Back in the early 1990’s, Sega had shockingly dethroned Nintendo from their perch at the top of the home console arena – at least in the United States. Sega put Nintendo in an awkward position, forced to either prematurely kill their successful Famicom in Japan, or cede the 16-bit era to Sega in the United States. Eventually, Nintendo released the Super Famicom to sell alongside the original Famicom, renaming it the Super NES in the States and giving it a more angular look than the Japanese version. It would eventually outsell the Genesis, but not until Sega had abandoned their 16 bit console in favor of the Saturn.
I admit that I was a Genesis guy at the time – I was in college, and multiplayer sports games were my main gaming interest. The SNES was almost a joke in the dorms; I remember one guy got it shortly after its release, and we all pointed and laughed when he booted up Mario Kart. Then we headed on up to my room to put some blood on the ice in NHL Hockey.
He eventually bought the SNES version of NHL (I forget which year it was that EA finally decided to support the SNES with their sports games), but all it did was convince us further that the Genesis was the superior machine. The SNES version of the game was slower and choppier, and had all the blood removed. Of course, by this time Sonic had also been released for the Genesis, and you’re probably familiar with Sega’s ad campaign comparing Super Mario with Sonic. It was really no contest.
Nowadays I can appreciate the SNES for what it is. It’s a different machine than the Genesis; it is slower, but it has a better sound system and can display more sprites and colors. It is better suited to things like epic RPG’s and adventure games than the Genesis was, whereas the Genesis was better suited to action, sports, and arcade style games. I still prefer the Genesis, but I see the SNES’s appeal.
As for my system, I purchased it about four years ago. Like my N64, it’s the Donkey Kong Set (this was intentional – I’ve sort of got a matched pair), so definitely one of the later SNES units produced. Unfortunately, and I am trying to remedy this right now, it is the only system I have without the pack-in game. This drives me crazy. On the other hand, I did get two official controllers, when the original set only came with one. But I need that stupid pack-in game.
Also, when I purchased it, it was in absolutely perfect shape, but it is just ever-so-slightly beginning to “yellow” now in certain areas:
You can see a bit of a difference between the extreme rear of the machine and most of the rest of it, and between the cartridge door and the surrounding plastic. Everything should be the same color. This is an extremely common problem with the SNES and I’m not sure why it happens, but I don’t think there’s anything to be done about it. I’ve seen much worse than this, though; my yellowing is barely detectable, whereas some systems I’ve seen are flat-out, full-on bright orange. (And not on purpose like some of my other systems, either.)
I’ll leave you with a back-of-box shot – Nintendo really did a great job on this one: