The Super Nintendo Entertainment System also known as the SNES or Super NES was released by the Nintendo corporation as a 16 bit console to follow the NES during 1990. The console was first released in Japan under the name Super Famicom of SFC although each console was basically the same each of the consoles included regional lockouts making them incompatible with one another. The SNES was capable of running some of the very first 3D graphics in games like Star Fox due to advancements in its hardware including the Super FX chip. The SNES turned out to be very successful across the globe and was one of the highest selling consoles during the 4th generation and continues to be very popular in certain crowds today.
The console was developed by Masayuki Uemura who also developed the original NES and the Super NES hit the Japanese markets in 1990. The console was incredibly successful upon its release and the first 300,000 units sold nearly immediately. The tremendous success of the console even drew the attention of Japanese organized crime syndicate the Yakuza leading console shipments to take place at night in attempts to avoid theft. One component to the success of the system was the carryover over third party developers that had also assisted the original NES in becoming so popular. The SNES hit the American market a year later in 1991 and the European market during 1992. The console only included a couple games at its release that varied based on where they were located. The U.S. game releases included F-Zero, Pilotwings, Simcity, and Gradius III, the Japanese releases were Super Mario World and F-Zero.
While the original NES sold 61.91 million units the SNES managed to sell 49.10 million units making it slightly less successful but still wildly popular and still managing to hold the title of highest selling console of the 4th generation of consoles.
The console war between Sega and Nintendo was one of the most heated rivalries in video game console history. The Genesis was positioned as the cooler console and had a more mature set of games that were aimed at older gamers and used these strategies to attack their competitors. Sega managed to hold about 60% of the market share and held an early advantage over Nintendo although in the years following 1992 the neither console could really gain an edge over one another. When other consoles began to mover towards the 32 bit era consoles in 1994 Nintendo and Rare released Donkey Kong Country which managed to prove that the SNES was still a major contender. Games for the console ceased production in 2000 making the SNES one of the longest lived consoles in production in video game history.
The SNES has received tons of accolades from numerous sources praising it as one of the best video game consoles of all time and for leaving a lasting mark on the the video game market that will never be forgotten. It has also received praise for innovating controller design, increased graphical capabilities, and advanced game story telling.
The game cartridges which were released in the U.S. were referred to as Game Paks. Although the SNES console was capable of using 128 Mbit however the game cartridges were only capable of using 117.75Mbits. The variety of games which were released used as little as 2Mbits to 48Mbits of ROM data and some cartridges also contained battery powered SRAM in order to save game data and extra RAM or processors to enhance the console without additional hardware.
There were a number of additional accessories which were released for the SNES and many of these additional components were modeled after similar releases for the original NES. The Super Scope was an updated version of the Light Zapper light gun and was capable of wireless functions. Another release was the Super Advantage which was an arcade style joystick controller with turbo functions and was similar to the NES Advantage. Nintendo also released the SNES Mouse to accompany the game Mario Paint, and the Super Multitap was released to accompany Bomberman in order to allow more players to get in on the action.
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