Official End Of The Sony MiniDisc
Sony announced last September that it was ceasing production on disc-based players and now the Japanese firm is coming to the end of its stock. The MZ1 MiniDisc player device was the first of its kind back in 1992 but the stocks have struggled to sell since the beginning.
When the player launched, aimed at teenagers, Sony failed to realise that with a £463 price tag, CD and cassette players were still the cheaper and more attractive option for many young adults. Phillips were also preparing the Digital Compact Cassette at the same time, and when consumers warmed to neither, the MiniDisc sold just 50,000 in its first year before retreating until the late 90s.
Sony released the MiniDisc again in 1998 declaring that it would be ‘the year of the MiniDisc’, pricing it at the slightly more reasonable £154. A huge campaign ensued, only to be beaten down by, of course, Apple’s iPod in 2001. These, alongside recordable CDs, which enabled the user to create a ‘mixtape’, put the final nails in both the cassette and MiniDisc coffins.
Sony discontinued its revolutionary Walkman cassette players some years ago and will ship out its final batch of tape recorder devices early this year. Although the move marks the end of MiniDisc distribution, companies such as Onkyo will reportedly continue to make similar hardware for the time being.