The Super Nintendo Entertainment System is a now classic video game console released by Nintendo in Japan on November 21, 1990 and went on to sell nearly 50 million units worldwide between 1990 and 1993! While Nintendo’s original NES sold almost 62 million units due to a dominance in the market, the Super NES became the best selling video game console of its era followed by the Sega Genesis and the TurboGrafx-16. The system was so popular that the Japanese crime gang Yakuza began stealing the systems.
Known also as Super Nintendo, SNES and the Super NES, it housed a 16-bit 65c816 core and a Nintendo custom 3.58 MHz Ricoh 5A22 Central Processing Unit with variable 6-8-12 bus speeds. It’s video PPU featured two IC packages containing 64 kB of SRAM to store the VRAM along with 544 bytes of object attribute memorey and 512 bytes of color generator RAM, outputting images of 256/512 horizontal pixels and 224/239/448/478 interlaced vertical pixels. The sound system consisted of Sony’s 8-bit SPC700, a 16-bit DSP, 64kB SRAM and a 64 bute boot ROM. The ROM cartridges could posses additional chips for individual video game enhancements.
It’s graphic system and vast video game library allowed it to compete well in the market even with introductions of 32-bit systems that used CD ROM games.
Being 12 years his senior, I bought my brother a Super Nintendo Entertainment System for his birthday that included Super Mario World sometime in the early 1990s. The system quickly became popular in our home and both my brother and me as well as our mother would play it non-stop. At the time we were playing Super Mario World, Mario Kart, Legend of Zelda, some corny 7up game and a couple of others. Later on I’d borrow the system and play more adult games like Metroid and Star Fox.
As we moved out and went our separate ways, my brother continued collecting games for the SNES while I took a long break from video games. Eventually I bought a PlayStation and many years later a PS3. My brother on the other hand became obsessed with video games and got all the Nintendo successors from the Nintendo 64 to the Wii along with several Sega systems and finally went on to become a video game designer.
At one point, the Super Nintendo Entertainment System came back to our house as a gift from my brother to our eldest girl, at the time around 8, which was also about the time that I bought it for him. This time though, the original system was replaced by the SNS-101 version modeled after Japan’s Super Famicom Jr. which was more rounded and replaced the purple slides with purple buttons.
Some of the original games were traded and some were added to the collection, but my wife and I would borrow the system after our girl went to sleep and for hours we’d play my brother’s least favorite game, Total Carnage! Total carnage was a single/simultaneous double player game that follows Captain Carnage and Mayor Mayhem on an Doomsday Quest to rescue civilians and reporters in the Middle East captured by the evil General Akhboob.
The system now remains unconnected in the family room seeing very little activity. My brother has been asking for it back, and I’ve been ignoring his requests because... I want to keep it! After a youtube viewer noticed the system next to our television on a video I posted of my son playing with a remote control car, I became inspired not only to write this article, but to connect the system to our bedroom television and reignite the fury of Total Carnage with my wife! Thanks 821Drifter128!!