Su­per Nin­tendo

Retro Gamer - - A MOMENT WITH - » Man­u­fac­turer: Nin­tendo » Year: 1990 » cost: £150 (launch) £50+ (to­day)

When Lance Barr re­designed the Su­per Fam­i­com for the Amer­i­can mar­ket he was adamant that he could im­prove on Masayuki Ue­mura’s orig­i­nal de­sign. “The Su­per Fam­i­com was maybe okay for the mar­ket in Ja­pan, but for the US, I felt that it was too soft and had no edge,” he told Nin­ten­dojo in 2005. “We were al­ways look­ing at fu­ture mod­u­lar com­po­nents, so you had to de­sign with the idea of stack­ing on top of other com­po­nents. I thought the Su­per Fam­i­com didn’t look good when stacked, and even by it­self it had a kind of ‘bag of bread’ look”.

Lance clearly didn’t like bread, or nice colour de­signs for that mat­ter and his US take on Nin­tendo’s 16-bit con­sole is best de­scribed as ‘di­vi­sive’. Far more an­gu­lar than its Ja­panese coun­ter­part, it sports large pur­ple but­tons, which are repli­cated on the con­sole’s pad (mak­ing it look like some­one has stuck Parma Vi­o­lets to the joy­pad). Re­gard­less of what Lance’s con­sole looks like, there’s no deny­ing the in­cred­i­ble sys­tem it houses and it made no dif­fer­ence to Amer­i­cans, as it went on to out­sell the Mega Drive in the re­gion (as it did else­where in the world). Re­gard­less of which ver­sion of the Su­per Nin­tendo you own, it’s a high­light of the 16-bit era, with dozens upon dozens of es­sen­tial games in its li­brary. Lit­tle won­der, then, that read­ers re­cently voted it the great­est games ma­chine of all time.

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