I’m not sure what’s more surprising: The fact that Sony is bringing the production of cassette Walkmans to an end, or that they were even still in production.
Sony announced this past week that the 30-year era of the cassette Walkmans is coming to an end in Japan. The final shipments went out in April of this year to retailers, and once those are gone, that’s it for the technology that helped the company revolutionize portable music consumption.
All told Sony has sold 200,020,000 cassette versions of Walkman music players over the past three decades. While the devices will no longer be sold in Japan, they will continue to be produced for other parts of Asia and the Middle East where the cassette format is still in use. The brand name will also continue to be used by Sony for MD (Minidisc … yes, it’s still popular in Japan) players and MP3 devices.
It appears there is a lot of housecleaning going on at Sony lately as earlier this year the company brought an end to producing 3.5-inch floppy disks. You can only expect a company to support physical formats for so long, and considering the number of decades both of these had been kept around, even in spite of the fact that consumers don’t even think of them any more, Sony should probably be commended for its commitment.
But, really … they’re still making Minidisc players?
What say you? Did you ever own a cassette Walkman?