As you should know, the ‘80s are (still!) back—if you haven’t caught Stranger Things on Netflix yet, it’s totally boss—but one of the decade’s iconic devices is soon to be no more.
That’s right: “Japan’s Funai Electronics, which makes its own electronics, in addition to supplying companies like Sanyo, will produce the last batch of VCR units by July 30,” Quartz glumly observed. “Excluding hardcore fans, demand for VCRs is virtually nonexistent.”
Cold comfort that the VCR has outlived its nemesis, the Betamax player, which ignominiously folded back in 2002. Bizarrely, the last Betamax tape rolled off the production line in November of last year—and to make matters even more twisted and poignant, “Betamax kind of lives on: Betamax was the basis for Betacam, which is still used in broadcasting,” as Ars Technica mused.
All told, the once-ubiquitous home entertainment staples have met a suitably ‘80s end, steeped in nihilistic irony. They’ll will meet the scrap heap of history as the older vintage gadgets they helped replace enjoy a trendy, artisanal renaissance. Vinyl lives as the VCR dies? It’s enough to send notorious videocassette and hi-fi stereo system enthusiast Patrick Bateman over the edge.
Fear not, though. If you really need a new player for the Skinemax home movies taped over your—I mean, your much older sibling’s—old middle school graduation ceremonies, that sweet secondary VCR market should be going strong for at least a year or two. Technological progress giveth and taketh away, but internet gratification is for always.