Launched in 1990 in Japan, the Super Nintendo Entertainment System (SNES) was Nintendo’s answer to the 16 bit Sega Mega drive and one of the best selling consoles of all time. Like its main rival and also its predecessor (the 8 bit Nintendo Entertainment System) this device ran games from cartridges.
Originally designed in Japan as the Super Famicom, or Super Family Computer, this system was only released onto European shelves two years after it made the scene in the States in 1991.
Despite the strength of Sega and Sonic, Nintendo was able to compete almost straight away, as it already had a well established character: Mario. Nintendo’s improved Mario games, or Super Mario World, sparked the greatest console war in the history of gaming.
The strength of Super Mario World was not however the only string to Nintendo’s bow. The diversity of Nintendo’s range saw other great games introduced: Street Fighter II for beat ‘em up action; Zelda for role playing, and the return of Donkey Kong for the completion of a classic trilogy.
This diversity, as well as the game playing quality Nintendo chose over gimmickry, carried the success of this range until well into the 32 bit era. Finally 32 bit games were also introduced for the SNES, but they were right at the limit of this platform’s capabilities, and with the introduction of Sony’s Playstation, the greatest era of Nintendo/Sega rivalry came to an end.
Although finally replaced by Nintendo 64, the SNES is today still being used as retro gamers across the world continue to enjoy it.
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