Coke or Pepsi? Star Wars or Star Trek? M&Ms or Reese’s Pieces?

The 80s were full of competitors duking it out for market superiority.

And then there was Betamax vs. VHS.

Or (more to the point) Sony vs. JVC and the rest of the world.

At the dawn of our favorite decade, we had both to choose from. And both (not unlike, say, McDonald’s and Burger King) claimed to have the better product.

So how did it all come crashing down?

Some say Sony’s ego, some say JVC’s shrewd market sense. We say a little of both.

Sony had everything wrapped up– a better picture with brighter colors in a more compact tape. But they decided to keep the technology to themselves.

JVC, meanwhile, played nice and decided to share… distributing their technology to almost every other hardware maker (Zenith, Panasonic, etc.) so they could all make VHS VCRs.

And the rest is history.

By 1988, Sony had essentially given up and began making their own VHS machines, and the Betamax tape, for all intents and purposes, was dead in the consumer market. Oh those 80s– they can be a cruel, cruel mistress.

The Betamax is dead. Long live the Betamax.

We ♥ Betamax.

~ by weheart80s on November 11, 2011.

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