The SNES is Nintendo's second programmable home console, following the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES). The console introduced advanced graphics and sound capabilities compared with other systems at the time. The system was designed to accommodate the ongoing development of a variety of enhancement chips integrated into game cartridges to be competitive into the next generation.
The SNES received largely positive reviews and was a global success, becoming the best-selling console of the 16-bit era after launching relatively late and facing intense competition from Sega's Genesis console in North America and Europe. Overlapping the NES's 61.9million unit sales, the SNES remained popular well into the 32-bit era, with 49.1million units sold worldwide by the time it was discontinued in 2003. It continues to be popular among collectors and retro gamers, with new homebrew games and Nintendo's emulated rereleases, such as on the Virtual Console, the Super NES Classic Edition, and Nintendo Switch Online.
To compete with the popular Family Computer in Japan, NEC Home Electronics launched the PC Engine in 1987, and Sega followed suit with the Mega Drive in 1988. The two platforms were later launched in North America in 1989 as the TurboGrafx-16 and the Sega Genesis respectively. Both systems were built on 16-bit architectures and offered improved graphics and sound over the 8-bit NES. However, it took several years for Sega's system to become successful. Nintendo executives were in no rush to design a new system, but they reconsidered when they began to see their dominance in the market slipping.
The four-color Super Famicom mark (left) was used as part of the logo in the Japanese and PAL regions. The colors correspond to those of the ABXY buttons of the control pad in those regions. A different logo was used for the North American version (right), consisting of a striped background outlining four oval shapes.
Designed by Masayuki Uemura, the designer of the original Famicom, the Super Famicom was released in Japan on Wednesday, November 21, 1990, for ¥25,000(equivalent to ¥27,804 in 2019). It was an instant success; Nintendo's initial shipment of 300,000 units sold out within hours, and the resulting social disturbance led the Japanese government to ask video game manufacturers to schedule future console releases on weekends. The system's release also gained the attention of the Yakuza, leading to a decision to ship the devices at night to avoid robbery.
With the Super Famicom quickly outselling its rivals, Nintendo reasserted itself as the leader of the Japanese console market. Nintendo's success was partially due to the retention of most of its key third-party developers, including Capcom, Konami, Tecmo, Square, Koei, and Enix.
Nintendo released the Super Nintendo Entertainment System, a redesigned version of the Super Famicom, in North America for US$199(equivalent to $373.54 in 2019). It began shipping in limited quantities on August 23, 1991,[lower-alpha 1] with an official nationwide release date of September 9, 1991. The SNES was released in the United Kingdom and Ireland in April 1992 for GB£150(equivalent to £312.7 in 2019), with a German release following a few weeks later.
Most of the PAL region versions of the console use the Japanese Super Famicom design, except for labeling and the length of the joypad leads. The Playtronic SNES in Brazil, although PAL-M, uses the North American design. Both the NES and SNES were released in Brazil in 1993 by Playtronic, a joint venture between the toy company Estrela and consumer electronics company Gradiente.
The SNES and Super Famicom launched with few games, but these games were well received in the marketplace. In Japan, only two games were initially available: Super Mario World and F-Zero. (A third game, Bombuzal, was released during the launch week.) In North America, Super Mario World launched as a bundle with the console; other launch games include F-Zero, Pilotwings (both of which demonstrate the console's Mode 7 pseudo-3D rendering capability), SimCity, and Gradius III.
The rivalry between Nintendo and Sega resulted in what has been described as one of the most notable console wars in video game history, in which Sega positioned the Genesis as the "cool" console, with games aimed at older audiences, and aggressive advertisements that occasionally attacked the competition. Nintendo, however, scored an early public-relations advantage by securing the first console conversion of Capcom's arcade hit Street Fighter II for SNES, which took more than a year to make the transition to the Genesis. Though the Genesis had a two-year lead to launch time, a much larger library of games, and a lower price point, it only represented an estimated 60% of the American 16-bit console market in June 1992, and neither console could maintain a definitive lead for several years. Donkey Kong Country is said to have helped establish the SNES's market prominence in the latter years of the 16-bit generation, and for a time, maintain against the PlayStation and Saturn. According to Nintendo, the company had sold more than 20million SNES units in the U.S. According to a 2014 Wedbush Securities report based on NPD sales data, the SNES outsold the Genesis in the U.S. market by 2 million units.
Changes in policy
During the NES era, Nintendo maintained exclusive control over games released for the system – the company had to approve every game, each third-party developer could only release up to five games per year (but some third parties got around this by using different names, such as Konami's "Ultra Games" brand), those games could not be released on another console within two years, and Nintendo was the exclusive manufacturer and supplier of NES cartridges. However, competition from Sega's console brought an end to this practice; in 1991, Acclaim Entertainment began releasing games for both platforms, with most of Nintendo's other licensees following suit over the next several years; Capcom (which licensed some games to Sega instead of producing them directly) and Square were the most notable holdouts.
Nintendo continued to carefully review submitted games, scoring them on a 40-point scale and allocating marketing resources accordingly. Each region performed separate evaluations. Nintendo of America also maintained a policy that, among other things, limited the amount of violence in the games on its systems. The surprise arcade hit Mortal Kombat (1992), a gory fighting game with huge splashes of blood and graphically violent fatality moves, was heavily censored by Nintendo.[lower-alpha 7] Because the Genesis version allowed for an uncensored version via cheat code, it outsold the censored SNES version by a ratio of nearly three to one.
While other companies were moving on to 32-bit systems, Rare and Nintendo proved that the SNES was still a strong contender in the market. In November 1994, Rare released Donkey Kong Country, a platform game featuring 3D models and textures pre-rendered on Silicon Graphics workstations. With its detailed graphics, fluid animation, and high-quality music, Donkey Kong Country rivals the aesthetic quality of games that were being released on newer 32-bit CD-based consoles. In the last 45 days of 1994, 6.1million copies were sold, making it the fastest-selling video game in history to that date. This game sent a message that early 32-bit systems had little to offer over the SNES, and proved the market for the more advanced consoles of the near future. According to TRSTS reports, two of the top five best-selling games in the U.S. for December 1996 are SNES games.
In October 1997, Nintendo released a redesigned model of the SNES (the SNS-101 model referred to as "New-Style Super NES") in North America for US$99, with some units including the pack-in game Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island. Like the earlier redesign of the NES (model NES-101), the new model is slimmer and lighter than its predecessor, but it lacks S-Video and RGB output, and it is among the last major SNES-related releases in the region. A similarly redesigned Super Famicom Jr. was released in Japan at around the same time. However, the redesign did not make it to Europe.
Nintendo ceased the production of the SNES in North America in 1999, about two years after releasing Kirby's Dream Land 3 (its final first-party game in the US) on November 27, 1997, and a year after releasing Frogger (its final third-party game in the US). In Japan, Nintendo continued production of both the Family Computer and the Super Famicom until September 25, 2003, and new games were produced until the year 2000, ending with the release of Metal Slader Glory Director's Cut on November 29, 2000.
Many popular SNES games were ported to the Game Boy Advance, which has similar video capabilities. In 2005, Nintendo announced that SNES games would be made available for download via the Wii's Virtual Console service. On October 31, 2007, Nintendo Co., Ltd. announced that it would no longer repair Family Computer or Super Famicom systems due to an increasing shortage of the necessary parts. On March 3, 2016, Nintendo Co., Ltd. announced that it would bring SNES games to the New Nintendo 3DS and New Nintendo 3DS XL (and later the New Nintendo 2DS XL) via its eShop download service. At the Nintendo Direct event on September 4, 2019, Nintendo announced that it would be bringing select SNES games to the Nintendo Switch Online platform.
The 16-bit design of the SNES incorporates graphics and sound co-processors that perform tiling and simulated 3D effects, a palette of 32,768 colors, and 8-channel ADPCM audio. These base platform features, plus the ability to dramatically extend them all through substantial chip upgrades inside of each cartridge, represent a leap over the 8-bit NES generation and some significant advantages over 16-bit competitors such as the Genesis.
CPU and RAM
16-bit Custom WDC 65C816 core
Input:21.47727MHz Bus:3.58MHz, 2.68MHz, or 1.79MHz
Input:21.28137MHz Bus:3.55MHz, 2.66MHz, or 1.77MHz
24-bit and 8-bit address buses, 8-bit data bus
DMA and HDMA
Parallel I/O processing
Hardware multiplication and division
The CPU is a Ricoh 5A22, which is a derivative of the 16-bit WDC 65C816 microprocessor. In NTSC regions, its nominal clock speed is 3.58 MHz but the CPU will slow down to either 2.68MHz or 1.79MHz when accessing some slower peripherals.
This CPU has an 8-bit data bus and two address buses. The 24-bit "BusA" is designated for general accesses, and the 8-bit "BusB" can access support chip registers such as the video and audio co-processors.
The WDC 65C816 also supports an 8-channel DMA unit; an 8-bit parallel I/O port a controller port interface circuits allowing serial and parallel access to controller data; a 16-bit multiplication and division unit; and circuitry for generating non-maskable interrupts on V-blank and IRQ interrupts on calculated screen positions.
Early revisions of the 5A22 used in SHVC boards are prone to spontaneous failure; this can produce a variety of symptoms including graphics glitches during Mode 7 operation, a black screen on power-on, or inability to read the controllers properly. The first revision 5A22 also had a fatal bug in the DMA controller that could cause games to crash when running; this was corrected in subsequent revisions.
The console contains 128KB of general-purpose RAM, which is separate from the RAM dedicated to the video and audio subsystems.
The Picture Processing Unit (PPU) consists of two separate but closely tied IC packages. It contains 64KB of SRAM for storing video data, 544 bytes of object attribute memory (OAM) for storing sprite data, and 256×15 bits of color generator RAM (CGRAM) for storing palette data. This CGRAM allows the console to display up to 256 colors, chosen from the 15-bit RGB color space, for a total of 32,768 possible colors. The PPU is clocked by the same signal as the CPU and generates a pixel every two or four cycles. Eight video modes are available to the programmer:
Mode0: 4layers, all using 4-color palettes. Each BG uses its section of the SNES palette. Up to 96 colors can be displayed on the backgrounds, 24 colors per layer.
Mode1: 3layers, two using 16-color palettes and one using 4-color palettes. Up to 120 colors can be displayed by the first two layers and 24 colors by the third layer.
Mode2: 2layers, both using 16-color palettes. Each tile can be individually scrolled. Up to 120 colors can be displayed on the screen.
Mode3: 2layers, one using the full 256-color palette and one using 16-color palettes. The 256-color layer can also directly specify colors from an 11-bit (RGB443) colorspace. Up to 256 colors are displayed by the first layer and 120 colors by the second layer.
Mode4: 2layers, one using the full 256-color palette and one using 4-color palettes. The 256-color layer can directly specify colors, and each tile can be individually scrolled. Up to 256 colors are displayed by the first layer and 24 colors by the second layer.
Mode5: 2layers, one using 16-color palettes and one using 4-color palettes. Tile decoding is altered to facilitate the use of the 512-width and interlaced resolutions. Up to 120 colors are displayed by the first layer and 24 colors by the second layer.
Mode6: 1layer, using 16-color palettes. Tile decoding is as in Mode5, and each tile can be individually scrolled. Up to 120 colors can be displayed on screen.
Mode7: 1layer of 128×128 tiles of size 8×8 from a set of 256, which may be interpreted as a 256-color one-plane layer or a 128-color two-plane layer. The layer may be rotated and scaled using matrix transformations. A programming technique called HDMA can be used to change the matrix parameters for each scanline to generate perspective effects.
8 channels, stereo
ADSR envelope control
Frequency scaling and modulation using Gaussian interpolation
Echo: 8-tap FIR filter, with up to .24s delay
The audio subsystem is called the S-SMP, which is a dedicated single chip consisting of an 8-bit CPU, a 16-bit DSP, and 64KB of SRAM. It is designed and produced by Sony and is completely independent from the rest of the system. It is clocked at a nominal 24.576MHz in both NTSC and PAL systems. It is capable of producing stereo sound, composed from 8 voices generated using 8 bit audio samples and various effects such as echo.
Nintendo employed several types of regional lockout, including both physical and hardware incompatibilities.
Physically, the cartridges are shaped differently for different regions. North American cartridges have a rectangular bottom with inset grooves matching protruding tabs in the console, and other regions' cartridges are narrower with a smooth curve on the front and no grooves. The physical incompatibility can be overcome with use of various adapters, or through modification of the console.
Internally, a regional lockout chip (CIC) within the console and in each cartridge prevents the PAL region games from being played on Japanese or North American consoles and vice versa. The Japanese and North American machines have the same region chip. This can be overcome through the use of adapters, typically by inserting the imported cartridge in one slot and a cartridge with the correct region chip in a second slot. Alternatively, disconnecting one pin of the console's lockout chip will prevent it from locking the console; hardware in later games can detect this situation, so it later became common to install a switch to reconnect the lockout chip as needed.
PAL consoles face another incompatibility when playing out-of-region cartridges: the NTSC video standard specifies video at 60Hz but PAL operates at 50Hz, resulting in an approximately 16.7% slower framerate. Additionally, PAL's higher resolution results in letterboxing of the output image. Some commercial PAL region releases exhibit this same problem and, therefore, can be played in NTSC systems without issue, but other games will face a 20% speedup if played in an NTSC console. To mostly correct this issue, a switch can be added to place the SNES PPU into a 60Hz mode supported by most newer PAL televisions. Later games will detect this setting and refuse to run, requiring the switch to be thrown only after the check completes.
All versions of the SNES are predominantly gray, of slightly different shades. The original North American version, designed by Nintendo of America industrial designer Lance Barr (who previously redesigned the Famicom to become the NES), has a boxy design with purple sliding switches and a dark gray eject lever. The loading bay surface is curved, both to invite interaction and to prevent food or drinks from being placed on the console and spilling as had happened with the flat surfaced NES. The Japanese and European versions are more rounded, with darker gray accents and buttons. The North American New-Style Super NES (model SNS-101) and the Japanese Super Famicom Jr. (model SHVC-101), all designed by Barr, are both smaller with a rounded contour; however, the SNS-101 buttons are purple where the Super Famicom Jr. buttons are gray. The European and American versions of the SNES controllers have much longer cables compared to the Japanese Super Famicom controllers.
All versions incorporate a top-loading slot for game cartridges, although the shape of the slot differs between regions to match the different shapes of the cartridges. The MULTI OUT connector (later used on the Nintendo 64 and GameCube) can output composite video, S-Video and RGB signals, as well as RF with an external RF modulator. Original versions additionally include a 28-pin expansion port under a small cover on the bottom of the unit and a standard RF output with channel selection switch on the back; the redesigned models output composite video only, requiring an external modulator for RF.
The ABS plastic used in the casing of some older SNES and Super Famicom consoles is particularly susceptible to oxidization with exposure to air, likely due to an incorrect mixture of the stabilizing or flame retarding additives. This, along with the particularly light color of the original plastic, causes affected consoles to quickly become yellow; if the sections of the casing came from different batches of plastic, a "two-tone" effect results. This issue may be reversed with a method called Retrobrighting, where a mixture of chemicals is applied to the case and exposed to UV light.
The Nintendo Super System is an arcade system for retail preview of 11 particular SNES games in the United States, similar to the PlayChoice-10 for NES games. It consists of slightly modified SNES hardware with a menu interface and 25-inch monitor, that allows gameplay for a certain amount of time depending on game credits. Manufacturing of this model was discontinued in 1992.
SNES games are distributed on ROM cartridges, officially referred to as Game Pak in most Western regions, and as Cassette (カセット, Kasetto) in Japan and parts of Latin America. Though the SNES can address 128Mbit,[lower-alpha 9] only 117.75Mbit are actually available for cartridge use. A fairly normal mapping could easily address up to 95Mbit of ROM data (48Mbit at FastROM speed) with 8Mbit of battery-backed RAM. However, most available memory access controllers only support mappings of up to 32Mbit. The largest games released (Tales of Phantasia and Star Ocean) contain 48Mbit of ROM data, and the smallest games contain only 2Mbit.
Cartridges may also contain battery-backed SRAM to save the game state, extra working RAM, custom coprocessors, or any other hardware that will not exceed the maximum current rating of the console.
The standard SNES controller adds X and Y face buttons to the design of the NES iteration, arranging the four in a diamond shape, and adds two shoulder buttons. It features an ergonomic design by Lance Barr, later used for the NES-102 model controllers, also designed by Barr. The Japanese and PAL region versions incorporate the colors of the four action buttons into the system's logo. The North American version's buttons are colored to match the redesigned console; the X and Y buttons are lavender with concave faces, and the A and B buttons are purple with convex faces. Several later consoles derive elements of their controller design from the SNES, including the PlayStation, Dreamcast, Xbox, and Wii Classic Controller.
Throughout the course of its life, a number of peripherals were released which added to the functionality of the SNES. Many of these devices were modeled after earlier add-ons for the NES: the Super Scope is a light gun functionally similar to the NES Zapper (though the Super Scope features wireless capabilities) and the Super Advantage is an arcade-style joystick with adjustable turbo settings akin to the NES Advantage. Nintendo also released the SNES Mouse in conjunction with Mario Paint. Hudson Soft, under license from Nintendo, released the Super Multitap, a multiplayer adapter for use with its popular series of Bomberman games. Some of the more unusual controllers include the BatterUP baseball bat, the Life Fitness Entertainment System (an exercise bike controller with built-in monitoring software), and the TeeV Golf golf club.
Though Nintendo never released an adapter for playing NES games on the SNES, the Super Game Boy adapter cartridge allows games designed for Nintendo's portable Game Boy system to be played on the SNES. The Super Game Boy touts several feature enhancements over the Game Boy, including palette substitution, custom screen borders, and access to the SNES console's features by specially enhanced Game Boy games. Japan also saw the release of the Super Game Boy 2, which adds a communication port to enable a second Game Boy to connect for multiplayer games.
Like the NES before it, the SNES has unlicensed third-party peripherals, including a new version of the Game Geniecheat cartridge designed for use with SNES games.
Soon after the release of the SNES, companies began marketing backup devices such as the Super Wildcard, Super Pro Fighter Q, and Game Doctor. These devices create a backup of a cartridge. They can also be used to play illicit ROM images or to create copies of rented video games, violating copyright laws in many jurisdictions.
Japan saw the release of the Satellaview, a modem which attaches to the Super Famicom's expansion port and connected to the St.GIGAsatellite radio station from April 23, 1995 to June 30, 2000. Satellaview users could download gaming news and specially designed games, which were frequently either remakes of or sequels to older Famicom games, and released in installments. In the United States, the relatively short-lived XBAND allowed users to connect to a network via a dial-up modem to compete against other players around the country.
During the SNES's life, Nintendo contracted with two different companies to develop a CD-ROM-based peripheral for the console to compete with Sega's CD-ROM based add-on, Sega CD. Although a SNES-CD prototype console was produced by Sony, Nintendo's deals with both Sony and Philips were canceled, with Philips gaining the right to release a series of games based on Nintendo franchises for its CD-imultimedia console and Sony going on to develop its own PlayStation console based on its initial dealings with Nintendo.
As part of the overall plan for the SNES, rather than include an expensive CPU that would still become obsolete in a few years, the hardware designers made it easy to interface special coprocessor chips to the console, just like the MMC chips used for most NES games. This is most often characterized by 16 additional pins on the cartridge card edge.
The Super FX is a RISC CPU designed to perform functions that the main CPU can not feasibly do. The chip is primarily used to create 3D game worlds made with polygons, texture mapping and light source shading. The chip can also be used to enhance 2D games.
The Nintendo fixed-point digital signal processor (DSP) chip allowed for fast vector-based calculations, bitmap conversions, both 2D and 3D coordinate transformations, and other functions. Four revisions of the chip exist, each physically identical but with different microcode. The DSP-1 version, including the later 1A and 1B bug fix revisions, is used most often; the DSP-2, DSP-3, and DSP-4 are used in only one game each.
Similar to the 5A22 CPU in the console, the SA-1 chip contains a 65c816 processor core clocked at 10MHz, a memory mapper, DMA, decompression and bitplane conversion circuitry, several programmable timers, and CIC region lockout functionality.
In Japan, games could be downloaded cheaper than standard cartridges, from Nintendo Power kiosks onto special cartridges containing flash memory and a MegaChips MX15001TFC chip. The chip manages communication with the kiosks to download ROM images, and has an initial menu to select a game. Some were published both in cartridge and download form, and others were download only. The service closed on February 8, 2007.
Many cartridges contain other enhancement chips, most of which were created for use by a single company in a few games; the only limitations are the speed of the SNES itself to transfer data from the chip and the current limit of the console.
Reception and legacy
Approximately 49.1million SNES consoles were sold worldwide, with 23.35million of those units sold in the Americas and 17.17million in Japan. Although it could not quite repeat the success of the NES, which sold 61.91million units worldwide, the SNES was the best-selling console of its era.
In a 1997 year-end review, a team of five Electronic Gaming Monthly editors gave the Super Nintendo Entertainment System scores of 5.5, 8.0, 7.0, 7.0, and 8.0. Though they criticized how few new games were coming out for the system and how dated its graphics were compared to current generation consoles, they regarded its selection of must-have games to be still unsurpassed. Additionally noting that used SNES games were readily available in bargain bins, most of them still recommended buying a SNES. In 2007, GameTrailers named the SNES as the second-best console of all time in their list of top ten consoles that "left their mark on the history of gaming", citing its graphics, sound, and library of top-quality games. In 2015, they also named it the best Nintendo console of all time, saying, "The list of games we love from this console completely annihilates any other roster from the Big N." Technology columnist Don Reisinger proclaimed "The SNES is the greatest console of all time" in January 2008, citing the quality of the games and the console's dramatic improvement over its predecessor; fellow technology columnist Will Greenwald replied with a more nuanced view, giving the SNES top marks with his heart, the NES with his head, and the PlayStation (for its controller) with his hands. GamingExcellence also gave the SNES first place in 2008, declaring it "simply the most timeless system ever created" with many games that stand the test of time and citing its innovation in controller design, graphics capabilities, and game storytelling. At the same time, GameDaily rated it fifth of the ten greatest consoles for its graphics, audio, controllers, and games. In 2009, IGN named the Super Nintendo Entertainment System the fourth-best video game console, complimenting its audio and number of AAA games.
Like the NES before it, the SNES has retained a long-lived fan base. It has continued to thrive on the second-hand market, emulators, and remakes. The SNES has taken the same revival path as the NES.
Emulation projects began with the initial release of VSMC in 1994, and Super Pasofami became the first working SNES emulator in 1996. During that time, two competing emulation projects—Snes96 and Snes97—merged to form Snes9x. In 1997, SNES enthusiasts began programming an emulator named ZSNES. In 2004, higan began development as bsnes, in an effort to emulate the system as closely as possible.
Nintendo of America took the same stance against the distribution of SNES ROM image files and the use of emulators as it did with the NES, insisting that they represented flagrant software piracy. Proponents of SNES emulation cite discontinued production of the SNES constituting abandonware status, the right of the owner of the respective game to make a personal backup via devices such as the Retrode, space shifting for private use, the desire to develop homebrew games for the system, the frailty of SNES ROM cartridges and consoles, and the lack of certain foreign imports. Nintendo designed a hobbyist development system for the SNES, but never released it.
A dedicated mini-console, the Super NES Classic Edition, was released in September 2017 after the NES Classic Edition. The emulation-based system, which is physically modeled after the North American and European versions of the SNES in their respective regions, is bundled with two SNES-style controllers and comes preloaded with 21 games, including the previously unreleased Star Fox 2.
1 2 According to Stephen Kent's The Ultimate History of Video Games, the official launch date was September 9. Newspaper and magazine articles from late 1991 report that the first shipments were in stores in some regions on August 23, and it arrived in other regions at a later date. Many modern online sources since about 2005 report August 13.
↑ The name "SNES" can be pronounced by English speakers as an acronym (one word, like "NATO") with various pronunciations, an initialism (a string of letters, like "IBM"), or as a hybrid (compare "JPEG"). In written English, the choice of indefinite article ("a" or "an") is therefore problematic.
↑ The abbreviation "Super NES" is printed in a label on the bottom of the console as the "Super NES Control Deck" and is commonly used in various Nintendo peripherals and literature related to the platform.
↑ Though the use of "Super Nintendo" is common in colloquial speech and is officially called so by Nintendo of Europe, Nintendo of America's official guidelines discourage it, preferring instead the abbreviations of "Super NES" or "SNES" in a formal context.
↑ Super Famicom (Japanese: スーパーファミコン, Hepburn: Sūpā Famikon, officially adopting the abbreviated name of its predecessor, the Famicom)
↑ In both The Ultimate History of Video Games and Purple Reign: 15 Years of the SNES, the disparity in sales is directly attributed to the SNES version lacking the excessive blood which was recolored grey and described as "sweat", and lacking some of the more gruesome finishing moves. See the Talk page for details.
↑ Some contend that Nintendo orchestrated the Congressional hearings of 1993, but Senator Lieberman and NOA's Senior Vice President (later Chairman) Howard Lincoln both refute these allegations.
The Sega Master System is a third-generation 8-bit home video game console manufactured by Sega. It was originally a remodeled export version of the Sega Mark III, the third iteration of the SG-1000 series of consoles, which was released in Japan in 1985 and featured enhanced graphical capabilities over its predecessors. The Master System launched in North America in 1986, followed by Europe in 1987, and Brazil in 1989. A Japanese version of the Master System was also launched in 1987, which features a few enhancements over the export models : a built-in FM audio chip, a rapid-fire switch, and a dedicated port for the 3D glasses. The Master System II, a cheaper model, was released in 1990 in North America and Europe.
The Super Game Boy is a peripheral that allows Game Boy cartridges to be played on a Super Nintendo Entertainment System console. Released in June 1994, it retailed for $59.99 in the United States and £49.99 in the United Kingdom.
In the history of computer and video games, the fourth generation of game consoles began on October 30, 1987 with the Japanese release of NEC Home Electronics' PC Engine. Although NEC released the first console of this era, sales were mostly dominated by the rivalry between Nintendo's and Sega's consoles in North America: the Super Nintendo Entertainment System and the Sega Genesis. Handheld systems released during this time include the Nintendo Game Boy, released in 1989, and the Sega Game Gear, first released in 1990.
The New-Style Super NES is a compact redesign of the original Super Nintendo Entertainment System home video game console released by Nintendo in 1997. In Japan, the system is called the Super Famicom Jr.. Like the redesigned version of the original Nintendo Entertainment System before it, the new-style Super NES was released late during the platform's lifespan.
In the history of computer and video games, the third generation began on July 15, 1983, with the Japanese release of two systems: the Nintendo Family Computer and the Sega SG-1000. When the Famicom was released outside of Japan it was remodelled and marketed as the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES). This generation marked the end of the video game crash of 1983, and a shift in the dominance of home video game manufacturers from the United States to Japan. Handheld consoles were not a major part of this generation, although the Game & Watch line from Nintendo had started in 1980 and the Milton Bradley Microvision came out in 1979 though both are considered second generation hardware.
Following the popularity and longevity of the Nintendo Entertainment System, the system has seen many clone video game consoles. Such clones are colloquially called Famiclones, and are electronic hardware devices designed to replicate the workings of, and play games designed for, the NES and Famicom. Hundreds of unauthorized clones and unlicensed copies have been made available since the height of the NES popularity in the late 1980s. The technology employed in such clones has evolved over the years: while the earliest clones feature a printed circuit board containing custom or third party integrated circuits (ICs), more recent (post-1996) clones utilize single chip designs, with a custom ASIC which simulates the functionality of the original hardware, and often includes one or more on-board games. Most devices originate in China and Taiwan, and less commonly South Korea.
The Super FX is a coprocessor on the Graphics Support Unit (GSU) added to select Super Nintendo Entertainment System (SNES) video game cartridges, primarily to facilitate advanced 2D and 3D graphics. The Super FX chip was designed by Argonaut Games, who also co-developed the 3D space rail shooter video game Star Fox with Nintendo to demonstrate the additional polygon rendering capabilities that the chip had introduced to the SNES.
Dendy is a Taiwanese hardware clone of the Family Computer, produced for the Russian market. It was released in 1992 by the Steepler company. The Dendy was easily the most popular video game console of its time in former USSR region and enjoyed a degree of fame roughly equivalent to that experienced by the NES/Famicom in North America and Japan. In 1992, Dendy was selling in the Russian Federation for 39,000 rubles ; by 1994, over one million Dendy units were sold in Russia, and the price was roughly $35.
The history of the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) spans the 1982 development of the Family Computer, to the 1985 launch of the NES, to Nintendo's rise to global dominance based upon this platform throughout the late 1980s. The Family Computer or Famicom was developed in 1982 and launched in 1983 in Japan. Following the North American video game crash of 1983, the Famicom was adapted into the NES which was brazenly launched in North America in 1985. Transitioning the company from its arcade game history into this combined global 8-bit home video game console platform, the Famicom and NES continued to aggressively compete with the next-generation 16-bit consoles including the 1988 Sega Genesis. The platform was succeeded by the Super Famicom in 1990 and the Super Nintendo Entertainment System in 1991, but its support and production continued until 1995. Interest in the NES has been renewed by collectors and emulators, including Nintendo's own Virtual Console platform.
The Super 8, also sold under the title Tri-star or Tristar, is an unlicensed video game peripheral released in 1995 for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System designed to allow the system to run games developed for the Nintendo Entertainment System. The Super 8 utilized an NES-on-a-chip integrated circuit to duplicate the functionality of the original NES hardware, and connected to the SNES's own cartridge slot.
Virtual Console, also abbreviated as VC, is a line of downloadable video games for Nintendo's Wii and Wii U home video game consoles and the Nintendo 3DS handheld game console.
The Sega Genesis, known as the Mega Drive outside North America, is a 16-bit fourth-generation home video game console developed and sold by Sega. The Genesis was Sega's third console and the successor to the Master System. Sega released it in 1988 in Japan as the Mega Drive, and in 1989 in North America as the Genesis. In 1990, it was distributed as the Mega Drive by Virgin Mastertronic in Europe, Ozisoft in Australasia, and Tec Toy in Brazil. In South Korea, it was distributed by Samsung as the Super Gam*Boy and later the Super Aladdin Boy.
The history of Nintendo traces back to 1889, when it was founded to produce handmade hanafuda. Nintendo Co., Ltd. is a Japanese multinational consumer electronics company headquartered in Kyoto, Japan. It eventually became one of the most prominent figures in today's video game industry, being the world's largest video game company by revenue.
The FC Twin is a Famiclone that can play Nintendo Entertainment System and Super NES games. Manufactured by Qishenglong (奇胜隆), the system has been well-received due to the increasing scarcity of the original hardware. It is distributed by Yobo Gameware in the U.S. and Gametech in Japan.
The Japanese multinational consumer electronics company Nintendo has developed seven home video game consoles and multiple portable consoles for use with external media, as well as dedicated consoles and other hardware for their consoles. As of September 30, 2015, Nintendo has sold over 722.22 million hardware units.
The Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) is an 8-bit third-generation home video game console produced by Nintendo. Nintendo first released it in Japan as the Family Computer, commonly known as the Famicom, in 1983. The NES, a remodelled version, was released internationally in the following years.
The Super NES CD-ROM System, known as Super Famicom CD-ROM Adapter in Japan, is an unreleased video game peripheral for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System (SNES). The add-on built upon the functionality of the cartridge-based SNES by adding support for a CD-ROM-based format known as Super Disc.
Super Nintendo Entertainment System: Super NES Classic Edition, known as Nintendo Classic Mini: Super Nintendo Entertainment System in Europe and Australia and the Nintendo Classic Mini: Super Famicom in Japan, and also colloquially as the SNES Mini or SNES Classic, is a dedicated home video game console released by Nintendo, which emulates the Super Nintendo Entertainment System. The console, a successor to the NES Classic Edition, comes with twenty-one Super NES titles pre-installed, including the first official release of Star Fox 2. It was released in North America and Europe on September 29, 2017.
↑ Sheff (1993), pp. 353–356. "The Genesis continued to flounder through its first couple of years on the market, although Sega showed Sisyphean resolve.... [By mid-1991] Sega had established itself as the market leader of the next generation."
↑ Kent (2001), pp. 431–433. "Japan remained loyal to Nintendo, ignoring both Sega's Genesis and NEC's PC Engine (the Japanese name for TurboGrafx).... Unlike the Japanese launch in which Super Famicom had outsold both competitors combined in presales alone, SNES would debut against an established product."
Kent (2001), p. 432. Kent states September 1 was planned but later rescheduled to September 9.
Campbell, Ron (August 27, 1991). "Super Nintendo sells quickly at OC outlets". The Orange County Register. Last weekend, months after video-game addicts started calling, Dave Adams finally was able to sell them what they craved: Super Nintendo. Adams, the manager of Babbages in South Coast Plaza, got 32 of the $199.95 systems Friday. Based on the publication date, the "Friday" mentioned would be August 23, 1991.
"Super Nintendo It's Here!!!". Electronic Gaming Monthly. No.28. Sendai Publishing Group. November 1991. p.162. The long awaited SNES is finally available to the U.S. gaming public. The first few pieces of this fantastic unit hit the store shelves on August 23, 1991. Nintendo, however, released the first production run without any heavy fanfare or spectacular announcements.
"New products put more zip into the video-game market". Chicago Sun-Times. August 27, 1991. Archived from the original(abstract) on November 3, 2012. Retrieved March 5, 2010. On Friday, area Toys R Us stores […] were expecting SNES, with a suggested retail price of $199.95, any day, said Brad Grafton, assistant inventory control manager for Toys R Us. Based on the publication date, the "Friday" mentioned would be August 23, 1991.
↑ Campbell, Ron (August 27, 1991). "Super Nintendo sells quickly at OC outlets". The Orange County Register. Super Nintendo began showing up in Southern California stores Wednesday, nearly three weeks before the official Sept. 9 release date. ... Until the official nationwide release Sept. 9, availability will be limited.
↑ Kent (2001), p. 431. "Sonic was an immediate hit, and many consumers who had been loyally waiting for SNES to arrive now decided to purchase Genesis.... The fiercest competition in the history of video games was about to begin."
↑ Hisey, Pete (June 1, 1992). "16-bit games take a bite out of sales— computer games". Discount Store News.Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
↑ Kent (2001), p. 496-497. "The late November release of Donkey Kong Country stood in stark contrast to the gloom and doom faced by the rest of the video game industry. After three holiday seasons of coming in second to Sega, Nintendo had the biggest game of the year. Sega still outperformed Nintendo in overall holiday sales, but the 500,000 copies of Donkey Kong Country that Nintendo sent out in its initial shipment were mostly sold in preorder, and the rest sold out in less than one week. It (Donkey Kong Country) established the SNES as the better 16-bit console and paved the way for Nintendo to win the waning years of the 16-bit generation."
1 2 3 (2007-05-01) Snes9x readme.txt v1.51. Snes9x. Snes9x. Retrieved on July 3, 2007.
↑ Overload (May 29, 2006). "Digital Signal Processing". Overload's Puzzle Sheet. Archived from the original on March 11, 2007. Retrieved May 9, 2007. Refer to the command summaries for all four DSP versions.