Nintendo released the successor to their popular NES in 1991, two years after Sega entered the “Next Generation” with their Genesis. Even though Sega had a head start when the 16-Bit days came to an end Nintendo had all but caught up and some say even surpassed the numbers sold of the Genesis.
The SNES was a big step up from the NES and was even an improvement what the Genesis could do graphics and sound wise. One thing that did hamper the SNES was it’s slow clock speed which was more tuned for RPGs and puzzle games than sports and action games. With the faster processor the Genesis was the king of sports and the SNES had all the best RPGs.
With the release of the Sega CD talk started to surface in the Nintendo camp about a similar device for the SNES. The original specs for the drive was for it to be a 16-Bit drive but surpassing what the Sega CD could do. About a year into development Nintendo shelved the drive and started work on a 32-Bit drive that would provide a “radically better game experience.” They partnered with Sony who would actually develop the drive.
Somewhere along the line their partnership with Sony became strained and they parted ways. Nintendo enlisted Phillips to pick up where Sony left off. This didn’t last long as Nintendo finally killied the project stating that CD load times hampered gaming and cartridges were still the way to go. Nintendo wouldn’t change this way of thinking until it released the GameCube.
Even though Sony was never able to release a CD-ROM for the SNES they did continue development of their unit and the Playstation come out of the deal. Talk about shooting yourself in the foot Nintendo!
In 1997 Nintendo released a redesigned SNES in the US. Internally the unit is identical to the original SNES and all changes were cosmetic. They did remove the RF port but that is no consequence to a real gamer as they wouldn’t be using that anyway.
The SNES has it’s place in history and in our hearts. All of Nintendo’s trademark series had an awesome showing in this generation of Nintendo systems and will forever hold a special place in my heart. No collection would be justified without this system.