It appears that Panasonic is abandoning plasma panel production for good. According to Japan's Nikkei business outlet—and reported by Engadget—the company will not produce any more plasma televisions after the end of the company's current fiscal year, which ends in March 2014.
Panasonic's VT60 plasma was very highly rated, but there will be no sequel
About six months ago, Panasonic denied it was exiting the plasma business. The official word from the company was that plasma production would continue, even if R&D on new panels would not. The company's 2013 plasma models were among the all-time best-reviewed HDTVs, finally achieving (or beating) the image quality benchmark set by Pioneer's defunct Kuro line.
"Sales will then continue until inventory runs out. The paper states that Panasonic has suffered losses exceeding 750 billion yen through fiscal 2012 thanks to the waning product line and is in talks to transfer tenancy rights or sell off its remaining plasma factory." source: Engadget
It looks like the curse of the Kuro has struck again; when a plasma panel's image quality gets too close to perfect, the whole line gets cancelled—and now the future truly belongs to LCD and OLED. I am curious how long Samsung and LG will continue building and selling plasma HDTVS, considering this development.
Update: Reuters has an article that is now cited by numerous national publications as a primary source for this news.
Edited by imagic - 10/19/13 at 7:37am