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Super Nintendo Entertainment System

The Super Nintendo Entertainment System (Super NES or SNES) is a video game console designed and built by Nintendo in the 1990s. It was first released in Japan under the name Super Famicom. It is the sucessor to the Nintendo Entertainment System and Nintendo's answer to the Sega Genesis.


  • CPU side
    • CPU: WDC 65C816 16 bit processor running at 2.68 MHz or 3.58 MHz, with 128 KiB of RAM
  • Sound side
    • Sound CPU: Sony SPC700 running at 4.1 MHz, with 64 KiB of RAM
    • Main sound Chip: 8-channel DSP with hardware decompression similar to ADPCM
  • Video side
    • Palette: 32,768 Colors
    • Texture and map RAM: 64 KiB
    • Onscreen colors: 241 in mode 1 or 256 in mode 7, not counting sum-blending
    • Resolution: Most games used 256x224 pixels; there were tricks to get 512x448 but these were rarely used.
    • Maximum onscreen sprites: 128
    • Maximum number of sprite pixels on one scanline: 256. The picture generator had a bug such that it would drop the frontmost sprites instead of the rearmost sprites if a scanline exceeded the limit.
    • Most common display modes: Pixel-to-pixel text mode 1 (16 colors per tile; 3 scrolling layers) and affine mapped text mode 7 (256 colors per tile; one rotating/scaling layer)
  • Expansion port on the bottom right hand side used for the Satellaview attachment (released only in Japan) and a never-released Nintendo CD attachment that eventually became the Sony PlayStation
  • 2 seven-pin controller ports in the front of the machine

On the back of marginally superior technical capabilities over its main competitor, the Sega Genesis, many beautifully designed and illustrated games, Nintendo's family-friendly image, and the popularity of icon game characters including Super Mario, the Super NES was popular throughout the world throughout the early- to mid-1990s, though in the United States the Genesis was marginally more successful.

The Super NES was superseded by the Nintendo 64. Many of the successful games for the system are being revived in the Game Boy Advance, which has remarkably similar capabilities.

The Super NES has been considered by many to have the best RPGs, such as Final Fantasy VI and Chrono Trigger. The most popular Super NES emulator is called ZSNES. SNES ROMs are actually getting easier to find, now that the Super NES is long out of production in North America since 1998. Like its predecessor the NES, the Super NES has a continued interest among its fans, continuing to thrive on a huge secondhand market and proliferate ROM images. There has been a larger demand for a secondhand market and emulation for the interest Super NES than for that of the NES.

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