Sunday, February 26, 2017

Nintendo's Super System

On March 3rd Nintendo will launch their latest console so this week I'm putting together a few posts of old magazine articles that relate a little to that. Since most of my magazines are from 1989-1993, I've compiled scans about the Super Nintendo Entertainment System (SNES), also known as the Super Famicom. It hit Japan in November 1990, then North America in August 1991, and every where else during 1992. The first article from Electronic Gaming Monthly (EGM) is from August 1989 so it's a bit before the SNES release and the information in it didn't all turn out to be 100% accurate, especially the release dates. My favorite part of the article is about the audio technology; the author says "Imagine playing a game with the latest Guns and Roses tune providing the background music. With the Super Famicom, effects like these will be possible..." I'm not sure if they meant the music would have lyrics as well, but we weren't quite there yet. My memory could be failing me but I think just having characters speak a few lines was still a big deal. This article is four pages that I broke up into two parts:

Electronic Gaming Monthly #2 (Part 1)

Electronic Gaming Monthly #2 (Part 2)

I've got two more articles from EGM as they're really my best/favorite source from my magazine collection. This one is a total of six pages with the first three being about the console and the last three covering a few games. For some reason they used white print on a light background for page one so it might be a little difficult to read. The most interesting part of this article falls at the end of the second page and beginning of the third where they speculate about the system's U.S. release. Rumors indicated that the Super Famicom, despite being a new console in Japan, would actually be an add-on to the NES in the U.S. and might be called the NES-SFX. That's certainly a good example of why you should always take rumors with a grain of salt. These scans are from a special issue called Electronic Gaming Monthly Presents The 1991 Video Game Buyer's Guide:

EGM's 1991 Video Game Buyer's Guide (Part 1)

EGM's 1991 Video Game Buyer's Guide (Part 2)

EGM's 1991 Video Game Buyer's Guide (Part 3)

The next article hit newsstands just before the console released in North America. It's from the June 1991 issue and is part of a larger 16-bit gaming article featuring Ken Williams. The spine cuts off the screen resolution which should read 512 x 448 if you're curious. This is a rather straightforward overview, Ken's wardrobe might be the most entertaining aspect here:

Electronic Gaming Monthly #23

Lastly I've got a scan from the third issue of Game Informer when it was produced by Funco, Inc.; Funco ran a chain of game stores that we know today as GameStop. This was written a few months after the console was on store shelves but is mostly about the system specs so it's not the most exciting read:

Game Informer Jan/Feb 1992

Personally I didn't have a chance to play a Super Nintendo until the year 2000 and I've still only played it that one time! I know that's rather late but I had a Genesis and didn't know many people that owned video game systems beyond the 8-bit era during the '90s. The only game I happened to play that day was Family Feud if you can believe that. Not exactly unique but a fun multiplayer game nonetheless and the guys I was visiting really dug the music from that game. If I recall correctly, after Family Feud we moved on to Gauntlet Legends on Dreamcast. Nintendo is still a big believer in couch co-op gaming and Sega's Dreamcast was a good system for that too but today most everyone else is all about going online. We'll have to see how well the Switch does with online gaming, though I expect multiplayer will still be best as a local experience for Nintendo's games. 

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