On November 21, 1990, Nintendo Japan released three amazing things—the first F-Zero, Super Mario World and a console to play them on. It was a very good day.
Releasing a new video game console with only two games to play is unheard of these days (instead we get two GOOD games and a bunch of crap), but Nintendo was setting the trends back in 1990, and it helped that one of the two games released is still considered one of the best of all time.
The fact that Nintendo’s original allotment of 300,000 units of the follow-up to the Famicom sold out within hours is likely largely due to Super Mario World. Still considered one of the greatest games ever made by many, the title brought us a plumber that looked sharper than ever and introduced another iconic Nintendo character in his dinosaur pal, Yoshi.
According to Steven Kent’s The Ultimate History of Video Games, the Wednesday launch of the console caused such a disturbance around shopping areas that the Japanese government asked that future game console releases take place on weekends to prevent weekday chaos.
But let’s not forget the console’s other launch game. Were it not for F-Zero and its Mode-7 raster rotation technique the Mario Kart franchise might have never gotten off the ground, and the world would be a horrible place without the occasional Falcon Punch. That we’ve not gotten a new game in the series since 2004 is a crime.
As with the Famicom before it, Nintendo retooled the Super Famicom for its North American release, re-dubbing it the Super Nintendo Entertainment System. The “Super” branding caused the stable of third-party developers from the original NES to release a slew of titles with the word “Super” in the front, which was just fine.
The Super Famicom and its Super Nintendo brothers will never die—the this day my original Super Nintendo is running and turning it on is always a good time. The 16-bit era was a sweet spot in gaming, more intricate and detailed than the primitive 8-bit days and better looking than the foggy, muddy and just plain ugly early 3D era. The Super Famicom spearheaded that era, and it will always have a place in our hearts and entertainment centers.
Go on and share your favorite Super Famicom/Nintendo stories in the comments.