dumb things

Sony Is Selling a $700 Walkman For Whatever Reason

Truly an iPod killer.
"But at least I'm pretty!" (Photo: Sony/Screenshot)

“But at least I’m pretty!” (Photo: Sony/Screenshot)

With a massive $700 price tag, it’s hard to call Sony’s new Walkman a comeback. But apparently the groundbreaking gadget, which was praised for its affordability when it launched 35 years ago, has been revived in Japan.

The ZX1, as the high-end model is being called per the Wall Street Journal, sounds stupid. It’s not aimed at the mass market, but rather annoying audiophiles and/or Diplo. It also sounds impossible to use because it only works with a certain type of  “high-resolution audio” file that is better quality than something called a CD. It’s heavy because it’s crafted from pricey aluminum and holds 128 gigabytes of storage.

And, ugh, let’s not get started on that bonkers price for something that’s likely going to break within a year.

It sounds like a passion project with no real point: “The message for our designers and engineers was: please create a good product without worrying about the cost,” said Kenji Nakada, a product planner, to the newspaper.

Although Sony declined to give sales numbers, the company said that it’s a niche product so please stop bothering them about it. (Analysts estimate that “only several thousand” units have been sold in Japan since its December debut.) A launch date for American has not yet been set.

Hopefully the former Zune team doesn’t get any ideas.

Follow Jordan Valinsky on Twitter or via RSS. jvalinsky@observer.com