Happy birthday, Super Famicom! This magnificent machine first graced Japan on 11/21/1990, and went on to remain relevant even today.
The Super Nintendo Entertainment System (also known as the Super NES, SNES or Super Nintendo) is a 16-bitvideo game console developed by Nintendo that was released in 1990 in Japan, 1991 in North America, 1992 in Europe andAustralasia (Oceania), and South America in 1993. In Japan, the system is called the Super Famicom (スーパーファミコン Sūpā Famikon, officially adopting the abbreviated name of its predecessor, the Family Computer), or SFC for short.
The Super Nintendo Entertainment System is Nintendo’s second home console, following the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES). The console introduced advanced graphics and sound capabilities compared with other consoles at the time.
While crude three-dimensional graphics had rarely been seen before on home consoles, utilizing the Super FX chip beginning with Star Fox in 1993,the SNES was able to run games with smoother and more detailed three-dimensional graphics than was previously possible. This sparked more widespread interest in polygon graphics in the industry, helping to usher in 3D graphics as seen in the fifth generation of video game consoles.
The SNES was a global success, becoming the best-selling console of the 16-bit era despite its relatively late start and the fierce competition it faced in North America and Europe from Sega’s Genesis/Mega Drive console. The SNES remained popular well into the 32-bit era, and continues to be popular among fans, collectors, retro gamers, and emulation enthusiasts, some of whom are still making homebrew ROM images.
But not only was it technically amazing at the time, it also had great games that catapulted it to legacy status:
In 2007, GameTrailers named the Super NES 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 graphic, sound, and library of top-quality games. 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 drastic 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.
The Super Famicom may be my favorite system of all time as well, as I adored Chrono Trigger, Final Fantasy V, Final Fantasy VI, Dragon Quest V, Super Mario RPG, Kirby Super Star, Super Robot Wars IV and the list goes on and on.
Here’s the first commercial for the Super Famicom (“konnichiwa, Super Famicom!”), followed by an exhaustive YouTube recap of every Super Famicom game, showing a 15 second clip for 1447 games.