Sony's 40th anniversary Walkman is a nostalgia cash grab

Shawn Knight

Posts: 13,084   +131
Staff member

Sony in observance of the 40th anniversary of its iconic portable music player is launching a retro edition of its modern Walkman.

The NW-A100TPS Walkman features a 40th anniversary logo on the rear panel and comes with a soft case and package that’s inspired by the original TPS-L2 Walkman. It doesn’t play cassette tapes, mind you, but has 16GB of onboard storage and uses Wi-Fi to connect t your favorite streaming service.

It also comes equipped with a small 3.6-inch touchscreen to help navigate the UI, supports Hi-Res audio and affords up to 26 hours of runtime on a single charge. It’s essentially a standalone Android-powered music player.

But considering modern phones already offer digital music playback (save for the Hi-Res support in most models), what incentive is Sony giving consumers to buy this?

I don't hate the effort, I just wish Sony had put more into it. It would look better if the chassis was actually molded to look like the original rather than having to use a soft case. If it actually had a cassette deck, well, that’d at least help differentiate it from your run-of-the-mill music players and smartphones although I understand why this legacy tech wasn't included. The price, however, is a bit puzzling.

The Sony NW-A100TPS will launch in November for approximately €440 / £400 (close to $500). No word yet on a US release.

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Vulcanproject

Posts: 1,333   +2,322
So hang on, it doesn't even LOOK like a walkman unless it's in the printed soft case? Wut!?

I would expect it to be a digital music player ok, but with much better specs than these and some cool gimmicks.

For example, why isn't it exactly like the original with a window that has working moving parts inside it that looks like a cassette spooling when you work the controls? It wouldn't exactly be difficult or expensive to do that.
 

Hardware Geek

Posts: 339   +357
So the 40th anniversary edition doesn't even play tapes. I can't imagine they couldn't have found a way to put one in it and, hell, maybe even the ability to convert to digital.

It still wouldn't be worth$ 500, but that would have been a cool feature to put in an "anniversary edition" device.
 

Kashim

Posts: 160   +148
There's a huge market for this... sadly!
Not at this price, no. If it was $50-100 then people would eat it up, but at $500 only the stupidest people will buy this. Everyone I know uses their phone to play music and no one wants to carry around an extra device just for music, certainly not this $500 monstrosity.

This will be about as successful as Sony's attempt to capitalize on nostalgia when they released the Playstation Mini. That flopped horribly, so you can expect this current attempt to get its price slashed repeatedly when nobody's buying it.
 

XtremeHammond

Posts: 128   +79
The only walkmans I'm nostalgic about are the minidisc ones.They had awesome design and the best sound quality among portables.
 

poohbear

Posts: 615   +522
I see alot of posters posting about how $500 is mental. Obviously, they're not targeting you. They're targeting Babyboomers who have cash to burn, and for some of those Babyboomers, who grew up with walkmans, $500 might be a drop in the bucket at this stage in their life where they have cash to burn.
 
$500 for 16 GB? Yeah, how about no.

That being said, if this was an Apple product, Techspot, as well as all the commenters, would be gushing over this thing. Calling it awesome and quickly rushing to purchase it.
 

StupidPeopleSuk

Posts: 40   +13
Hello, it''s 1980 calling, and we want ALL our original walkmans back, like, yesterday.....They are belong to us anyways :)

Sony must be providing some excellent quality drugs to their employees if they think this thing is even remotely worth anywhere near $500 with a paltry 16GB of memory.....my friggin phone has 512GB, and it only cost a few $$ moar......
 

Hardware Geek

Posts: 339   +357
Hello, it''s 1980 calling, and we want ALL our original walkmans back, like, yesterday.....They are belong to us anyways :)

Sony must be providing some excellent quality drugs to their employees if they think this thing is even remotely worth anywhere near $500 with a paltry 16GB of memory.....my friggin phone has 512GB, and it only cost a few $$ moar......
For $500 that thing better be stuffed full of excellent drugs to justify the price.
 

Underdog

Posts: 193   +108
I see alot of posters posting about how $500 is mental. Obviously, they're not targeting you. They're targeting Babyboomers who have cash to burn, and for some of those Babyboomers, who grew up with walkmans, $500 might be a drop in the bucket at this stage in their life where they have cash to burn.
I'm a babyboomer myself and I certainly don't have cash to burn. Even if I did I wouldn't buy this thing. I would spend a fraction of that on a genuine refurbished original that would actually play my cassette tapes. When I noticed the prices some people are asking for tapes on ebay I dug out my old collection of pre-recorded tapes and ones that I did myself from vinyl. They still sound great. Products from an age where durability was more important than being the latest new disposable trinket.