The Super Nintendo Entertainment System (also known as the Super NES, SNES or Super Nintendo) is a 16-bit home video game console developed by Nintendo that was released in 1990 in Japan, 1991 in North America, 1992 in Europe and Australasia (Oceania), and 1993 in South America. In Japan, the system is called the Super Famicom officially adopting the abbreviated name of its predecessor, the Family Computer), or SFC for short. In South Korea, it is known as the Super Comboy and was distributed by Hyundai Electronics. Although each version is essentially the same, several forms of regional lockout prevent the different versions from being compatible with one another.
The SNES is Nintendo's second home console, following the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES). The console introduced advanced graphics and sound capabilities compared with other consoles at the time. Additionally, development of a variety of enhancement chips (which were integrated on game circuit boards) helped to keep it competitive in the marketplace.
The SNES was a global success, becoming the best-selling console of the 16-bit era despite its relatively late start and the fierce competition it faced in North America and Europe from Sega's Genesis/Mega Drive console. The SNES remained popular well into the 32-bit era, and continues to be popular among fans, collectors, retro gamers, and emulation enthusiasts, some of whom are still making homebrew ROM images.
The Nintendo Entertainment System (also abbreviated as NES) is an 8-bit home video game console that was developed and manufactured by Nintendo. It was initially released in Japan as the Family Computer, also known as the Famicom, on July 15, 1983, and was later released in North America during 1985, in Europe during 1986, and Australia in 1987. In South Korea, it was known as the Hyundai Comboy and was distributed by SK Hynix which then was known as Hyundai Electronics. It was succeeded by the Super Nintendo Entertainment System.
The best-selling gaming console of its time, the NES helped revitalize the US video game industry following the video game crash of 1983. With the NES, Nintendo introduced a now-standard business model of licensing third-party developers, authorizing them to produce and distribute titles for Nintendo's platform.
In 2009, the Nintendo Entertainment System was named the single greatest video game console in history by IGN, in a list of 25. It is the second greatest console behind only the Sega Dreamcast in PC Magazine 's "Top 10 Video Game Consoles of All Time".