From the largest video screens, designed for stadiums, to special discs for PlayStation and Walkman devices, the history of the Sony brand includes numerous product attempts, some successful, others less popular. Find out in this article what are some of the innovations brought by this company in the field of electronic products.
Sony's history has known many peak moments, with products that have conquered the market in an incredible way, but also resounding failures, the only constant seeming to be the determination to always go forward, testing new and innovative concepts. Here are some of the projects that have marked the evolution of the company over time.
Launched on May 10, 1975 in Japan and hit the US market in November of that year, Betamax was one of the video recording systems produced under the Sony brand. The SL-800 model developed in 1977 offered the possibility to record up to 2 hours of video material. The versions launched by VSH, the company's main competitor, instead provided a recording time of up to 4, 6 or even 8 hours.
Although Betamax offered better video and audio playback quality and was the first to enter the market, the VSH product soon gained much more popularity due to the lower price and larger storage space offered by a single tape. Despite its superior performance, Betamax was therefore a failure on Sony's product list.
Sony is the company that created the CDs, the most popular information storage media, used by millions of people to save personal or professional data. Tacted by many companies and many professionals, the concept of compact disc was finally defined in 1980 when Sony and Philips laid the foundations of the "Red Book" standard that characterizes these products as 120mm diameter discs that can store music. at a resolution of 16bit / 44.1 kHz, parameters still considered optimal today.
The CD began to be available to the public in 1983, the first model sold being the Sony CDP-101, launched in Japan in October 1982 and arrived in the US in 1983, sales exploding in the following years. Its popularity was encouraged by the use of this medium for storing the albums of some of the most famous musicians of the period. By the end of 1988, the CD had surpassed vinyl records in sales, and by 1991 it had surpassed audio tapes.
The Walkman is also one of Sony's most successful products. This is a portable media device that uses cassettes and was first marketed in 1979, being promoted under various names. Due to the popularity of the Walkman brand, since 1980 Sony has decided to use only this name, globally.
As an expression of the major influence that this device had on the culture of the following decades, we can tell you that the term Walkman entered the Oxford Dictionary in 1986 and became the partner of millions of people who practice different sports, from jogging and even aerobics or cycling. Also, following the launch of the Walkman, in 1983 the cassettes surpassed for the first time in sales volume vinyl records.
Blu-Ray is a data storage format on digital discs designed to overcome the technical advantages offered by the DVD format, by being able to save a few hours of video at high resolution of 720p and 1080p. It is most commonly used for the distribution of movies and video games, and the name comes from the blue color of the laser used to read the inscribed data.
The first prototype Blu-Ray disc was released in October 2000, and the first device capable of reading these media was marketed in 2003 in Japan. The product was further developed until its official launch on June 20, 2006, with HD DVDs and later VODs as the main competitors. Statistics show that in 2016, 44% of homes in America had a Blu-Ray device.
This product is one of the most interesting success stories of other Sony brands, reaching the generic name of all the large screens used in sports stadiums after it. The product was first developed in 1980 by Sony and Mitsubishi Electric, and by 1985 it had become a well-established brand.
Although the physical dimensions of these screens are remarkable, the resolution offered varies from small to medium. The versions launched by Sony offered a resolution of 350,000 pixels, comparable to the operating parameters offered by the TV screens of that period, but many of the models later made by other companies were less efficient in this regard.
Modern variants, with LED technology, exceed the resolution offered by the first Sony products, reaching up to 1920 x 1080pixels. The largest JumboTron is located in Canada and measures 10m high and 33.5m wide.
A more controversial product is the memory stick that Sony continues to use to provide storage space for some models of camcorders and TVs, although most competitors use SD or microSD cards, much smaller and cheaper. Unlike other products whose net superior quality justifies the higher price, in this case Sony can not justify maintaining this technical option or the cost difference of the products.
UMDs are discs specially designed to store movies and games for PlayStation systems. Being more expensive than standard DVDs and less adaptable, they did not enjoy much success, being among the Sony products that can not be considered a success for the company. Because movies and games continued to be generally stored on DVDs, the UMD format eventually ceased to be used.
However, Sony's portfolio is much more varied, including computers, video games, semiconductors, cameras, storage media, Sony speakers ( some comparative examples can be found here ) , medical technology and many other types of products that support personal and professional activities. day.