Nintendo Super Famicom \ SNES
Type Console Developer Nintendo
Release Date 1990-Nov-21 Region(s) Japan, North America, Europe, Australasia
Initial Price $199 USD Games Released Approx. 1,440+ (Japan), 780+ (NA \ Europe)
     by Dark Watcher
In 1988 Nintendo was still enjoying the success of its Famicom \ NES system and didn't see any need to jump on the 16-bit bandwagon.  However the NEC PC Engine \ TurboGrafx and the Sega Mega Drive \ Genesis were beginning to dominate the video game market.  Nintendo's jump to 16-bit was no real surprise.  Oddly enough Nintendo wanted the original Famicom to be 16-bit, but resources at the time were too expensive to make it happen.  Now was the opportunity to take Nintendo to the next level.

The Super Famicom was released on November 21, 1990 and immediately took over 80 percent of the Japanese market.  They still had a lot of ground to cover to catch up with the other 16-bit systems.  The console itself was quite impressive and introduced scaling and rotation effects (the famous Mode 7) that could not be duplicated on the other systems.

Nintendo was still slow to release the system overseas.  A shortage of supplies and the fact that the NES was still making money in the US delayed the Super Famicom's release.  The system was finally released in the North America on August 23, 1991 and was regionally named the Super Nintendo Entertainment System (SNES).  The SNES would also be released in Europe and Brazil in the following year.
The SNES soon amassed a large library and battled toe to toe with Sega.  Their popular character franchises and exclusive games kept them in a heated rivalry.  Arcade games played a strong role in the competition.  SNES got the jump on Sega by releasing the popular arcade title Street Fighter 2 with temporary exclusivity.  Soon after they lost the edge when they chose to censor another popular arcade fighter Mortal Kombat, which Sega released in its full uncensored form.
The SNES remained popular for the next few years. Sega began introducing game enhancing add-ons such as the Sega CD and 3D gaming was growing in popularity.  Nintendo refused to fall behind the times and also began working on a CD based add-on.  With numerous disagreements with Sony, Philips and with production delays, Nintendo scrapped the project.  They approached a new developer named Argonaut Software who produced a chip that could be added to game carts.  This chip would allow the SNES to produce 3D graphics.  The SuperFX chip gave the SNES new life and produced popular games such as Star Fox which was released in 1993.
Nintendo continued to use chip enhanced cartridges to maintain the SNES's popularity.  Some of the chips included the SuperFX, SuperFX 2, DSP1, DSP2, SA-1, Cx4 (used in Mega Man X2 & X3), SDD1, and lord knows what else.  Even as 32-bit consoles began to surface, Nintendo continued to surprise gamers.  In 1994, Nintendo teamed with a 3rd party developer named RARE.  Together both companies produced Donkey Kong Country which used fully rendered graphics.  The game looked as good as first generation 32-bit titles and kept the SNES selling even in a 32-bit generation.
On March 27, 1998 Nintendo decided to release a scaled down cheaper model in Japan.  It was called Super Famicom Jr and retailed for 7,800 Yen.  Not only did Nintendo cut the size of the console, but they also cut out the A/V out port and the expansion port. The redesigned model was also released in the US shortly after the debut of Nintendo 64 and called SNES 2.

FACT:  Nintendo seemed to get a lot of trouble calls with their NES because gamers had a bad habit of setting drinks on top of it. When they designed the SNES, they added rounded edges and raised areas so that you could not set a drink on it.  This apparently reduced the amount of troubles called in the United States.

     Officially licensed releases
Nintendo Super Famicom
Nintendo Super Entertainment System
(North America)
Nintendo Super Entertainment System
(Europe \ Australasia)
Nintendo Super Famicom
(Hong Kong)
Nintendo Super Entertainment System
(Brazil - Playtronic)
Nintendo Super Famicom Jr.
Nintendo Super Entertainment System 2
(North America)
Super Famicom Box
Sharp 14G-SF1 \ 21G-SF1
Hyundai Super Comboy


     Non-licensed hardware releases
No clones were released for this system.
     Interesting facts on software for this system
Software for the Super Famicom \ SNES was distributed in the ROM cartridge format.  Regional protection is enforced through the physical design of the cartridges and internal lock-out chip.

Titles were distributed in tall, cardboard boxes that were prone to being crushed.  An inner plastic housing provides some structural support, but overall the packaging is rather fragile (regardless of region).

applemctom's Games that Defined Compiliation

Super Nintendo Launch Titles

     Captured in-game images
ActRaiser 2
Air Strike Patrol
Boxing Legends of the Ring
Breath of Fire 2
Castlevania Dracula X
Chrono Trigger
Contra III: The Alien Wars
Darius Twin
Demon's Crest
Donkey Kong Country 3
Earthworm Jim
ESPN National Hockey Night
Final Fight
Irem Skins Game
Jungle Book
Ken Griffey Jr.'s Winning Run Baseball
Kirby Super Star
Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past
Madden NFL 98
Magic Sword
Mega Man 7
Mortal Kombat 3
NBA Live 97
Prince of Persia 2: Shadow & Flame
Redline F-1 Racer
Road Runner's Death Valley Rally
Romance of the Three Kingdoms IV
R-Type III: The Third Lightning
Secret of Mana
Side Pocket
Star Fox
Steel Talons
Street Fighter II Turbo
Super Battletank 2
Super Black Bass
Super Castlevania IV
Super Mario All Stars
Super Mario Kart
Super Metroid
Super Punch-Out!
Super R-Type
Super Star Wars: Empire Strikes Back
Super Street Fighter 2
Test Drive 2
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 4
Uncharted Waters
Vegas Stakes
Wild Guns
WWF Royal Rumble
X-Men Mutant Apocalypse
Zombies Ate My Neighbors

     First and third party system emulators

This is a popular and amazing Super NES emulator.
ZSNES is also able to emulate Satellaview games as well.
     For the hardware enthusiasts out there - all the detail you\we love.
Processor Type  Processor Speed  Other Processor Information RAM \ Video RAM
Ricoh 5A22 (16-bit) 3.58 MHz (NTSC)
3.55 MHz (PAL)
16-bi PPU, Sony SPC700 (audio), Sony DSP (audio) 128 KB DRAM \ 64 KB SRAM
Screen Resolution Color Palette Polygons \ Sprites Audio
512 x 478 (max) 32,768 (256 on screen) 128 per screen, 32 per line 16-bit ADPCM, 8 channels, 32 kHz 16-bit stereo
Media Format Media Capacity Games Released Other Supported Formats
Cartridge 14.8 MB 1,440+ (Japan)
780+ (NA \ Europe\Other)
Nintendo Satellaview (with optional attachment)
Internal Storage External \ Removable Storage Game Controllers Other Game \ Peripheral Devices
None None (game saves via battery back-up on cartridge) D-Pad, Two (2) Shoulder buttons, Four (4) Action buttons, Select\Start buttons Multi-Tap, Mouse, Light Gun, Cheat Devices, Super Game Boy Adapter, etc.
Controller Ports Network Ports Other Ports Audio \ Video
Two (2) None (connectivity available with optional Satellaview add-on) Expansion Port RF, Composite
Power Supply - External Other Outputs  Other Details \ Notes
Input: AC 120V, 60 Hz
Output: DC 10V, 850 mA
None Channel Switch (first run)
Super Famicom Owners Manual Japan (PDF) - 8.42 MB
Super Nintendo Owners Manual (SNS-USA-2) (PDF) - 1.60 MB
Super Nintendo Owners Manual (SNSP-UKV) (PDF) - 1.72 MB

     Peripherals, Promotions, Commercials, Brochures, Etc.
Nintendo Super NES & Super Famicom Commercials

     Visitor insights and feedback
Please be respectful and abide by our Terms of Use & Policies prior to posting.  Basically be nice, keep it clean and don't spam or be a troll.  Thanks!

comments powered by Disqus