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The Super Nintendo Entertainment System raised the bar for video game designers around the globe when it was released. Featuring true stereo sound, multiple scrolling backgrounds and almost twice the internal memory as its competition, the SNES was home to the best games of its day. Backed by an all-star lineup of games like The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past, Donkey Kong Country and Super Metroid, the Super NES sold more than 49 million systems worldwide.
Super Famicom November 21, 1990 (Japan)
Known as the Super Famicom in Japan the system is basically the same as the UK version except that it runs at 60Mhz and has territorial lockout. Controllers have smaller leads and have super Famicom written on them. It cost 32,000 yen when released and came with 2 controllers and Super Mario World.
SNES US September 1991 (USA)
Released in the US with a new case design. Games came on different shaped carts to the Famicom verison being more rectangular. Also later released as a slimmer version, bit like a small UK shape but basically the same hardware with the Rf output removed.
SNES UK June 1992 (Europe)
Not released in Europe until 1992 the European version came in the same style case as the Famicom. Games available at release included Super Mario world 3 and F-Zero. PAL consoles play games approx 16% slower than an NTSC one, with larger black borders at the top and bottom of the screen.
Super System
The Super Nintendo Entertainment System blew gamers away with visuals and gameplay that dragged videogames into a spectacular new era. The Super Nintendo features true stereo sound, multiple scrolling backgrounds, and twice the built-in memory of the older NES - and giant-sized Game Paks allow the system to recreate sprawling worlds that take weeks to explore.
Building on the seminal design of their NES controller, the design wizards at Nintendo set the standard for future videogame controllers with the faultless Super Nintendo Controller. The comfortable directional pad returns, but two extra buttons and the appearance of twin shoulder buttons - a videogame first - effectively double gamer's control. If you're ever wondered where present-day system designers get their ideas from, look no further.
Graphics Power
The Super Nintendo's built-in DSP (Digital Signal Processor) performs complicated calculations on in-game images in the blink of an eye. This is responsible for 'Mode 7', the ability to take hefty 2D shapes and twist and spin them through three dimensions - allowing games like Super Mario Kart to create psuedo-3D tracks. In the face-flappingly fast F-Zero, this is done at speeds that make even the bravest gamer tremble.
Super FX
While other systems could only dream about bettering their primitive flat graphics, Nintendo quietly beavered away on a quantum leap in videogame visuals. Game Paks containing the Super FX chip - including dazzling debut title Star Wing - brought proper polygons blasting to TV screens in jaw-dropping style. Later games like Yoshi's Island used the next-generation Super FX 2 chip to warp and bend shapes in the most eye-pleasing of manners.
Game Library
Some of Nintendo's biggest arcade and NES characters return in blistering style on Super Nintendo. Super Mario World; The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past; Donkey Kong Country; Super Metroid; Super Mario Kart ... all are regarded as the some of the finest games in their genres to this day. Third parties have helped raise the Super Nintendo's total catalogue of games to over 500.
Detailed Specs
CPU 16-bit 65816 processor, 2.68 Mhz
MEMORY RAM: 1 Mbit, Video RAM: 0.5 Mbit, Cart size: 2 Mbit - 48 Mbit
DISPLAY 512 x 448 pixel maximum resolution, 32,768 colours, 256 colours on-screen, 64 x 64 pixel maximum sprite size, 128 sprites on-screen
SIZE(mm) 200mm x 72mm x 242mm
SOUND CHIP 8-bit Sony SPC700, 8 sound channels
OTHER FEATURES Mode 7, Two controller ports
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