The Super Nintendo Entertainment System (also known as the Super NES, SNES[b] 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 (Japanese: スーパーファミコン Hepburn: Sūpā Famikon?, 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 (슈퍼 컴보이) 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 Super Nintendo Entertainment System 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.
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