This week, we learned of an interesting story that is on the same strange level as that of Brazil arriving late to the PS2 party. Panasonic has announced that it has stopped producing VCRs in Japan. I had no clue they were still making them, but it is assuring to hear they have halted production of their antiquated effort. I suppose the realization of video content being streamed over the Internet or being stored on a DVR device has finally hit them. There aren't many places that even source the blank tapes anymore.
It should be noted that they have stopped production on the tape-playing machines in the domestic market at the end of 2011. Until inventory depletes, sales will continue on VCRs in Japan. However, Panasonic still does manufacture VCRs in China and Slovakia and they do still have plans to sell VCRs in other smaller countries, depending on the market environment.
This now puts the VCR to rest just like the Walkman and the 8-track. JVC had stopped production of the VCR back in 2006 and stopped selling them altogether shortly thereafter. Panasonic has not released sales numbers for their VCRs, and the Japan Electronics and Information Technology Industries Association (JEITIA) doesn't even track shipments of the devices, although it does track the car stereo cassette deck sales.
In the end, though, the VCR is now deceased. Rewind In Peace 1977-2012.