Well, in case you hadn’t been able to decide between VHS and Betamax for the last 40 years, the decision has now officially been made for you. Sony announced this week it will stop producing Betamax tapes–about 13 years after it ceased making the recorders and players to actually use them.
It’s a strange move. Not stopping production, but waiting two decades past the product’s best-before date to do it. For those younger than 25, we used to watch movies on tapes, which were like primitive DVDs in that you still had to put an object into another machine to play a film. Streaming was just something you did with toilet paper on Halloween.
Betamax fought the good, if ill-advised, fight for much longer than anyone expected, knew, or cared about. So let us nod our heads in mutual respect and confusion, and honor its memory by reliving those halcyon days of being kind to rewind with these vintage Betamax ads in the slideshow above.