Nintendo's $80 SNES Classic Edition is almost here! So, uh, what is it?
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.
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.
1. "Contra III: The Alien Wars"
2. "Donkey Kong Country"
4. "Final Fantasy III"
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"
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"
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.
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.
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."
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.
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.
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."