JAPAN: Sony to kill off the MiniDisc Walkman

Reports are emerging from Japan that Sony is to kill off the MiniDisc Walkman this September.

Japanese business daily The Nikkei is reporting that production could end as early as the autumn. It follows Sony's decision to end production of its cassette Walkmans last year.

The first MiniDisc Walkman, the MZ1, appeared in Japan in 1992 – 13 years after the arrival of the cassette Walkman.

But the MiniDisc got into a format battle with Philips's rival DCC (Digital Compact Cassette), and neither format really took off. The arrival of MP3 players, and in particular the iPod, revolutionised the portable music player market.

By March of this year, Sony had sold 22 million MiniDisc Walkmans in total. Apple sells more iPods than that in a single year.

Sony says it will continue producing the discs themselves after September, and will also continue to manufacture CD Walkmans.

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Andy Clough

Andy is Global Brand Director of What Hi-Fi? and has been a technology journalist for 30 years. During that time he has covered everything from VHS and Betamax, MiniDisc and DCC to CDi, Laserdisc and 3D TV, and any number of other formats that have come and gone. He loves nothing better than a good old format war. Andy edited several hi-fi and home cinema magazines before relaunching whathifi.com in 2008 and helping turn it into the global success it is today. When not listening to music or watching TV, he spends far too much of his time reading about cars he can't afford to buy.