Nintendo's follow up to the NES arrived in 1990. Bundled with the classic Super Mario World the console proved to be very popular, but never had the same level of success in the States as the NES did. In fact, the SNES could only manage second place in the 16 bit era until the Genesis was discontinued. A similar situation occurred in Europe, where the SNES was competing with the Mega Drive. Despite this, combined sales for the SNES/Super Famicom eventually reached almost 50 million units world-wide.
The casing of the console came in two different versions. The American version of the SNES is pictured on the right, and at the time was described as looking like "a large breeze block", while the European version shared the sleeker design of the Japanese Super Famicom. The cartridges echoed the console's designs, American cartridges being more square than their rounded Japanese and European counterparts.
With around 750 games released in the United States and Europe, and many more Japanese only titles, owners certainly had plenty of choice. One of the biggest sales boosts came from a near arcade perfect version of Street Fighter II, released at the peak of the games popularity.
Around the time of the Mega CD, Nintendo planned a CD-ROM add-on with the aid of Phillips and Sony. Artists impressions were published in magazines but the device was never manufactured. Phillips went on to create the CD-i while Sony's efforts would result in the PlayStation.
A number of peripherals were released, most notably 1994's Super Game Boy. This allowed the use of the wide selection of Game Boy games, which could be displayed with colour borders. The games themselves could also be displayed in colour, and a number of four colour palettes were available to select from.
By 1996 a new generation of consoles had begun. In an attempt to prolong the console's life, Nintendo of America launched a redesigned SNES 2 in 1997, similar to what had previously been done with the NES 2.