The Beginning of the End of Memory Stick? Hope So!

By  |  Wednesday, January 6, 2010 at 12:46 pm

In the great scheme of this, this is minor CES news indeed, but I kinda like it: Sony is releasing a line of SD and MicroSD memory cards. If it were any other company, I wouldn’t be writing this post, but we’re talking Sony–the company behind the venerable, eternally annoying, rather pricey, confusingly named, incompatible-with-the-rest-of-the-world Memory Stick format.

Sony, of course, would argue that Memory Stick is an argument in favor of buying its products. I’ve always found it a reason to decide against buying them–even though many of the products that take Memory Sticks, such as scads of Sony’s cameras, have been otherwise otherwise nifty. (I do admit to having a couple of them around somewhere, though–the one time I willingly used them was when I owned a Sony Clie PDA eons ago.)

Sony’s press release about the new SD cards stresses that Memory Stick is still a fabulous format and owners of Sony products should be grateful they have it. And I suspect that nobody within Sony even wants to deal with the possibility that its entry into SD is a first step towards winding down Memory Stick. I’d love to think that it might be, though. Anyone out there want to make the case for keeping the format, other than placating long-time Sony customers who have lots of cards stuffed in desk drawers?



9 Comments For This Post

  1. docpark Says:

    Sony is the graveyard of media formats.

  2. Bryan Says:

    Memory Sticks arn’t bad, it just sucks when you have to use a different format of flash cards for different brands of products.

    It would be nice to have just one, and its nice that Sony realizes that SD is more widely used.

  3. heulenwolf Says:

    No argument here. Historically, memory sticks often added 25% to 50% to the price of a Sony consumer camera. It was like a hidden Sony tax on top of the usual Sony tax on their products. I never saw any practical advantage of them over SD cards beyond that they got smaller a few months ahead of SD. The list of modifiers on their product names (Magicgate? Pro? Duo? Pro Duo?) became extremely confusing, as well, making it hard to be sure you if you were buying an adapter that was compatible. Then Sandisk came out with competing Memory Sticks at ~1/2 the price but consumers always wondered whether they worked as well as Sony’s. Information on them was so scarce and salespeople always claimed Sony’s were better. Even at 1/2 price, they were still more expensive than SD cards of the same capacity.

  4. Dixon Marshall Says:

    Those !#@%$ memory sticks for my Wife’s Sony camera cost twice as much per gigabyte as the Compact Flash cards that I use in my Canon pro equipment.

    Sony has a history of proprietary formats. Remember Beta recorders? They try to trap you into buying all of the aftermarket accessories from them.

    I think the only format “win” that they have ever had was Blu-Ray over HD-DVD, and my Blu-Ray writer is more fickle than any old floppy drive that I’ve ever had. Blu-Ray disks make for some very expensive coasters!


  5. Bouke Timbermont Says:

    Memory stick is the single PITA that keeps me from buying Sony cameras, so I would be thrilled if they dropped it… Let’s wait what happens 🙂

  6. Tech Says:

    The Sony memory stick never really caught on anyway. There’s too many better options.

  7. Esteban Says:

    Last time I went camera shopping, the Memory Stick was one of the deciding factors in my purchase. Given similar models from Samsung and Sony, I went with the Samsung because it took SD cards like most other cameras.

  8. (+_+) Says:

    open-free universal standards.

  9. Gerry Says:

    As the owner of an elderly, but wonderful Olympus camera I will never buy a proprietary memory product. A year after I bought the camera they abandoned their memory card. Try replacing a worn out or replacing a lost card 9 years later. I also put Olympus on my never buy again list. Anything.