Update: Our definitive verdict on the new retro console is finally here. Check out our SNES Classic Mini review for our full impressions.
Its impending release has also meant that hackers have gotten their hands on the console, and have discovered that its possible to add more games in a similar way to the NES Classic Mini.
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The SNES Mini is the most authentic way of reliving Nintendo's 16-bit glory days short of digging out one of the original console's for yourself.
Yes, we're aware you can play many of these games through Nintendo's Virtual Console, but there's just something about playing the classic games with an authentic Nintendo controller that tickles our nostalgia glands so much more effectively.
Better still, rather than simply offering us what we've seen before, the SNES Classic Mini has seen the release of a game that has never previously seen the light of day, Star Fox 2, alongside 20 retro releases.
Like the NES Classic before it, the SNES iteration is a petite, palm-sized machine. While it has 9 fewer games than its re-release predecessor, the 21 16-bit classics squeezed onto the console are far better titles. It's available now and, thankfully, Nintendo has promised it will be available in slightly larger numbers than last year’s NES Classic. (Though, that hasn't quite turned out to be the case so far...)
We got our first peek at the console on June 26, along with a release date for the 16-bit era hardware: September 29, 2017. Its price is $80 / £79.99/ AU$119.95 –which, yes, is a whole chunk of change more than last year’s NES Classic.
Check out our review of the SNES Classic Mini for a rundown of how the console operates, or read on below for an overview of the console.
Here's our unboxing of the retro machine.
Cut to the chase
- What is it? A plug-and-play home console that plays SNES games
- How much does it cost? $79.99/£69.99/ AU$ 119.95
- What's the release date? September 29 in UK and US, September 30 in AU
What's in the box?
Like the NES Classic Mini before it, the SNES Classic Mini comes with pretty much everything you need to start playing right away in the box. The 21 games come pre-loaded on the console so all you need is an HDMI cable to connect the console and your TV.
It also comes with a second controller in the box, unlike the NES Mini, so that you can sit cross-legged on the floor and enjoy the multiplayer games with your friends just like you used to.
Nicely, we've discovered that these controllers are in fact able to plug into WiiMotes to allow you to play SNES games you've downloaded onto the virtual console. With the death of the Wii U it's unlikely that this functionality is going to be useful for long, but it's a nice way of expanding the amount of games you can play with the authentic controller.
The other piece of good news is that this time, the wires on the controllers are longer so if you want to move back to the sofa (your knees are less forgiving than they used to be) you at least have the option. They're still not as long as the original console's, but it's a move in the right direction.
It’s worth noting that something not included in the box is an AC adapter for the USB power cable (in the UK at least), which you will need to plug it into the wall.
The appearance of the console that you pull out of the box will depend on where you purchase it from. Those in the UK and Australia will get the model of the console with its more colorful buttons while those in the US will, of course, receive the purple-accented US model.
Those in Japan will get a different model again: the Super Famicom Mini on October 5, a model whose design is more similar to the European version and will come with a slightly different selection of games.
What games are on it?
In the UK, US and Australia, the games pre-installed on the SNES Mini will be as follows:
- Contra III: The Alien Wars™
- Donkey Kong Country™
- Final Fantasy III
- Kirby™ Super Star
- Kirby’s Dream Course™
- The Legend of Zelda™: A Link to the Past™
- Mega Man® X
- Secret of Mana
- Star Fox™
- Star Fox™ 2
- Street Fighter® II Turbo: Hyper Fighting
- Super Castlevania IV™
- Super Ghouls ’n Ghosts®
- Super Mario Kart™
- Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars™
- Super Mario World™
- Super Metroid™
- Super Punch-Out!!™
- Yoshi’s Island™
You should note that Final Fantasy III is something of a confusing entry on this list, as it's more commonly known as Final Fantasy VI these days. This was the name it was originally released under in Japan, however when it came to the west it was only the third game in the series to do so - hence the 'III' - despite actually being the sixth game in the series overall.
Star Fox 2 is another interesting inclusion as the game has never been released. It was original developed for the SNES back in 1995, but was cancelled due to the imminent release of the Nintendo 64. The SNES Mini will be the first time the game has ever been released.
But what about Chrono Trigger/Super Star Wars/other classics?!
Nintendo has included a lot of the console's classic games, but it was always inevitable that there were going to be some missing.
This was also the case with the NES Mini, but thankfully pretty soon after the console's original release, third-party modders stepped in to fill the gaps left by Nintendo with tools that would allow you to install additional games on the console.
Now that people have gotten their hands on the console, it appears the software that allowed additional games to be added to the previous console also allows them to be added to the SNES Classic Mini, although if you're thinking about doing so the practice is in no way supported by Nintendo then you should be careful not to damage your console in the process.
Where can I get one?
That's the million-dollar question at this point. Due to stock shortages it's currently very difficult to get your hands on a SNES Mini, however we try to keep the following guide updated as and when more retailers have stock available.
Pre-orders for the console have gone live on Game UK and Amazon UK, though it appears stock is currently unavailable. Nintendo UK has launched pre-orders on its own official site where the console is being sold for £69.99. Despite being limited to one per customer, the pre-orders went very quickly but you can sign up to be alerted for when more stock comes in.
Amazon started taking pre-orders for the console again recently and appears to have lowered its price point from £79.99 to £69.99 to be in line with Nintendo's own pricing. Unfortunately, pre-orders have once again closed.
In the US, SNES Classic pre-orders went live on August 22 at 10 am PST. Unfortunately, they sold out in minutes. That said, it's worth checking the product pages for Amazon, Walmart, GameStop, Target and ThinkGeek in case more become available in between now and the console's Sep. 29 launch.
Not having any luck getting your hands on one? Why not use our guide to build your own!