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In news shocking only in that it reminded people that Sony is still making Betamax tapes, The Guardian reports that, as of March 2016, the Japanese electronics giant will cease production of Betamax video cassette tapes. First introduced commercially by Sony in 1975, despite having arguably superior picture quality Betamax ultimately lost the Great Home-Video Format Wars of the ’80s to lighter, cheaper, more durable VHS, an outcome frequently attributed to the porn industry’s embrace of the VHS format. Sony stopped making Betamax recorders in 2002, but has continued quietly churning out the cassettes; as of this writing, blank ones are still available on Amazon.com for $6.59 apiece. As for who’s buying the things, it’s presumably mostly media companies, who until recently used Betamax as the industry standard for tape backup.

Retro fetishization of Betamax is expected to begin sometime around next April.


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