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January 2015 Retro Gaming Article

January 9, 2015 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

I'll upgrade my 80's Walkman after I pay off my Lamborghini smart phone #TheLavishSelfie

1980's Sony Walkman Hearing stories that Sony was introducing a new Walkman at CES brought back memories of my beloved cassette player. In the early 80's I rocked a variety of "hair bands" through those headphones on my way to the bowling alley with a pocket full of quarters reserved for Space Invaders.

Having upgraded to a Discman in the 90s, I was curious to find out what Sony's new Walkman would be in 2015. To my delight it's a high end audio device. With the recent surge in vinyl sales, I feared a portable cassingle-player was heading to market for nostalgia buffs across the globe.

Unlike some high end players of this ilk, the Sony ZX2 runs on Android - albeit Jelly Bean 4.2 from 2012 - and can run streaming apps.
Sony Walkman ZX2
I've marveled at the outrageous equipment owned by audiophiles. their expenditures make me wonder if I'm tone deaf or am simply missing the part of the brain that can distinguish music played on a Discman versus a high end audio setup. These grand devices do sound good, but for the price... too good for me.

Racing through life with a set of cheap headphones, I'm at a loss when it comes to those dulcet tones that audiophiles enjoy. Driving at 70 MPH with the windows down didn't provide me the calm atmosphere enjoyed by those installing expensive car stereos. I don't think I'm alone on this concept judging from all the 15-inch woofers rattling cheap aero effects glued onto even cheaper vehicles.

That isn't to say I can't appreciate the ZX2, I simply can't afford one. Hitting shelves at over $1,000, it's certainly a luxury device. However, it fills a niche of those who prefer uncompressed digital files. To accomodate the larger files, Sony's new Walkman has 128 GB of storage and is wifi capable with a 60-hour battery life.

Smart phones have become the repository for nearly everything from video games to music, so it's been a while since we saw enthusiasm for an iPod. Perhaps this high-end MP3 player will inspire folks to reexamine digital music with a new perspective. For me - I'm still fond of CDs and will cling to that format before releasing my favorite tunes into the "cloud".

Sony Walkman logo

The Lamborghini Smart Phone

As curious as we are to discover the reason for using an older OS on the ZX2 Walkman, along comes a smart phone from Lamborghini also running JB 4.2. The Lamborghini 88 Tauri is a $6,000 Android smart phone that doesn't seem to have any bells and whistles beyond bragging rights to a very exclusive piece of hardware - only 1,947 units are being produced.

Lamborghini 88 Tauri Assembled by hand, coded with a unique device number and finished in top-quality leather the guts of this device are similar to most Android phones on the market. Although the high impact steel case with leather accouterments is snazzy, I wish these types of devices had some tech to match.

Doesn't the person who chooses to own an 88 Tauri, deserve more than a fancy chasis? I think some ingenuity would better suite the super-car behind the brand. It certainly looks nice, but knowing it has no more functionality than the fare at Best Buy is discouraging.

From the Lamborghini Mobile site:
Use #TheLavishSelfie tag on Instagram to be selected on our Lavish Wall and become the protagonist of the most luxurious page in the world.

I'm satisfied with my old Discman and Galaxy Note. The lavish ZX2 and 88 Tauri aren't for me, but I can appreciate their place in the market. As a retro gamer, I guess I have a strong attachment to old things like my old Walkman and my first cell phone - a 3W Motorola bag-phone from NYNEX. I embrace the future while clinging to the past. It's my best of both worlds.

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