The Super Nintendo Entertainment System
(also known as the Super NES, SNES, or Super Nintendo) is a 16-bit video game console
that was released in 1990 by Nintendo
in Japan, 1991 in North America, 1992 in Europe & Australasia
(Oceania), and South America in 1993. In Japan, the system is called the Super Famicom, or SFC for short. In South Korea, it is known as the Super Comboy and was distributed by Hyundai Electronics
. Although each version is essentially the same, several forms of regional lockout
prevent the different versions from being compatible with one another.
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. Additionally, development of a variety of enhancement chips (which were integrated on game circuit boards) helped to keep it competitive in the marketplace.
The Super NES and Super Famicom launched with only a few games, but these games were well received in the marketplace. In Japan, only two games were initially available: Super Mario World and F-Zero. In North America, Super Mario World shipped with the console, and other initial titles included F-Zero, Pilotwings (both of which demonstrated the console's "Mode 7" pseudo-3D rendering capability), SimCity, and Gradius III.
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 console. 49.10 million Super NES units were sold worldwide, with 23.35 million of those units sold in the Americas and 17.17 million in Japan. 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.