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Home > Learn More > Tech > The History of Sony

The History of Sony

Whether you have owned or used TV’s, radios, mp3 players or the like, the odds are high that you have come across a Sony product. They are one of the biggest technology companies wordwide with a history spanning decades. Most notably, Sony has created their own in-house standards for new storage and recording technologies instead of copying the standards of other manufactures. Perhaps the most infamous example of this was the videotape format war of the early 80’s.  It began when Sony brought out the Betamax system for VCR’s to counter JVC’s VHS format.  Unfortunately, VHS won that battle and Betamax soon became a thing of the past. However, Sony learned a great deal from this incident, and went on to produce the Betacam format that is still widely used even today, especially in the television and filming industry.

In 1968 Sony improved upon its line of aperture grill, cathode, ray tube televisions by adding the Trinitron brand name. Later this even included computer monitors. Trinitron is still produced today, but only for such markets as Bangladesh, Pakistan, and China.  In the USA, the last Trinitron-based television sets were discontinued by Sony in the spring of 2007. In 1975, Sony followed up its Trinitron success with the Betamax format for videocassette recording. Even though Betamax became completely obsolete soon after its inception, it still plays an important role in Sony history and the development of videocassette recording as we know it today.

In 1979 Sony broke new ground with the world’s first portable personal music player, known as the Walkman. The walkman revolutionized the way that consumer’s listen to music and spawned a wave of imitators in the months and years following. After the videotape format war, Sony launched the previously mentioned Betacam format, as well as he Compact Disc format, which was another revolutionary product in its own right. Soon, Sony began to delve into the personal computer industry, introducing the first 90 mm micro diskettes, which were better known as 3.5 floppy disks. Sony enjoyed great success with this product and their format became dominant for several years, gradually being phased out as newer media formats were developed and introduced.
Soon after the introduction of the Compact Disc, Sony launched the Discman series, which extended the portable walkman brand to include portable CD products. By 1985, the company was beginning to launch their Handycam products along with the Video8 format, which allowed consumers greater access to personal camcorders.

The products and revolutionary inventions that have come from Sony are absolutely mind boggling and incorporates into nearly every product or technology that we use today. Many more products would be introduced throughout the next several years that would continue to expand and shape the market. For example, 1994 saw the launch of the Sony PlayStation, which was a wildly successful personal gaming console that was succeeded by the Playstation 2 and then the Playstation 3. It became the most successful personal gaming console of all time, selling more than 140 million units to date and still going strong.

It is easy to see that Sony continues to release new products and improve upon existing technologies, and that is why they are the #1 consumer technology company out there. Their success has been based upon not only their innovative techniques and products, but also their attention to detail and their unwavering business sense.
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