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How Sony's Betamax Lost to JVC's VHS Cassette Recorder


Justin

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How Sony's Betamax lost to JVC's VHS Cassette Recorder

 

 

 

A wonderful 3 minute dissertation on the success of VHS over Beta by one of my favorite people on YouTube, Bill Hammack the Engineer Guy. His ultimate conclusion is that "For any mass manufactured object, the winner is usually the one that is just good enough." I think that rule has also applied to many video game and computer products that we have seen come and go over the course of time.

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A bit on cost, but the reality was the porn industry chose VHS

 

 

That's very true Alamo, and I wish he had touched on this because the reason the porn industry chose VHS has much to do with the 1st and 2nd reasons Engineer Guy proposes in his video. The versatility of the VHS 2+ hour video cassettes made the format more appealing to that industry. JVC's ability to foster relationships with the video rental industry certainly helped them get headway in the porn industry as well. It was a game changer once people knew they could rent porn movies and watch them in the comfort of their own home.

 

Just ask Doctor Octagon.  :Nolan_Bushnell:

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The longer recording time and housewives recording daily Soaps and husband recording sports were also factors. 

That said I was championing for the BETA format, my first deck ever was a Zenith (Yes ZENITH) Betamax machine, by god that thing was excellent. Of course I had opened her up noticing the guts mostly were labeled SONY but the re-branding was nice as well. I was quite disappointed with VHS format eventual win of the war. 

I am Rob aka MaximumRD aka OldSchoolRetroGamer and THIS is my world http://about.me/maximumrd

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His ultimate conclusion is that "For any mass manufactured object, the winner is usually the one that is just good enough." I think that rule has also applied to many video game and computer products that we have seen come and go over the course of time.

 

Very interesting thought on the video game end, I would say that applied most to the monochrome Game Boy whose lower price and large library beat the Game Gear and powerful Lynx (you could add the Turbo Express as well). You could also make the case that Atari beat the Intellivision for the same reason. And the same goes for the NES curb stomping the technically superior Master System. (But getting a stranglehold on 3rd parties was vital)

 

Would the DS beating the PSP and 3DS beating the Vita count? In a way they are technically lesser, but they had innovation in their design with dual screens. In this case and many others in gaming, I think marketing plays a huge factor (just look at the Master System in Europe), especially since the audience skews younger.

 

Genesis was the early winner in the 16 bit war due to marketing. In the end the SNES come out on top with a big assist from Street Fighter 2.

 

The PS1 won with a lower price and third party relations.

 

And the PS2 won with the ability to play DVDs.

 

But as time went on and even today, I find it harder and harder to tell the difference between Playstation and Xbox.

The No Swear Gamer on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UChtJuo040EOCTVziObIgVcg

Host of The Atari 7800 Game by Game Podcast on iTunes, Stitcher and YouTube

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Very interesting thought on the video game end, I would say that applied most to the monochrome Game Boy whose lower price and large library beat the Game Gear and powerful Lynx (you could add the Turbo Express as well). You could also make the case that Atari beat the Intellivision for the same reason. And the same goes for the NES curb stomping the technically superior Master System. (But getting a stranglehold on 3rd parties was vital)

 

Would the DS beating the PSP and 3DS beating the Vita count? In a way they are technically lesser, but they had innovation in their design with dual screens. In this case and many others in gaming, I think marketing plays a huge factor (just look at the Master System in Europe), especially since the audience skews younger.

 

Genesis was the early winner in the 16 bit war due to marketing. In the end the SNES come out on top with a big assist from Street Fighter 2.

 

The PS1 won with a lower price and third party relations.

 

And the PS2 won with the ability to play DVDs.

 

But as time went on and even today, I find it harder and harder to tell the difference between Playstation and Xbox.

Excellent analysis here in relation to video games.  But don't forget the impact of "killer software".  Space Invaders sold millions of Atari VCS's.  No one could touch the NES once SMB was released. 

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