The Cassette Walkman Still Lives - I Was Worried There For a Moment

Ty Dunitz October 25 Hardware

Sony has announced that the cassette Walkman will be discontinued in Japan, having ended manufacturing in April. As we speak, the final stock is being sold out (and probably will continue to be for years).

But don’t fret just yet! North America is in no danger of going Walkman-less, and the 31-year-old portable music player will continue to be manufactured in China for the overseas market. Rest easy, buttercup, knowing that your ability to rock out shall continue unaffected.

But seriously, though, is this a thing? Did anyone here even know that the Walkman (in its cassette incarnation) was even still in existence? I mean, being an irritating hipster-ish purveyor of all things ironic, I myself am pretty stoked. But apparently, you can walk down to Best Buy and get one for 40 bucks. Yes, that’s right, 40 bucks. As in, 3 or 4 times the cost of a 1GB MP3 player.

How times change. The original cost $200 in 1979, if that makes you feel any better.

You’d probably ask why Sony would bother offering a many-times-outdated mode of technology for more than the low end of current gen, but frankly, I think Sony understands how nostalgia works, or has a great sense of humour, or both. Either way, I am honestly considering running out and getting a cassette player because of it.

Cheers, Sony, for refusing to let your legacy die. Y’know, except in Japan. Where it is now dead.

Written by Ty Dunitz

Ty is an illustrator who stays up too late, and has to wear glasses. You can follow him on Twitter if you want to (@glitchritual), but he's just gonna throw your stupid PR crap in the garbage, so don't email him.
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4 Comments »

 
#1
Chris
October 25th, 2010 at 11:14 pm

While shopping for a CD/MP3 player at the weekend for my daughter I was very surprised to find cassette players for sale – can you still buy cassettes? The Walkman is a design classic but I have to agree I thought it was relegated to museums and dusty attics. Good to hear it’s still limping along.

 
 
#2
JingFow
October 26th, 2010 at 6:26 am

LOL, nobody still actually uses cassettes do they?

 
 
#3
Geoff G.
October 26th, 2010 at 11:14 am

“As in, 3 or 4 times the cost of a 1GB MP3 player.”

A 1 Gb MP3 player is useless to you in you also need to spend $500 on a computer to which to connect it.

 
 
#4
John
October 27th, 2010 at 12:38 am

After retiring the floppy disk in March, Sony has halted the manufacture and distribution of another now-obsolete technology: the cassette Walkman, the first low-cost, portable music player.

 

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