CES 2010: The company will begin supporting and selling SD cards as an alternative.
Sony has all but admitted defeat in the portable storage market, announcing that it will begin manufacturing SD and SDHC cards and integrating options to use them into many of its devices.
Sony has supported the Memory Stick format and its variants since launching in 1998, promoting it via its Cyber-shot cameras, Vaio laptops and the PlayStation Portable. However, SD and its successors such as SDHDC, along with USB-based flash storage, have come to dominate the market for portable storage.
Sony Electronics president Stan Glasgow announced the shift as an aside during the company's CES press conference in Las Vegas. "It's all about providing consumers with choice," he said.
As well as manufacturing its own SD and SDHC cards, Sony will also begin adding SD storage options to some of its products. The first devices to see that shift will be its digital imaging range of Handycam and Cyber-shot cameras
Glasgow was at pains to emphasise that Sony wasn't abandoning Memory Stick entirely. "We will continue to enhance the MemoryStick format," he said. Given a choice, however, it's hard to imagine many consumers opting for the Memory Stick version of a device over the SD alternative.