Nintendo is about to release a miniature version of the original SNES -- here's everything we know about it

That smell of teen spirit and Nickelodeon slime isn’t just you — the ’90s are cool again. Look no further than the adorably angular Super Nintendo console above for confirmation of that fact.

Nintendo isn’t going so far as straight up re-releasing the original SNES console, but has instead created an entirely new device called the “SNES Classic Edition.” We’re just a few weeks away from the console’s release, so we compiled everything we know about it in our Trapper Keeper — then published our findings below.

As hinted above, the SNES Classic Edition is smaller than the original Super Nintendo. Here's the original SNES -- the console is much larger than the gamepad.

Wikipedia / Evan Amos
This image of the original SNES is to scale.

By contrast, the SNES Classic Edition is minuscule. The gamepad is far larger than the console itself, which is adorable and hilarious. The console literally fits in the palm of your hand.


Don't be fooled by the look of it, though. The SNES Classic Edition doesn't function anything like the original SNES. You can't put cartridges in it, nor can you plug original gamepads into the ports on the front.

On the original Super Nintendo console, controllers plugged into the front ports and game cartridges went into the slot on top. The blue sliders controlled power and resetting the console, and the grey lever in the middle ejected games. It was pretty low-tech.

In the case of the SNES Classic Edition, it only looks like the original console. Since cartridges don't work, the console has 21 games built in.


The most exciting thing about the SNES Classic Edition is the games it comes with. Pretty much every one is a banger. Here are the first 10:

1. 'Contra III: The Alien Wars'

2. 'Donkey Kong Country'

3. 'EarthBound'

4. 'Final Fantasy III'

5. 'F-Zero'

6. 'Kirby Super Star'

7. 'Kirby's Dream Course'

8. 'The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past'

9. 'Mega Man X'

10. 'Secret of Mana'

The latter half are just as impressive -- that this list contains the best 'Super Mario' game ever made, as well as the best 'Legend of Zelda' game ever made, is outrageous.


11. 'Star Fox'

12. 'Street Fighter II Turbo: Hyper Fighting'

13. 'Super Castlevania IV:

14. 'Super Ghouls 'n Ghosts'

15. 'Super Mario Kart'

16. 'Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars'

17. 'Super Mario World'

18. 'Super Metroid'

19. 'Super Punch-Out!!'

20. 'Yoshi's Island'

But wait! Aren't there 21 games on this thing? There are! The 21st game is a brand-new, never-before-released sequel to the original 'Star Fox.' It's called 'Star Fox 2!'


Nintendo says you'll have to play through the first level of the first 'Star Fox' game in order to unlock access to 'Star Fox 2.' The game was developed to completion for the original Super Nintendo console, but then canceled before it could be released. In a surprise twist, Nintendo's releasing the game all these years later exclusively on the SNES Classic Edition console.

Simply put: Just the existence of this game is enough to make the SNES Classic Edition a ridiculously unique product. Throwing this game inside of a miniaturized SNES alongside 20 fantastic classics is a recipe for outrageous demand.

This isn't Nintendo's first foray into re-releasing old consoles in miniaturized formats. The NES Classic Edition console launched in late 2016 to tremendous fanfare. It was similarly diminutive.

Nintendo's quite fond of advertising these 'Classic Edition' consoles in the palms of hands.

Like the NES Classic Edition, one major difference from the original SNES with the SNES Classic Edition is where the controllers plug in. On the SNES Classic, you'll flip down a panel in the front to reveal modern ports for re-creations of the original gamepads.

Just like the original SNES, the SNES Classic looks slightly different in other parts of the world. In Europe, for instance, it looks like this.

If you grew up in the UK, it's likely you prefer the look of this console as it's what you grew up with. It's also the better looking version of the original SNES.

The gamepads are also slightly different with the console in other regions. Whereas the US gamepads were just two colours, they were more varied elsewhere. This is reflected in the 'Classic Edition' version of the console in Europe and Japan.

The quad-colour layout of the SNES gamepad in Europe and Japan was coveted among North American fans. It remains one of the most iconic elements of any Nintendo game console.

The game line-up on the SNES Classic Edition is also slightly different depending on the region. Completionists may want to collect each region's version of the console for this reason alone.

OF NOTE: All versions of the SNES Classic Edition are limited The console goes on sale on September 29, and is expected to end production at the conclusion of 2017. This is a collector's item right at launch.


With the NES Classic Edition, the console was sold out everywhere for months. And then it was discontinued.

With the SNES Classic Edition, Nintendo's trying to get out ahead of these concerns. A representative provided Business Insider with the following statement back in June:

'We aren't providing specific numbers, but we will produce significantly more units of Super NES Classic Edition than we did of NES Classic Edition.'

That said, pre-orders for the console are almost certainly going to be your best bet. They haven't gone live yet, but Nintendo says they will at some point later this month. Pre-orders are likely to go live on Amazon, Best Buy, GameStop, and other places you'd expect.

There are still a lot of unknowns about the SNES Classic Edition, but we expect to learn a lot more soon. Here are some guesses based on the NES Classic Edition:

This is what the game selection screen on the NES Classic Edition looked like.

With the original NES and SNES consoles, you inserted a cartridge and turned on the power to play a game. There was no operating system like we're used to in pretty much all modern computing devices, from game consoles to smartphones.

In the case of the 'Classic Edition' of the NES, there was a bare bones operating system that's little more than a menu system. You can select games, and explore their instruction manuals, and change a handful of settings about the console -- that's pretty much it. It stands to reason that the SNES Classic would have something similar in this respect.

The other major change with the NES Classic Edition is the inclusion of a function called 'save states.' This enables you to save any game on the console at any time -- a huge step up over the days of leaving a game paused for hours while you did other things. Though more SNES games included save options, it seems likely that the SNES Classic Edition will also include some form of 'save states' for games.

The SNES Classic Edition arrives on September 29 and costs $80. It comes with two gamepads and 21 built-in games. Unfortunately, it's only available until the end of the year.

Get psyched!

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