The SNES Classic is out now! Wow, that snuck up, didn't it? You might well struggle to buy a SNES Classic Mini due to stock shortages, but we'll try to help you stay on top of which retailers get new stock. Here’s everything we know about the SNES Classic Mini, including SNES Classic release date, price, and where you can pre-order the SNES Classic - including info on Nintendo's plans to produce more units into 2018. We've also got reviews of all the SNES Classic games and review round-ups of the console itself. Here’s everything we know about SNES Classic, the retro console everyone wants to get their hands on.
What is the SNES Classic Release Date
The SNES Classic Mini is official. The SNES Classic release date is September 29, 2017. The console’s predecessor, the NES Classic Mini, released on November 11, 2016, and quickly went out of stock, resulting in high prices being paid on reseller sites like eBay.
The end of September was the ideal time to launch the SNES Classic Mini to capitalize on Christmas shoppers desperate to find something their loved ones will be thrilled to receive (or at least not hate), but it’s not ideal for our bank balances. With all the big Q4 games arriving within weeks of each other and Xbox One X releasing in November, it wasn't a cheap period to be a gamer.
On January 31, 2018, Nintendo revealed that the SNES Classic Edition has sold more than 4 million units worldwide. This shows that the firm has been able to keep pushing stock to retailers beyond the launch period.
How Much Does the SNES Classic Cost?
The SNES Classic price is $79.99/£69.99 and comes with two SNES controllers. This is a chunk more expensive than the NES Classic, which launched at $59.99/£49.99. The NES Classic only included one NES controller and the included games were more basic.
Where to buy a SNES Classic
Nintendo Confirms SNES Classic Stock to be Replenished Through Into 2018
If you were concerned about getting a SNES Classic, you can rest a little easier as Nintendo has confirmed that stock of the mini console will continue to ship to retailer into 2018.
Nintendo of America president Reggie Fils-Aime told the Financial Times:
"I would strongly urge you not to over-bid on an SNES Classic on any of the auction sites. You shouldn't [have to] pay more than $79.99."
Nintendo Europe has also given a similar statement, so if you don't manage to get your hands on a SNES Classic this year, there is still hope.
SNES Classic US Pre-order Update
Nintendo has issued a statement regarding US pre-orders of the Super Nintendo Classic Edition. The retro Nintendo console will be available to pre-order at numerous US retailers late in August.
"We appreciate the incredible anticipation that exists for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System: Super NES Classic Edition system, and can confirm that it will be made available for pre-order by various retailers late this month," Nintendo said in a statement.
"A significant amount of additional systems will be shipped to stores for launch day, and throughout the balance of the calendar year," it added.
So it looks like you'll have to keep your eyes peeled later this month, but anyone who misses out on a SNES Classic Mini might be able to purchase one from stores at launch and later in the year.
Retailers are currently taking pre-orders for the micro console pretty much everywhere (see above for US pre-order info), although the first few wave of SNES Classic stock sold out almost immediately. New stock is expected to be put up for pre-order ahead of the console's launch but it’s not known when this will be. The NES Classic Mini was in short supply from day one and the console was never readily available. The NES Classic was discontinued less than a year after its release, so don’t expect the SNES Classic to hang around for long.
SNES Classic Best Buy Pre-Orders Are Live
SNES Classic’s were briefly made available to pre-order through Best Buy, but as you can probably imagine, they were snapped up in an instant. Head over to our SNES Classic Best Buy pre-order page, to keep a lookout for when the elusive console is made available again.
Where to Pre-order the SNES Classic Mini
- Pre-Order the SNES Classic Edition from Target
- Pre-order the SNES Classic Mini in the UK
- Pre-order the SNES Classic Mini from the UK Nintendo Store
- Pre-order the SNES Classic in the US
- New Amazon.com SNES Classic Pre-Order Link
- Pre-order the SNES Classic Mini from Walmat
- Pre-Order the SNES Classic Mini from BestBuy
Keep checking retailers regularly to see if you can successfully pre-order the SNES Classic Mini. We'll update this page when pre-orders for the SNES Classic Mini go live and stock is replenished, so you have all the info you need to buy a SNES Classic.
SNES Classic Reviews
Reviews for the SNES Classic have started to hit the internet, and everyone seems to love the tiny little retro console. We've rounded up the best of the bunch for you below.
- The Guardian SNES Classic Review - "The greatest thing about the Mini SNES is that it will allow the original purchasers to quickly and easily share these memories with their children, their siblings or their old friends once again."
- Tired Old Hack SNES Classic Review - "Long story short, if you’re lucky enough to be in a position to buy one of these, do it pronto. Many of the greatest games of the ’90s – nay, of all time – are on there, so missing out would not be in your best interests."
- Kotaku SNES Classic Review - "... a mostly great package that highlights how well the 16-bit era’s classics hold up, especially compared to those of the generation before."
- Nintendo Life SNES Classic Review - "The SNES Classic is a wonderful little console which deserves to find its way beneath your TV, alongside the equally likable NES Classic."
SNES Mini Hands-On Preview Impressions - Cool Features
We recently got to go hands-on with the SNES Classic at a special preview event, and we noted that Nintendo has added a few new features to the retro console.
- Rewind Games - Firstly, the SNES Classic will automatically save your last half hour of gameplay, meaning you can scrub back through it and restart at any point over this last half hour whenever you please.
- Attract Mode With a Twist - The SNES Classic will play gameplay demos while left inactive for a short amount of time. Unlike the NES Classic, however, these gameplay highlights will be based on your own gameplay, so you can see yourself fail Super Mario World repeatedly.
- Display Frames - Finally, like the Mega Man Legacy Collection, every game on the SNES Classic will have custom borders round the outside of the screen, which you can always turn off if you don’t like the design.
In our relatively short time with the SNES Classic, we noted that Star Fox 2 is unfortunately the most dated game by a mile on the system - the fully 3D shooting of the game is just a little bit much for the SNES Classic to handle. From what we played in the demo, the emulation of the SNES Classic stands shoulder to shoulder with the NES Classic, both of which are thankfully head and shoulders above the emulation of the Wii U.
New Translated Version of Star Fox 2 Coming to the SNES Classic
At our recent hands-on event with the SNES Classic, we were finally able to ask Nintendo which version of Star Fox 2 would be coming with the SNES Classic later this year. We got our answer, as Nintendo revealed to us that a fully localised, unreleased version of Star Fox 2 would be releasing with the SNES Classic.
Here’s what Star Fox 2 programmer Dylan Cuthbert told us about the sequel over email:
"StarFox 2 was fully localized as far as I'm aware and went through the full QA process. It was one of the rare occasions where even though the game wasn't going to be released Nintendo decided to spend the final few months properly finishing it off–I suppose because it was canceled so close to the end and after all the announcements, they wanted something to show for their efforts," Cuthbert told us over email. "It showed pretty good foresight I think, and I'm sure the [SNES Classic] will earn back its development cost and then some!"
The full, completed version of Star Fox 2 will be releasing for the first time ever on the SNES Classic later this year, on September 29.
What Games are included on the SNES Classic Mini?
Nintendo has confirmed the line-up of classic games included in the Super Nintendo Entertainment System Classic Edition. Twenty-one games are included, which is less than the 30 found on the NES Classic Mini. It’s fair to say that SNES games hold up better than most NES titles, and Nintendo has included the unreleased Star Fox 2. In order to play Star Fox 2 on the SNES Classic Mini you’ll first need to complete the first level of the original Star Fox. We've got all the cheat codes for SNES Classic games, too, so you don't have to endure 'classic' difficulty for all the games.
SNES Classic US/UK Games List:
- Contra III: The Alien Wars - A side-scrolling action game first released in 1992.
- Donkey Kong Country - A, for the time, gorgeous 2D platformer, first released in 1994.
- EarthBound - Much loved JRPG first released in 1995.
- Final Fantasy III - Bizarrely, this is actually Final Fantasy IV, the game being renamed III in the US on its 1994 release.
- F-ZERO - Released in 1990, this racer is one of the most loved on the SNES.
- Kirby Super Star - this eight games in one package release, first hit the SNES in 1996.
- Kirby’s Dream Course - The second Kirby game in the collection, but the only Golf game. Released in 1995.
- The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past - Released in 1991, this is now considered one of the greatest games of all time.
- Mega Man X - This critical darling first saw a release on the SNES back in 1994.
- Secret of Mana - Another Square RPG, this one releasing in 1993.
- Star Fox - Much loved, but perhaps less appealing these days. Star Fox dazzled SNES owners back in 1993.
- Star Fox 2 - Never before released. This sequel to Star Fox never hit stores, much to the annoyance of hardcore Nintendo fans.
- Street Fighter II Turbo: Hyper Fighting - Street Fighter 2 changed fighting games forever, and this brilliant version released on SNES in 1993.
- Super Castlevania IV - 1991 saw this classic action platformer release on the SNES.
- Super Ghouls ’n Ghosts - 1991 was a great year for hardcore action platformers, with this Capcom hit also arriving on SNES.
- Super Mario Kart - 1992 saw the start of this Nintendo blockbuster franchise.
- Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars - Released in 1996, this brilliant RPG was a great swansong for the SNES.
- Super Mario World - The GOAT. Released on SNES in 1991.
- Super Metroid - Arguably the best Metroid game, this classic first hit the SNES in 1994.
- Super Punch-Out!! - This successor to Punch Out is a SNES favorite and first released in 1994.
- Yoshi’s Island - An amazing sequel to Super Mario World, Yoshi’s Island impressed everyone in 1995.
The Japanese version of the SNES Classic has a slightly different line-up of games, which you can see below:
- Contra 3: The Alien Wars
- Donkey Kong Country
- Final Fantasy 6
- Fire Emblem: Mystery of the Emblem
- Legend of the Mystical Ninja
- Kirby Super Star
- Mega Man X
- Panel de Pon
- Secret of Mana
- Star Fox
- Star Fox 2
- Super Soccer
- Super Ghouls n Ghosts
- Super Mario Kart
- Super Mario RPG
- Super Mario World
- Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island
- Super Metroid
- Super Street Fighter 2: The New Challengers
- The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past
It's hard to criticise the SNES Classic games line-up too much, but that didn't stop us listing the 10 games we wish were included on the SNES Classic Editioni. Everyone has their own favorite SNES games, so there are bound to be a few games that aren’t included on the SNES Classic that would have been great.
Are the SNES Classic Games Good?
In short, yes, the 21 games included are mostly excellent. Some might question the inclusion of Kirby’s Dream Course (a golf game) when we only get one Donkey Kong Country game, but that’s really the only game that could be seen as superfluous. We looked and the entire SNES Classic Mini games lineup and ranked them, and the overall quality is very good indeed.
The inclusion of Star Fox 2 is a surprise for more than one reason. Not only was it never released, but there was an assumption that no games that made use of the Super FX microchip would be included. Nintendo has yet to release a SNES game that used the Super FX chip on its Virtual Console service - hopefully their inclusion in this retro system is a good sign for the future. Yoshi’s Island and Star Fox also use the Super FX chip.
On USGamer we've reviewed every game included with the SNES Classic, including a review of Star Fox 2. Check out the list below for a review for the other 20 games included with the mini retro console. We've also got a hub that details all the games in our complete SNES Classic Edition game review round-up.
SNES Classic Mini Game Reviews
- Super Mario World SNES Classic Review - Does this classic platformer hold up today as the killer app for the SNES Classic Mini?
- F-Zero SNES Classic Review - F-Zero feels like one of Nintendo's forgotten franchises. Is it worth revisiting on the SNES Classic Mini?
- Super Castlevania IV SNES Classic Review - Just how hard is it to beat this SNES Classic?
- Super Ghouls 'n' Ghosts SNES Classic Review - This is another super challenging game included with the SNES Classic Mini.
- Contra 3: The Alien Wars SNES Classic Review - Does Contra 3 deserve its place as a classic release on the SNES Classic Mini?
- A Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past SNES Classic Review - Will playing this on the SNES Classic rekindle fond memories?
- Super Mario Kart SNES Classic Review - Racing games have moved on a lot, so is Mario Kart worth playing on the SNES Classic Mini?
- Star Fox SNES Classic Review - Is Star Fox the dudd of the SNES Classic line-up?
- Street Fighter 2 SNES Classic Review - Is this 90s classic still worth playing today?
- Secret of Mana SNES Classic Review - A classic RPG, but does it hold up in 2017?
- Mega Man X SNES Classic Review - Will hardcore fans still lap this up?
- Super Metroid SNES Mini Classic Review - Is this the best Metroid?
- Super Punch-Out! SNES Classic Review - Is this beat-em-up still a cut above the competition?
- Final Fantasy III SNES Classic Review - Does this old-school RPG hold up in 2017?
- Donkey Kong Country SNES Classic Review - Is this still one of the best platformers around?
- Kirby's Dream Course SNES Classic Review - Did we really need this golf game included with the SNES Mini?
- Earthbound SNES Classic Review - Does this game deserve to be called a classic?
- Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island SNES Classic Review - Another Mario classic you have to play?
- Super Mario RPG SNES Classic Review - The SNES RPG that you always forget.
- Kirby Super Star SNES Classic Review - A multi-game pack within a multi-game collection.
- Star Fox 2 SNES Classic Review - Was this canned game held back from the public because it wasn't very good?
Keep checking back as we review every game included with the SNES Classic. Hopefully your favorite games still hold up when you play them again on the SNES Classic!
Will SNES Classic Games Run at 60Hz
In PAL territories, which includes all of Europe, games used to run at 50Hz. This more often than not meant that games played in these regions, including the UK, ran slower than their US counterparts and featured ugly black borders at the top and bottom of the screen.
Thankfully, Nintendo’s retro SNES box will run games at 60Hz in Europe, so fans will finally get to play some of their favorite games at the speed they were designed to be played at.
The video below shows the difference in Super Mario World on the SNES.
What’s Included in the box for the SNES Classic Mini?
- SNES Classic Mini Console with 21 games built in
- HDMI cable
- USB power cable and power adapter*
- Two wired Super NES Classic Controllers
*It’s worth noting that buyers of a European model won’t get an AC adapter included in the box. You’ll need to plug the supplied USB cable into an adapter like you probably already use to charge your mobile phone.
It’s been confirmed that the Wii Classic Controller and the Classic Controller Pro will work with the SNES Classic. You might be wondering where the controllers plug into the SNES Classic as the ports on the front of the console (both US And Japan/EU/Aus models) are for show only. A panel at the the front can be pulled down, revealing the proper ports.
It might be obvious, but Nintendo’s mini retro console won't let you play original SNES cartridge games. All the games you can play are installed on the mini console. To play original cartridges you'll need an old SNES or one of many retro consoles that emulate the hardware, such as the RetroN 5. That would take you down a rather big rabbit hole that potentially never ends and sees you spending a small fortune on original SNES game cartridges. The SNES Classic is an all-in-one single shot solution to SNES retro gaming.
Will the SNES Classic Have Longer Controller Cables Than the NES Mini?
It might not seem like a big deal, but anyone who’s used the NES Classic Mini will know how annoying the short 3 foot controller cord is. It just wasn’t quite long enough, forcing many players to buy extension cables. The good news is that the controller cables on the SNES control pads included with the SNES Classic are 5 foot long. That might make the difference between having to sit on the floor and your couch.
Bonus: We also imagine a (good) Genesis Classic Edition.
Bargain hunter Rene Nezhoda allegedly made a lot of money off old Atari games on Storage Wars. Get ready for an excited phone call from your grandmother.
SNES Classic - Will There be Stock Shortages?
Once 2017 is gone, so is the SNES Classic Mini. Nintendo confirmed to Kotaku that the mini-console will only be sold until the end of this year.
"We aren’t providing specific numbers, but we will produce significantly more units of Super NES Classic Edition than we did of NES Classic Edition," said Nintendo in its statement. "Super Nintendo Entertainment System: Super NES Classic Edition is currently planned to ship from Sept. 29 until the end of calendar year 2017. At this time, we have nothing to announce regarding any possible shipments beyond this year."
"Our long-term efforts are focused on delivering great games for the Nintendo Switch system and continuing to build momentum for that platform, as well as serving the more than 63 million owners of Nintendo 3DS family systems. We are offering Super Nintendo Entertainment System: Super NES Classic Edition in special recognition of the fans who show tremendous interest our classic content."
In the UK consumers who placed more than one pre-order for the SNES Classic Mini at Amazon.co.uk have had all but one unit cancelled. You can see a copy of the email sent to buyers below.
Let us know in the comments if you manage to get a pre-order for the SNES Classic Mini. With the SNES Classic following the NES Classic Mini, it follows that Nintendo will release an N64 Classic Mini in 2018. That could be great, so we’ve looked at what games could be included with the N64 Classic Mini.
How to Play the SNES Classic Early
Although the highly sought after tiny retro console isn’t being released until September 29, and with stock shortages you might not even be able to buy one when it’s released, there is a way to get a look at it early.
Nintendo took its games (mainly Switch and 3DS titles) to San Diego Comic-Con and the Marriott Marquis & Marina. It’s also took along the SNES Mini, allowing fans to “catch a glimpse of the upcoming Super NES Classic Edition hardware.” Chances are that the Super Nintendo Mini will make other appearances over the course of the year.
Why is the SNES Classic Mini Such a big Deal?
If you’ve seen the online hype around the forthcoming SNES Classic Mini but don’t get why so many people seem desperate to get their hands on the console, let us explain.
The SNES, or Super Nintendo Entertainment System, was Nintendo’s follow-up to the NES. Originally released in Japan in 1990, 1991 in the US, and 1992 in Europe and Australia, the console gained a massive following and continued the console war between SEGA and Nintendo.
Nintendo ceased making the SNES in 1999, but sold 49 million units during its lifetime. This wasn’t a match for the NES’ 60 million sales, but was enough to make the SNES the best-selling console of its era. In simple terms, the SNES had Mario and the SEGA Genesis (Mega Drive) had Sonic the Hedgehog. Lines were not to be crossed unless you were lucky enough to own both consoles.
Due to the huge popularity of the SNES, many children of the 80s/90s have great nostalgia for the console, and are eager to go back to that time thanks to the SNES Classic Mini. With retro gaming being an expensive hobby if you want to buy original cartridge games (Super Metroid alone will set you back a big chunk of the price of Nintendo’s upcoming retro device), Nintendo’s small consoles are an ideal way to get that retro gaming experience. They also double as neat collectible items.
How do you pronounce SNES?
The correct way to pronounce “SNES” is a subject of real contention, with most people split into one of two camps. One group (and this is the correct way, no questions asked!) say “SNEZ”, while another group (the wrong group) say “Ess En Eee Ess”. If you fall into the latter group, please take a long hard look at yourself and get your act together.
With the console officially titled the Super Nintendo Entertainment System, it's sort of understandable that people would spell out the letters in 'SNES', but it's still very, very odd sounding. If people start using that pronunciation when the SNES Classic launches, there may well be trouble.
Thankfully we don't think there are different ways to pronounce 'mini' or else a whole other can of worms would have been opened on the release of the SNES Classic.
Can you Still buy a NES Mini?
If the excitement around the imminent release of the SNES Classic has got all you nostalgic for Nintendo from yesteryear, you might be wondering if it's still possible to get your hands on the NES Mini. The answer is yes, but it will cost you a lot more than the machine sold for at launch. You'll need to look on sites like eBay if you really want one, but be warned that they currently sell for at least £100. Numerous fakes are also on the market, so be careful. If the price is cheap it's likely a fake product.
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