The Super Nintendo Entertainment System arrived in the United States in 1991. The release of the 16-bit SNES was highly anticipated, following the 1990 release in Japan. The initial Japanese release of 300,000 systems sold out within hours, piquing worldwide interest. Until the arrival of the SNES, Sega Genesis had cornered the 16-bit home console market since 1989.
The Sega Genesis quickly gained a significant rival in the SNES. With its revolutionary six button controller, superior graphics, and superior sound quality, the Super Nintendo gained immediate popularity with home gamers. When Nintendo obtained the rights to develop a console version of the extremely popular arcade game Street Fighter 2, sales skyrocketed.
As with all Nintendo products, the SNES was a highly durable machine. It was known to handle the abuse of frustrated players quite well, and many original release systems continue to be fully functional. The system, itself, was simple in appearance, and retains visual appeal even today. Nintendo added buttons to the SNES controllers which did not appear on the original NES controllers. These buttons included the innovative shoulder buttons, which continue to be popular on the controllers of nearly all home console gaming systems on the current market.
With most estimates somewhere in the 700s, the number of SNES games released was astounding. Many of these games, such as The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past, Star Fox, and Super Mario World are still considered to be some of the greatest games ever conceived. The continued popularity of the system is unquestioned.
With such a wide variety of game titles, rare titles, and exclusive releases, the Super Nintendo retains high levels of collectibility. Love for the system continues, and an entirely new generation of gamers can purchase a more compact version of the system today.
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