The Super Nintendo Entertainment System (also known as the Super NES, SNES or Super Nintendo) is a 16-bit video game console developed by Nintendo and released in 1990 in Japan, 1991 in North America, 1992 in Europe and Australasia, and 1993 in South America.
The Super Nintendo Entertainment System is Nintendo's second home console, following the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES). The console introduced more advanced graphics and sound capabilities than the 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 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.
- In Japan, the system is called the Super Famicom, officially adopting the abbreviated name of its predecessor, the Family Computer (aka the Nintendo Entertainment System).
- While crude three-dimensional graphics had been seen before on home consoles, beginning with Star Fox in 1993, the Super Nintendo 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.