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N > NINTENDO > Super Nintendo Entertainment System   

Super Nintendo Entertainment System

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.


Contributors: Ste (text & info)

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Wasn''t the N64 that Nintendo had a deal with Philips? Sounds really early 1991 for CD-Rom as it wasn''t even surpassing cassette sales yet as a music format.

Wednesday 16th February 2022
Frank (Canada)

there is another version released in the us only difference it didn''t have the eject button

Wednesday 18th March 2015

Acctually Kyle, I heard that most games from the SNES were programmed on an Apple $$GS. Its amazing just how things from two different worlds can be so similar.

Monday 10th December 2012
TylerE (Pennsylvania US)


NAME  Super Nintendo Entertainment System
YEAR  1991 (U.S.A.), 1992 (Europe)
CONTROLLERS  8-way d-pad, 6 buttons + Select + Start
CPU  Nintendo 5A22, based on 65c816
SPEED  3.579545 MHz (Switchable by software to 2.68 MHz or 1.79 MHz)
CO-PROCESSOR  1.024 MHz Sony SPC700, Picture Processor Unit
RAM  128 KB
GRAPHIC MODES  256x224 - 512x448 max
COLORS  32,768 palette, 256 on screen
SOUND  8 channel Sony S-SMP, 3 channel Sony/Nintendo S-DSP
SIZE / WEIGHT  Unknown
I/O PORTS  Cartridge, power adapter, RF out, AV out, 2 controller ports, expansion port
MEDIA  Cartridge, 2 to 48 Megabits
POWER SUPPLY  External power supply unit, 10v DC (NTSC), 9v DC (PAL)
PERIPHERALS  Super GameBoy, Super Scope (Light gun), SNES Mouse, Super Multitap (8 player adapter)
PRICE  $200 (U.S.A.), £150 (U.K.)

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