Due to shrinking demand, Sony will cease production of MiniDisc Walkman devices this coming September, Nikkei reported today. This marks yet another blow to the dying format, which experienced a roller-coaster ride of popularity during its 20-year lifetime.
During MiniDisc's introduction at CES 1991, Norio Ohga, Sony's president and CEO at the time, boasted that "the success and benefits of CD and analog compact cassette led to a new need--a need based on satisfaction with CD's wonderful sound, durability, and quick random access, and a need based on the portability, recordability, and shock resistance of the analog cassette. It is a need for MiniDisc."
A need, indeed. After launching the first MD products in 1992, Sony would go on to sell more than 22 million MiniDisc devices (as of March 2011), with millions more sold by other companies that licensed the technology, including big names such as Sharp, Kenwood, Panasonic, and others. … Read more