Following the massive success of the original Nintendo Entertainment System, Nintendo leaped into the world of 16-bit gaming on this day in history.
The Super Nintendo Entertainment System was Nintendo’s second home video game console. Following its released in Japan as the Super Famicom (short for Super Family Computer) in late 1990, it was released in the United States on August 23rd, 1991.
The system featured a variety of upgrades from its predecessor. These included enhanced 16-bit graphics and sound. The Super Nintendo’s controller was expanded to four face buttons, and a pair of shoulder buttons. Although the system used cartridges like the original Nintendo, it was not backwards compatible with games from that system.
In the US, Super Nintendo launched for $199. Launch games included the beloved-to-this-day Super Mario World, SimCity and F-Zero among others. Throughout the system’s life, hundreds of games were released from Nintendo and a variety of third-parties. Just a handful of the notable games include the Donkey Kong Country series, Super Mario RPG, Star Fox, Super Mario Kart, Street Fighter II, Zelda: A Link to the Past and many more.
The Super Nintendo clashed with Sega’s 16-bit Genesis for dominance in the market at the time, and it was a close competition between the creators of Mario and Sonic. The Super Nintendo sold nearly 50 million systems across the world.
The Super Nintendo would be succeeded in 1996 by the Nintendo 64, although some new games continued to be made for the system for a while longer. Classic SNES games are currently available for the WiiU and New Nintendo 3DS through the Virtual Console service.