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SONY ANNOUNCES U.S. AVAILABILITY OF FIRST MINIDISC MODELS; ELECTRONICS, MUSIC AND MEDIA MANUFACTURERS POISED TO SUPPORT LAUNCH

 SONY ANNOUNCES U.S. AVAILABILITY OF FIRST MINIDISC MODELS;


ELECTRONICS, MUSIC AND MEDIA MANUFACTURERS POISED TO SUPPORT LAUNCH
 PARK RIDGE, N.J., Sept. 10 /PRNewswire/ -- Sony Corporation (NYSE: SNE) ushered in a new era of personal entertainment today with the U.S. announcement of three products based on the new MiniDisc(MD) digital audio format.
 Two MD Walkman(TM) personal stereo models will go on sale in early December with the anticipated passage of the Audio Home Recording Act. A car stereo player will follow in early 1993.
 The Minidisc format will come to the U.S. with international support from a large roster of consumer electronics companies, music labels and recording media manufacturers.
 "Our ability to bring MiniDisc to market on schedule was made possible with the support of Sony's worldwide hardware and software organization, and through the cooperation of our global MD licenses," said Ron Sommer, president, Sony Corporation of America. "We believe that MiniDisc will quickly establish itself as the state of the art in personal music entertainment."
 Concurrent with the hardware launch will be the availability of hundreds of music titles from several top labels and recordable discs from leading manufacturers. A number of consumer electronics companies are also expected to introduce MD hardware in the months ahead.
 "The timing is right for MD," said Michael P. Schulhof, vice chairman, Sony USA. "Minidisc is a product that will benefit consumers, who have indicated a strong preference for optical technologies, as well as electronics companies and record companies."
 Sony developed the MiniDisc system primarily for personal and mobile entertainment. It is the first fully recordable and erasable optical disc format for consumers, providing up to 74 minutes of digital audio on a 2.5-inch optical disc. Sony is targeting music enthusiasts seeking high quality digital audio in a small, recordable, portable, shock- resistant product.
 "In 1979, Sony revolutionized portable music listening with the Walkman(R) personal stereo. Ten years ago, we created a revolution in sound quality with the compact disc. With today's MiniDisc introduction, we satisfy a new consumer need," said John Briesch, president, Consumer Products Group of Sony Corporation of America. "It's a need for a portable product that combines the digital sound quality and quick random access of the compact disc with the shock resistance and recording capability of conventional cassettes."
 Hardware Lineup:
 The initial three-model MD lineup includes a portable recorder/player, a personal player-only model, and an in-dash AM/FM car stereo player with CD changer control.
 MZ-1 Portable Recorder/Player -- offers numerous recording features such as Auto-Track numbering, automatic storing of both the time and date of recording, a title function for creating custom titles for any disc or track recorded, plus the ability to automatically locate remaining blank disc space for quick recording.
 Direct Access(TM) 10-key operation is also provided, along with a two-line, 12-character, back-lit LCD that displays key functions as well as disc title and artist name. A stereo microphone jack with built-in power supply is also included.
 The MZ-1 operates on three different power sources -- rechargeable battery, AC adaptor and car battery -- and comes complete with headphones, AC adaptor, carrying case, patch cords and a rechargeable battery, for a suggested retail price of $749.95
 MZ-2P Portable Player -- incorporates a variety of playback options, including Repeat Play, Shuffle Play and random programmability. An exclusive Shuttle Ring also allows instant access to individual selections, along with one-touch and review operation.
 To enhance bass response, a bass boost circuit is also provided, along with a back-lit LCD for displaying key functions as well as disc and track titles.
 The MZ-2P also operates on three power sources and comes complete with headphones, AC adaptor, carrying case, patch cords and rechargeable battery, for a suggested retail price of $549.95.
 MDX-U1 Car Stereo Player -- is an in-dash DIN-sized receiver player, complete with built-in AM/FM stereo tuner with diversity reception, plus DiscJockey(R) CD Changer Controller.
 A dual illuminated 12-character dot matrix display offers a choice of either MiniDisc Track and time information, or MiniDisc title and artist name scrolling. The display also shows CD Custom File title information received via the built-in UniLink(TM) DiscJockey CD changer controller.
 The MDX-U1 provides a full range of playback options, including Intro Scan, Repeat Play, Program Bank and three-mode Shuffle Play. It comes complete with an anti-theft detachable faceplate and wireless Remote Commander(R) control unit, for a suggested retail price of $979.95.
 All three MD units feature an Electronic Shock Protection (ESP) system that provides outstanding shock resistance -- up to ten seconds of music are placed in the system's buffer memory -- making listening to music on the go more pleasurable than ever before.
 MD Prerecorded Music:
 A number of the industry's leading music labels have already announced their support for the new MiniDisc format. Approximately 300 MD titles, from current chart hits to enduring favorites from every genre of music, will be available during the launch phase. The labels include Angel, Atlantic, Blue Note, Capitol, Chrysalis, Columbia, DefJam, Denon, DMP, Elektra, EMI, Liberty, Nonesuch, Rykodisc, SBK, Sony Broadway, Sony Classical, Virgin, Word and Warner Brothers/Reprise labels and music groups.
 "We are pleased to make our artists' music available on MiniDisc, which represents the next step forward in transportable, portable music entertainment for the music industry and the consumer," said Thomas C. Mottola, president, Sony Music. "Now, because of the portability of MiniDisc, music lovers everywhere can bring their favorite music with them anywhere and hear amazing sound."
 Popular artists such as Michael Bolton, Garth Brooks, Mariah Carey, Eric Clapton, Natalie Cole, Harry Connick Jr., En Vogue, Gloria Estefan, Michael Jackson, Billy Joel, George Michael, R.E.M., Bruce Springsteen, Luther Vandross, Wilson Phillips, and others will be available immediately in this new format.
 At introduction prerecorded MiniDiscs will be manufactured at the Digital Audio Disc Corporation (DADC), a Sony Music subsidiary in Terre Haute, Indiana. Globally, DADC Austria, and Sony Music and Denon in Japan, will also produce prerecorded MDs.
 MiniDisc software will be merchandised in a unique plastic package similar to a CD jewel box, but smaller with rounded edges and a high- tech look.
 Recordable MD:
 Andrew Mougis, senior vice president, Sony Recording Media of America, attributes this early support to the technology's inherent advantages. "Recording enthusiasts are always interested in technological advancements," Mougis said. "MD offers virtually unlimited re-recordability, quick random access and unsurpassed durability, as well as great digital sound. In our effort to provide consumers with recordable media for specific application, we expect MD to complement and strengthen our existing product line."
 To coincide with December's hardware introduction, 60-minute recordable MiniDiscs (MDW-60) will be available from Sony Recording Media of America at a suggested retail price of $13.99. A 74-minute- length recordable MiniDisc, the MDW-74, will be available in the spring.
 Industry Expectations:
 MiniDisc is expected to coexist with other digital music formats. In Sony's view, compact discs will remain as the hi-fidelity quality standard for home music enjoyment. Digital Audio Tape (DAT), with its superb record/playback capability, will continue to be the digital format of choice among the most discriminating recording enthusiasts.
 Accolades are coming form the music industry:
 "MD presents the consumer with the quality and convenience of CD, along with portability and recordability features," said Jim Fifield, president and CEO, EMI Music Worldwide. "The music fan will be very excited about this new optical carrier."
 Bob Krasnow, chairman, Elektra Entertainment, called MD the "best format since Thomas A. Edison."
 Adds George Michael, internationally renowned recording artist, writer and producer, "The sound is phenomenal -- it's the future and I want the first one!"
 Sony is projecting first year U.S. industry sales of MD recorders and players to exceed 70,000 units, doubling the initial year sales of the compact disc ten years ago.
 MINIDISC LICENSEES
 (As of September 10, 1992)
 Hardware:
 Aiwa Co., Ltd. Onkyo Corporation
 Akai Electric Co., Ltd Pioneer Electronic Corporation
 Alpine Electronic Inc. Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd
 Casio Computer Co., Ltd Sanyo Electric Co., Ltd.
 Clarion Co., Ltd Sharp Corporation
 Daewoo Electronics Co., Ltd Teac Corporation
 Fujitsu Ten Limited Thomson Consumer Electronics (A)
 Funai Electric Co., Ltd Brandt
 Goldstar Co., Ltd Ferguson
 Hitachi, Ltd. GE
 Kenwood Corporation Normende
 Lotte Electronics Corp. RCA
 Matsushita Electric Industrial SABA
 Nakamichi Corporation Telefunken
 Victor Company of Japan, Ltd
 Nippon Chemi-Con Corp. Yamaha Corporation
 Nippon Columbia Co. Ltd
 N.V. Philips' Gloeilampenfabrieken
 Pre-Recorded Disc Manufacturers:
 Nippon Columbia Co. Ltd. Sony Music Entertainment, Inc.
 N.V. Philips Gloeilampenfabrieken TDK Corporation
 Optrom, Inc. Toshiba-EMI Limited
 Reiner Pilz GmbH Victor Company of Japan Ltd.
 SKC Limited
 Recordable Media Manufacturers:
 Hitachi Maxwell, Ltd. Reiner Pilz GmbH
 Hoechst Aktiengescllschaft Seiko Epson Corporation
 Idemitsu Petrochemical Co. Ltd. TDK Corporation
 Kuraray Co., Ltd. SKC Corporation
 N.V. Philips' Gloeilampenfabrieken Victor Co. of Japan, Limited
 (A) Thomson Consumer Electronics brand names
 The MD licensing process has been ongoing since the MD technology announcement in May 1991. The number of Licensees now totals 38 companies with 46 licensing agreements -- 27 companies for hardware- related licenses, 9 for software (prerecorded software production and custom pressing) and 10 related to MD blank media.
 -0- 9/10/92
 /CONTACT: Rick Clancy of Sony Corporation, 201-930-6909/
 (SNE) CO: Sony Corporation ST: New Jersey IN: CPR SU:


TM -- NY011 -- 7788 09/10/92 00:31 EDT
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