SNES Classic Mini: Release date, games and everything you need to know about Nintendo’s next microconsole
After the incredible success of its miniature, remade NES console, Nintendo is said to be working on a follow-up; this time based on the much-loved Super Nintendo Entertainment System, or SNES for short.
A Nintendo Classic Mini: SNES is heavily tipped for release in 2017 and we’ll be queuing for one, that’s for sure.
While we await official details on the SNES Classic Mini, we present everything we know about the machine so far and speculate on what games could be included. We’ll update this feature as more details become available.
SNES Classic Mini: What is it?
Nintendo released a miniature version of its first household games console in November last year and it sold out almost immediately. The Nintendo Classic Mini: Nintendo Entertainment System (Famicom in Japan) was priced at £50 in the UK and came with 30 Nintendo games pre-installed. An included controller, shaped like the one that came with the 80s original, was included in the box and an optional second could be added for two-player games.
Apart from its size, the NES Classic Mini also included an HDMI port to connect it to a TV and clever picture upscaling technologies to ensure the 8-bit games looked good, even when expanded to fit a 55-inch or more.
Unfortunately, because it was extremely popular, gamers who didn’t manage to pre-order one prior to release were unlikely to get one for the original price. They still fetch anywhere up to £250 each on reseller sites such as eBay – five times the original retail price. Nintendo has also confirmed that it has no plans to manufacture new units in any territory.
That is more than likely because it is concentrating on a sequel instead. Like the NES was followed by the SNES in the early 90s, so too will the Classic Mini version.
Eurogamer recently reported that development of a SNES Classic Mini console is already underway. Its sources point to a similarly diminutive device hitting stores at the end of the year. This time it will sport a range of Super Nintendo (Super Famicom) titles and up the ante when it comes to graphics and audio performance, to match the 16-bit original.
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SNES Classic Mini: Release date
Eurogamer didn’t mention an actual release in its report, just saying that the mini console should debut “in time for Christmas” this year.
That matches the release schedule of the NES Classic Mini, which hit shelves on 11 November in the UK and US. It was announced officially several months before though, with pre-orders opening on 21 July 2016 – so if Nintendo follows suit and you want to ensure you don’t miss out this time, look out for confirmations around the end of summer.
SNES Classic Mini: Price
It’s far too early to know the confirmed price of the SNES Classic Mini yet, but considering the NES version was £50, we’re almost certain the next one will be around the same ball park.
SNES Classic Mini: Games
The NES Classic Mini featured 30 games (although you could add more by hacking the machine), all accessible through a smart, easy-to-use scrollable menu system. You could also pause a game, return to the menu and pick it up again later.
All of the titles on the official release were first-party or from a few close publishers (including Bandai, Tecmo and Konami) and it is highly likely to be the same again. Here then is our wish list of 10 of the 30 or so games the SNES Classic Mini should include:
Super Mario World
The crown jewel in the Super Nintendo era, Super Mario World was the 2D platformer that set a very high bar few others managed to match. For many, it was the game that convinced them to buy a SNES over the rival Sega Mega Drive.
Super Mario Kart
Changed co-operative racing forever. The original Super Mario Kart still holds its own today as a party game guaranteed to cause a giggle or two.
The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past
As top-down RPGs go, A Link to the Past is one of the very best. It might ot have the fancy graphics of the Switch masterpiece of today, but it retains the spirit and scope.
A sideways-scrolling shooter/platformer of the highest quality. It’s often been included in lists of the greatest games of all-time.
Donkey Kong Country
Rare’s attempt at a 2D platformer feels very different to the Mario games. It uses more chunky, clay-like characters and some clever gameplay tropes to deliver something fresh and fiendishly difficult. We fully expect at least one of the sequels to be included too.
Sometimes called Super Mario World 2 but isn’t really – it’s actually a prequel to the SNES Mario classic. It also features a baby Mario riding on the back of his dinosaur chum Yoshi. It’s fun but doesn’t hold a candle to the original.
To be honest, we never really liked F-Zero that much but as a forerunner to WipEout and games like it, this needs to be included.
One of the least known Nintendo-published SNES games just so happened to be one of our favourites. You have to complete different pilot-related tasks – such as land a plane or parachute onto a target in order to earn your “wings”.
Graphically impressive and complex for its time, this 3D space shooter is still our favourite Star Fox game ever.
Stunt Race FX
Like Star Fox, which was also co-developed by Argonaut Software, Stunt Race FX utilises 3D polygons rather than sprites for the most part and therefore looks a lot more advanced than the vast majority of other SNES games.