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Sony Launches 32GB Memory Stick PRO Duo

Gordon Kelly


Sony Launches 32GB Memory Stick PRO Duo

This is one of those stories where the headline seems to say it all... but not entirely.

Yes, Sony has announced its largest Memory Stick PRO Duo to date, doubling its previous high (as is the way with flash memory) to a sizeable 32GB. It joins the Memory Stick PRO-HG Duo in hitting this capacity.

Sony is pushing this card towards its Handycam line of camcorders where it claims 225 minutes of Full HD (1920 x 1080, 1080p) High Definition footage can be crammed aboard. You'll get around 450 minutes at 720p - a figure worth considering given the increasingly large number of HD video capable compact cameras these days.

Behind this celebratory stance from Sony, however, is something a little darker. These days Sony is trying much harder to embrace universal formats. Sony Ericsson, for example, has already signed up to the universal charger alliance to adopt microUSB and new handsets will drop M2 in favour of microSD, as we exclusively revealed in June.

Consequently, it has to be asked how long the Memory Stick brand itself may last. Sony only has itself to blame as well having created a mind numbing mess of formats including Memory Stick, Memory Stick PRO, Memory Stick Duo, Memory Stick PRO Duo, Memory Stick Micro (M2) and Memory Stick PRO-HG Duo. All of which retail for more than their SD equivalents.

So the 32GB Memory Stick PRO Duo should be handy for existing Cybershot and Cybershot owners (check your device is compatible up to this size). On the other hand, those in the market for a new camcorder or camera would do well to hold back before committing to this seemingly doomed family of flash memory cards.


via TechCrunch


August 24, 2009, 12:52 pm

The number of formats is the price of progress and the Memory Stick is not guilty alone as far as this is concerned - MMC, SD, SDHC, SDXC, Mini SD, Mini SDHC, Micro SD (Transflash), Micro SDHC, and even SDIO - phew! All acceptable in my book with the benefits each itteration has brought, as long as backward compatibility is maintained.

When the Memory Stick was first launched it was a desirable alternative to the SmartMedia and MMC cards (leaving aside the premium cost).

As always, where Sony fell down with the Memory Stick was with its premium pricing and its proprietary nature, which in the days when the cost of cards was significant, even swayed me away from Sony products, as I'd already invested in more universal memory cards. (I'm sure I'm not alone in this).

It's funny how proprietary and premium cost go hand in hand in Sony's book. Let's hope Sony have finally learnt their lesson.


August 24, 2009, 5:16 pm

You could argue that the Blu-ray specification was also proprietary, and that's worked out quite nicely for them...


August 24, 2009, 6:02 pm

Blu-ray is different. There is only room for 1 format for a device that is a vehicle for playing 3rd party content. The battle of Blu-ray v HD-DVD was won based on which side the (large and very influential) 3rd party content providers sided with.

Using a proprietary memory card is fine. Until it becomes an integral part of your digital life, and you find you're wanting to plug it into your digital photo-frame / your TV / upload it on a laptop in the field etc. At that point you have to jump on the SD bandwagon, and it will influence your future choice of purchasing kit.

Nick Hustak

August 25, 2009, 7:46 am

I have avoided sony products due to the stupid memory stick that is has always cost more and has less space.

As far as blu-ray winning..well..depends on your point of view. It's pretty clear at this point Microsoft never intended HD-DVD to be the winner - if it won, cool, but the point was to delay Blu-ray adoption until the on demand service could get going.

In that respect, I'd say it's worked out pretty nicely for M$ - NetFlix for example. Microsoft has outsold the PS3 and made much more headway into making it a media center for the home. Bluray is still struggling - the average joe has a dvd player that he bought for $30 and buys DVDs for $8. He isn't going to pay $250 for a player and then $30 for movies. And replace his TV.

Sony should have LONG ago dumped the memory stick BS. They have a long history of trying every which way to lock in their customers. Blu-ray is the only time they have 'won' and it was a questionable win at best - adoption rate, if you throw out the PS3, is pretty low - it's still low WITH the PS3s. Personally I won't bother until the costs of the BDVDs comes down to something reasonable - and even then it will be few and far between. DVDs are simply 'good enough' for most people.

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