SNES (Super Nintendo Entertainment System)
Sega originally dominated the 16-bit videogame market with its Genesis console, but this changed overnight when Nintendo released their Super Nintendo Entertainment System (SNES), which is a 16 bit game console that may be inferior to the Genesis in terms of raw processing speed, but was able to compensate by offering a better library of software titles and better looking games.
The advantage in audio in visuals present in any Super Nintendo game is the result of a superior graphics chip that was able to pump out more effects and colors than the Genesis’ and a better sound chip that was able to generate deep bass and hiqh quality digitized audio. The SNES also featured a better control scheme in the form of a six-button controller (8 if you include the select and start button), which is the first to introduce the concept of shoulder buttons, which made pressing multiple buttons at once easier. The SNES controller revolutionized game control schemes and was very useful in games that were already successful in the Genesis, particularly NBA Jam and its turbo button.
A newly bought Super Nintendo Game is packaged inside an attractive black box with a clear plastic cap in put in the cartridge in order to protect the circuits from dust and other foreign materials. The package of a Super Nintendo Game also comes with stylish colored game manuals that were also a big boon for collectors. Unfortunately the boxes themselves were prone to aging, so Super Nintendo Games with mint condition packaging are highly sought by collectors and may fetch a good price.
The Super Nintendo Games themselves are what made the SNES a huge success. Like its rival, the SNES had a huge library of game titles that spans all existing genres. While home to popular role-playing games such as the Final Fantasy, Legend of Zelda, and Secret of Mana series, the SNES also offered near-arcade perfect ports of fan favorite fighters such as Street Fighter 2, Mortal Kombat, and Killer Instinct. Early in its life, shooters for the console suffered from lags and slowdowns due to a processor that cannot handle a lot of things at once, but as soon as the developers started making Super Nintendo games that are tailor made for the SNES’s strengths and weaknesses, high quality shooters such as Axelay and Contra III started appearing. Another strength of its library is the presence of well-known first party titles such as the Mario series, Donkey Kong and other Nintendo-exclusive titles. These games have a loyal following and Nintendo had that market cornered. The only disadvantage of their library is the lack of high quality commercial brand sports games, which were already licensed by Sega by the time the SNES was released.
In the end, the SNES overtook the Sega Genesis both in terms of hardware and software sales. This was made further noticeable by the sheer amount of titles available for the SNES, which are twice as many as Sega has. By the onset of the 90s, Nintendo has clearly won the 16-bit game console war.