Revolutionary for its day, the Betamax format was on its way to becoming the industry standard until the appearance of JVC’s VHS a year later. Betamax was probably a bit sharper and crisper, but VHS offered longer-playing ability, which made it possible to record an entire movie on one three-hour tape. The two formats were locked in a struggle that was eventually won by VHS.
It was a titanic struggle, too, keiretsu vs. keiretsu. According to Media College, the teams lined up thusly: On the Betamax side were Sony, Toshiba, Sanyo, NEC, Aiwa, and Pioneer. On the VHS side were JVC, Matsushita (Panasonic), Hitachi, Mitsubishi, Sharp, and Akai. As we know, VHS won, and the last Betamax was made in 2002.