Super Nintendo Entertainment System
Manufacturer Nintendo
Launch date(s) JP: November 21, 1990

NA: August 23, 1991

EU: UK and Ireland: April 11, 1992

Rest of Europe: June 6, 1992

AUS: July 3, 1992

Generation) 4th generation
Codename Nintendo Entertainment System 2
Discontinued JP: September 2003

NA: November 30, 1999

Media SNES Cartridge
Input SNES Controller, Super Scope
Backwards Compatibility None
Memory {{{memory}}}
CPU 16-bit 65c816 Ricoh 5A22 3.58 MHz
Service Nintendo Power (Japan-only)
Top Game Super Mario World
Predecessor Nintendo Entertainment System
Successor Nintendo 64
The Super Nintendo Entertainment System, also known as Super Nintendo, Super NES or SNES, is a 16-bit video game console released by Nintendo in North America, Brazil, Europe, and Australia. In Japan, it is known as the Super Famicom. In South Korea, the Super Nintendo was distributed as the Super Comboy by Hyundai Electronics. Unlike the Hyundai Comboy, which is a renamed American NES, the Super Comboy is a renamed Japanese/European model. The Super Nintendo Entertainment System is the second video game home console released by Nintendo internationally. The successor to the Nintendo Entertainment System, the Super Nintendo Entertainment System featured enhanced graphics, a brand new controller, better sound and more features. While not as successful as the Nintendo Entertainment System before it, the SNES still proved to be the leader of the video game industry during the 16-bit generation, surpassing the competition from Sega's Genesis (Mega Drive in Europe), and Hudson's TurboGrafx-16. Nintendo's claim as the most successful manufacturer during this generation can be attributed in part to the fact that Sega left the 16-bit market early in favor of the 32-bit market. The Super Nintendo Entertainment System was host to numerous classic video games, including titles such as Super Mario World, Super Metroid, Final Fantasy VI, Chrono Trigger, Donkey Kong Country, Street Fighter II, The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past, Star Fox and Super Mario Kart. These titles sold millions of copies and would help cement the SNES as the leader of the fourth generation. Third parties such as Square, Enix and Capcom would assist in the huge success of the console. The Super Nintendo Entertainment System was first released in Japan under the name Super Famicom (the Nintendo Entertainment System was named the Famicom in Japan) on November 21, 1990. In a little over half a year, the system was released in North America in August of 1991 and in Europe and Australia in 1992. Nintendo would eventually manufacture SNES systems with different casings and label them with new names such as Super Famicom Jr. and SNS-101. The new systems didn't offer anything new to the gaming experience, though were meant to spark interest in the system once again long after the initial shipment.

History and developementEdit

The Nintendo Entertainment System was going strong years after it was released. Near the end of the eighties, system-sellers were still being launched for the console such as Super Mario Bros. 3, which went on to become one of the best selling video games of all time. Several Nintendo competitors wanted a piece of the pie, however, and thus released more advanced systems meant to compete with the NES. The first on the scene was Hudson Soft and NEC Corporation with the TurboGrafx-16 (also known as the PC Engine), which they released in 1987, three years before the Super Famicom would be launched in Japan. One year later Sega unleashed the Sega Genesis, which proved to be a worthy competitor to the throne. The competition developed advertisements that would downplay the NES, showcasing the clear strengths of the more powerful systems. Nintendo realized that they needed to act quickly in order to counter the effect imposed by the new hardware, and in response to the competition started development on the Super Nintendo Entertainment System. Now retired Nintendo employee Masayuki Uemura was brought on board to direct the development of the new system. He had previously worked as the designer of the Famicom. Nintendo would initially release the Super Famicom in Japan on November 21, 1990 at a price of ¥25,000. The first shipment contained 300,000 SNES units, which all sold within a matter of a few hours. Nintendo shipped the Super Famicom units in secret as not to gain the attention of the Yakuza, who they feared would potentially steal the hardware and software. The system proved so successful in its first day in part because of a launch lineup that, while astonishingly small (two games only), featured impressive titles including Super Mario World and F-Zero. Super Mario World, the successor to Super Mario Bros. 3, is best known for introducing Mario's sidekick Yoshi while F-Zero made extensive use of Mode 7, allowing the game to do things that would have been impossible on the NES.

Due the impressive figures of the Super Famicom, several third party developers who supported Nintendo with the Famicom announced their commitment to the new system. These third parties would be pivotal to the success of the system, especially companies such as Square (Final Fantasy series, Chrono Trigger), Enix in Japan (Dragon Quest series), Capcom (Street Fighter II, its successors and Mega Man X), and others. Western companies in North America and Europe would eventually start to develop titles for the system as well including companies such as Midway (Mortal Kombat and NBA Jam). Most hard hitting titles, however, came from Japanese developers. Nintendo would release the Super Nintendo Entertainment System in North America on August 23, 1991 for $199 (slightly cheaper than when the Super Famicom was released (by around $10)). Unlike in Japan, Nintendo of America packaged Super Mario World with the system for free, similarly to how they packaged Super Mario Bros. with the original Nintendo Entertainment System. The North American launch of the Super Nintendo Entertainment System contained more titles than the Japanese launch, including Super Mario World, F-Zero, Pilotwings, Gradius III, and SimCity. While still not a particularly large launch, it did contain many titles that would go on to sell millions. Interestingly, the Japanese branch of Nintendo did not design the American Super Nintendo Entertainment System. Instead, a man by the name of Lance Barr designed the hardware (he also designed the NES). Lance Barr explained that he didn't like the look of the Super Famicom, saying that it was too "soft and had no edge". Nintendo Power revealed several unused designs that were drawn by Barr, all of which led to the final creation. Barr explained that he designed the Super Famicom in a way so that drinks could not placed on it, and that the indention in the X and Y buttons were made so that players could tell the difference between them and the A and B buttons. A year after the Super Nintendo Entertainment System was released in North America, the system made its way into Europe and Australia. The European Super NES was a near direct copy of the Japanese model. The colors and shape were all the same, and the buttons on the controller were red, blue, yellow and green like the Super Famicom controller (the American controller were shades of purple). After the release in PAL territories, Nintendo launched the system in other parts of the world including Brazil and South Korea.


File:Super Mario World (NA).png
 Main article: List of Super Nintendo Entertainment System games

The Super Nintendo Entertainment System is popular due to its wide selection of triple-A titles from Nintendo and numerous third parties. Some of the most popular games released on the system by Nintendo include Super Mario World, Donkey Kong Country and its sequels, Super Mario Kart, The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past, Star Fox, Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island, F-Zero, Super Metroid, Pilotwings and others. Third parties were also largely successful on the SNES, with Square, Enix, Capcom, Midway and others striking it big with titles such as Final Fantasy IV-VI, Chrono Trigger, Dragon Quest VI, NBA Jam, Street Fighter II (and its various incarnations), Disney titles and more.

With the release of the Game Boy Advance, many classic SNES titles were ported over to the handheld, once again receiving a large amount of success. Some of the SNES games re-released as Game Boy Advance titles include Super Mario Bros. 2-3, Super Mario World 1-2, The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past, the entire SNES Final Fantasy library, all three Donkey Kong Country games, and others. The Nintendo DS was also used to recreate classic SNES titles such as Chrono Trigger, Kirby Super Star Ultra and Final Fantasy IV being released to wide acclaim and large sales, proving that even though the games were over 10 years old at the time, they were still very enjoyable. Kirby Super Star Ultra, a remake of Kirby Super Star, went on to sell more than the other two Kirby games for the DS.