a statement, Sony said, “This will make the final shipment of all our memory media for Betamax.” Which we can only infer to mean they were still making them during the entire time period of DVDs, TiVo, Netflix, Blu-rays, and that somehow they weren’t discontinued during the last century.
Betamax, and obviously the similar technology it ultimately lost to, VHS, was a big deal a long time ago, and our current love of being able to watch what we want when we want will forever be indebted to them, but this is truly bizarre finding out that Sony had still been producing them for this long.
Just as weird is that Sony apparently has not made a Betamax video recorder since 2002, yet kept pumping out these tapes.
I’m stunned when friends tell me they still buy DVDs instead of Blu-rays, so who exactly has made up the market for Betamax videos over the last twenty years? Did Sony just kind of forget to tell Tom down in production to not bother with them anymore, so he kept making them? Is one guy in Wisconsin just a really loyal customer who prefers his technology ’70s style? Do we need Congress to look into why they were still making them? Was it a cover for something much more sinister? This doesn’t make any sense.
Whatever the reason, Betamax lived a good, long life of over four decades…which just happened to be about two more decades than anybody realized or needed.
Do you remember having a Betamax when you were little? If so, tell us in the comments below. If you’ve never heard of Betamax prior to this article, please pretend we aren’t the oldest.