Sony CCD-VX1 (a.k.a. CCD-VX3) was the first (and the last?) handheld (as in, not shoulder-mount) 8-mm camcorder to have 3CCD sensor block. In 1995 Sony converted it from 8-mm to MiniDV, creating the VX1000. One would think that nothing prevented Sony from developing the VX1000 using the existing 8-mm format, after all Sony DID introduce Digital8 in 1999, but I suppose both the company priorities as well as agreements with 3rd parties could prevent this, like:
  • Sony had always dispelled the rumors that it was building a pro version of an 8-mm camcorder, and indeed, it has never did it. Sony did not want to hurt its Betacam business.
  • In 1985 or 1986, Ampex suggested converting 8-mm format to digital 50 Mbit/s 4:2:2 format, this would yield 20 minute recording on a 2-hour tape. Ampex did not have the manufacturing capabilities, so this went nowhere. Panasonic created DVCPRO50 ten years later as part of DV.
  • I've heard that the new cassette form-factor for DV was in part meant to not give Sony a lead in the development, a funny reason because the original 8-mm format was endorsed in 1982 by 127 companies, including Panasonic and JVC!
  • When Sony saw how the shoulder-mount V5000 and V6000 became popular with pro reporting teams, it axed these models, again not to hurt the Betacam line.
  • Same with MiniDV and with big DVCAM - these have never been as full-featured as Betacam machines.
Too bad, really. DV format comprises 4 cassette sizes, I do not believe that the 8-mm cassette could not be downsized to MiniDV size or upsized to DVCPRO size. It is all politics, it seems.

On another hand, the reason handheld Hi8 camcorders were used by reporters and news crews in the late 1980s-early 1990s instead of SVHS (not to mention Betacam) was price and size. Also much longer recording time compared to SVHS-C. News organizations managed to obtain some first-hand footage from the world's hotspots because no one cared about some tourist shooting a video on a street. A MiniDV camcorder would be even smaller, so Sony would still main the lead or at least parity in this area, hence the PDX10.

Digital8 was meant purely as a consumer-grade product, sadly.