Tech Nintendo is about to release a miniature version of the original SNES — here's everything we know about it

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Nintendo's $80 SNES Classic Edition is almost here! So, uh, what is it?

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(Nintendo)
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That smell of teen spirit and Nickelodeon slime isn't just you — the '90s are cool again. Look no further than the adorably angular Super Nintendo console above for confirmation of that fact.

Nintendo isn't going so far as straight-up rereleasing the original SNES console, but it has instead created a new device called the Super NES Classic Edition. We're just a few weeks away from the console's release, so we compiled everything we know about it in our Trapper Keeper — then published our findings below.

As hinted above, the Super NES Classic Edition is smaller than the original Super Nintendo. Here's the original SNES — the console is much larger than the gamepad.

This image of the original SNES is to scale. play

This image of the original SNES is to scale.

(Wikipedia / Evan Amos)


By contrast, the Super NES Classic Edition is minuscule. The gamepad is far larger than the console, which is adorable and hilarious. The console fits in the palm of your hand.

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(Nintendo)


Don't be fooled by the look of it, though. The SNES Classic Edition doesn't function anything like the original SNES. You can't put cartridges in it, nor can you plug original gamepads into the ports on the front.

Don't be fooled by the look of it, though. The SNES Classic Edition doesn't function anything like the original SNES. You can't put cartridges in it, nor can you plug original gamepads into the ports on the front. play

Don't be fooled by the look of it, though. The SNES Classic Edition doesn't function anything like the original SNES. You can't put cartridges in it, nor can you plug original gamepads into the ports on the front.

(Rob DiCaterino/Flickr)

Controllers plugged into the front ports of the original Super Nintendo console, and game cartridges went into the slot on top. The blue sliders controlled power and resetting the console, and the gray lever in the middle ejected games. It now seems pretty low-tech.



In the case of the SNES Classic Edition, it only looks like the original console. Since cartridges don't work, the console has 21 games built in.

In the case of the SNES Classic Edition, it only looks like the original console. Since cartridges don't work, the console has 21 games built in. play

In the case of the SNES Classic Edition, it only looks like the original console. Since cartridges don't work, the console has 21 games built in.

(Nintendo)


The most exciting thing about the SNES Classic Edition is the games it comes with. Pretty much every one is a banger. Here are the first 10:

The most exciting thing about the SNES Classic Edition is the games it comes with. Pretty much every one is a banger. Here are the first 10: play

The most exciting thing about the SNES Classic Edition is the games it comes with. Pretty much every one is a banger. Here are the first 10:

(Nintendo)

1. "Contra III: The Alien Wars"
2. "Donkey Kong Country"
3. "EarthBound"
4. "Final Fantasy III"
5. "F-Zero"
6. "Kirby Super Star"
7. "Kirby's Dream Course"
8. "The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past"
9. "Mega Man X"
10. "Secret of Mana"



The latter half are just as impressive — that this list contains the best "Super Mario" game ever made, as well as the best "Legend of Zelda" game ever made, is outrageous.

The latter half are just as impressive — that this list contains the best "Super Mario" game ever made, as well as the best "Legend of Zelda" game ever made, is outrageous. play

The latter half are just as impressive — that this list contains the best "Super Mario" game ever made, as well as the best "Legend of Zelda" game ever made, is outrageous.

(Nintendo)

11. "Star Fox"
12. "Street Fighter II Turbo: Hyper Fighting"
13. "Super Castlevania IV"
14. "Super Ghouls 'n Ghosts"
15. "Super Mario Kart"
16. "Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars"
17. "Super Mario World"
18. "Super Metroid"
19. "Super Punch-Out!!"
20. "Yoshi's Island"



But wait! Aren't there 21 games on this thing? There are! The 21st game is a never-before-released sequel to the original "Star Fox." It's called "Star Fox 2"!

But wait! Aren't there 21 games on this thing? There are! The 21st game is a never-before-released sequel to the original "Star Fox." It's called "Star Fox 2"! play

But wait! Aren't there 21 games on this thing? There are! The 21st game is a never-before-released sequel to the original "Star Fox." It's called "Star Fox 2"!

(Nintendo)

Nintendo says you'll have to play through the first level of the first "Star Fox" game to unlock access to "Star Fox 2." The game was developed to completion for the original Super Nintendo console but was canceled. In a surprise twist, Nintendo's releasing the game all these years later exclusively on the SNES Classic Edition console.

The existence of this game alone is enough to make the SNES Classic Edition a unique product. Throwing this game inside of a miniaturized SNES alongside 20 fantastic classics is a recipe for outrageous demand.



This isn't Nintendo's first foray into rereleasing old consoles in miniaturized formats. The NES Classic Edition console launched in late 2016 to tremendous fanfare. It was similarly diminutive.

The NES Classic Edition, left, and the Super NES Classic Edition. play

The NES Classic Edition, left, and the Super NES Classic Edition.

(Nintendo)


Like the NES Classic Edition, one major difference from the original SNES with the Super NES Classic Edition is where the controllers plug in. On the Super NES Classic, you'll flip down a panel in the front to reveal modern ports for recreations of the original game pads.

Like the NES Classic Edition, one major difference from the original SNES with the Super NES Classic Edition is where the controllers plug in. On the Super NES Classic, you'll flip down a panel in the front to reveal modern ports for recreations of the original game pads. play

Like the NES Classic Edition, one major difference from the original SNES with the Super NES Classic Edition is where the controllers plug in. On the Super NES Classic, you'll flip down a panel in the front to reveal modern ports for recreations of the original game pads.

(GameXplain/YouTube)


Just like the original SNES, the Super NES Classic looks slightly different in other parts of the world. In Europe, for instance, it looks like this.

If you grew up in the UK, you most likely prefer the look of this console, as it's what you grew up with. It's also the better-looking version of the original SNES. play

If you grew up in the UK, you most likely prefer the look of this console, as it's what you grew up with. It's also the better-looking version of the original SNES.

(Nintendo)


The game pads are also slightly different in other regions. Whereas the US game pads were just two colors, they were more varied elsewhere. This is reflected in the Classic Edition version of the console in Europe and Japan.

The quad-color layout of the SNES game pad in Europe and Japan was coveted among North American fans. It remains one of the most iconic elements of any Nintendo game console. play

The quad-color layout of the SNES game pad in Europe and Japan was coveted among North American fans. It remains one of the most iconic elements of any Nintendo game console.

(Nintendo)

The game lineup on the SNES Classic Edition is also slightly different depending on the region. Completionists may want to collect each region's version of the console for this reason alone.



OF NOTE: The Super NES Classic Edition is a limited-edition product. The console goes on sale on September 29, and it is expected to end production some time in 2018. This is a collector's item right at launch.

OF NOTE: The Super NES Classic Edition is a limited-edition product. The console goes on sale on September 29, and it is expected to end production some time in 2018. This is a collector's item right at launch. play

OF NOTE: The Super NES Classic Edition is a limited-edition product. The console goes on sale on September 29, and it is expected to end production some time in 2018. This is a collector's item right at launch.

(Invision)

The NES Classic Edition was sold out for months — and then was discontinued.

With the Super NES Classic Edition, Nintendo is trying to get out ahead of these concerns. A representative provided Business Insider with the following statement back in June:

"We aren’t providing specific numbers, but we will produce significantly more units of Super NES Classic Edition than we did of NES Classic Edition."

That said, pre-orders for the console are already done — it's not clear if more will become available before the console's launch later this month. Nintendo responded to the problematic pre-order issue with an announcement in mid-September of "plans to ship the retro-inspired product into 2018." Though the Super NES Classic Edition was originally intended to be in production only through the end of 2017, Nintendo is pushing back that end date.

Additionally, Nintendo announced a major increase in supply for the console:

"More units of Super NES Classic Edition will ship on its September 29 launch day in the US than were shipped of NES Classic Edition all last year, with subsequent shipments arriving in stores regularly. Fans have shown their unbridled enthusiasm for these Classic Edition systems, so Nintendo is working to put many more of them on store shelves."



The Super NES Classic Edition enables you to save any game at any point, with up to four "suspend points."

The Super NES Classic Edition enables you to save any game at any point, with up to four "suspend points." play

The Super NES Classic Edition enables you to save any game at any point, with up to four "suspend points."

(Nintendo)

With the original NES and SNES consoles, you inserted a cartridge and turned on the power to play a game. There was no operating system of the kind we're used to in pretty much all modern computing devices, from game consoles to smartphones.

The Super NES Classic Edition features a bare-bones operating system that's little more than a menu system. You can select games, explore instruction manuals, and change a handful of settings about the console — that was pretty much it.

The other major change from the original SNES with the Super NES Classic Edition is the inclusion of a function called "suspend points." This enables you to save any game on the console at any time — a huge step up over the days of leaving a game paused for hours while you did other things. Though more SNES games included save options, not all did — and this is a nice, modernized feature that benefits everyone.



Another new addition: The ability to rewind games, and the ability to customize borders around games.

Here are two different examples of borders around "Super Mario World" on the Super NES Classic Edition. play

Here are two different examples of borders around "Super Mario World" on the Super NES Classic Edition.

(Nintendo)

Since the original SNES and its games display in a 4:3 ratio, the Super NES Classic Edition has an issue on its hands: How to handle displaying 4:3 games on modern, HD televisions (which have a 16:9 display ratio).

It handles this by adding borders, and you can customize those borders depending on your preference. The two options above, for instance, speak to the Marimekko crowd, though you might prefer the wood grain option for a more traditional look.

Super NES Classic Edition play

Super NES Classic Edition

(Nintendo)

Beyond new borders, you can also rewind games on the Super NES Classic Edition. Each game handles this differently. According to a report on Kotaku, using the rewind system is somewhat complex:

"Like on [the] NES Classic, each game has four Suspend Point slots. Press the Reset button on the console, and you’ll jump back to the menu and can save your place in any game, at any time. But now, when you load up a saved game, you have the option of loading it with Rewind mode on. Instead of jumping right to where you saved, you’ll jump in a few minutes beforehand, and you’ll be able to scrub back and forth within that window and pick out the precise place that you want to rejoin the game."



The Super NES Classic Edition has a launch date of September 29 at a cost of $80. It comes with two gamepads and 21 built-in games. Unfortunately, it's scheduled to be available only until the end of the year.

Get psyched! play

Get psyched!

(Nintendo)


Check out the North American version of the Super NES Classic Edition trailer right here:



And check out the European version of the Super NES Classic Edition trailer right here: