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Nintendo’s SNES celebrates its 25th Birthday

Released as Nintendo’s second console, the SNES, or to give it its official title, the ‘Super Nintendo Entertainment System’ has reached its 25th birthday this month! For many this beloved console is Nintendo’s finest, and no other Nintendo console since has managed to eclipse it in respect of sheer enjoyment and the quality of games on offer. Released in Japan in 1990 and then later in North America in 1991, the SNES was a standout success of the 16Bit generation, and has undoubtedly not only shaped and changed future generations of games and consoles ever since its release, but continues to be enjoyed and valued by fans to this day.

Like many gamers of my generation, the first experience I had with a console was with the SNES, and after sticking in my brand new Super Mario World cartridge I remember being blown away by the crisp sound, exciting look and feel of the console and its ease of use with its controller. Amazingly, when going back to it this still remains the case today, and unlike other older consoles the SNES has aged comparatively well. Its visuals remain clear and iconic, its sound is still sharp and its controller is easy and familiar to pick up and play owing to the general format of its controller having been adapted and copied by other later consoles. In this way it does not feel like a console from 25 years ago, and has lasted well when compared to many of its competitors.

Engaged in the first ever proper ’console war’, Nintendo competed with the Sega Genesis, both companies battling over gamers hearts and wallets to get the best collection of games onto their own consoles. This initial competition with Sega gave us what is perhaps the SNES’s most long lasting appeal, featuring a truly fantastic line up of games that no other Nintendo console has managed to achieve since. Great series such as Mortal Kombat and Super Metroid, to now iconic first releases such as Star Fox and Mario Kart found their place on the SNES’s list of titles, and these thrilling editions to its library, combined with the easy to use console, helped sling shot the SNES’s sales to become the bestselling console of the 16bit generation.

Its great repertoire of games is probably the SNES most enduring legacy, and it is one of the most successful of the earlier consoles in dragging gamers back to this era of console gaming. Although it is 25 years old, the demand is still there among the gaming community for the SNES, whether among retro gamers dusting off and getting back into the games of their upbringing, or new gamers going back and trying this classic console for the first time. This long lasting appeal can be seen through the SNES popularity in its second hand sales over recent years, as well as in the rise of PC Emulators, with SNES games among some of the highest downloaded and sought after emulated games out there.

At 25, the SNES has a fantastic past that speaks volumes about its success as an enduring part of gaming history. Its popularity remains firm and well-earned to this day, and all evidence suggests that it is likely to remain a constant edition for any gamers collection in the future.

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