Inside Move: Bye-bye, Beta

Sony's also-ran format ends its 27-year run

In one of the week’s more astonishing announcements, Sony said it would stop making Betamax VCRs so it can concentrate on digital video and other products that people actually buy.

It’s astonishing because Betamax never came close to beating its VHS competition in a 27-year battle largely finished, oh, about 23 years ago. In fact, most consumers (quite a few of them born since the battle first was joined) probably didn’t even realize Betamax machines were still being made.

Sony says it sold about 2,800 of the machines last year, and plans to make just 2,000 more before getting out of the business.

Let no plug be pulled before its time.

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