Super Famicom Teardown
These are some common tools used to work on this device. You might not need every tool for every procedure.
Background and Identification
The Super Famicom is a 16-bit game console released by Nintendo in November 1990. The Super Famicom is the name of the console in Japan, but the same system was released internationally as the Super Nintendo Entertainment System or the SNES. The Super Famicom is the successor to Nintendo’s earlier Famicom (or Family Computer) console. It was the best-selling 16-bit console, out pacing the Sega Genesis and NEC’s PC Engine.
The Japanese Super Famicom is made from gray plastic, but this material can age over time, eventually turning yellow. The console has the words “Super Famicom” printed near the two controller ports on the front of the device. It uses cartridges for loading games, and the cartridge port on the system is located on the top center of the machine. Along with the new console, Nintendo released new controllers featuring two shoulder buttons and two new “X” and “Y” buttons for the right hand.
The system was released with the games Super Mario World and F-Zero, but the following years saw the production of more classic games like the Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past and Donkey Kong Country.
You can identify the Super Famicom by looking for the model number “SHVC-001” on a sticker on the bottom of the console. The PAL-region version of the device looks very similar but has the model number “SNSP-001A” and is not compatible.
- 16 bit
- Custom WDC 65C816 chip
- 3.58 MHz
- 128 KB
- 15-bit color
- Resolution between 256x224 and 512x448 (most games used the lower resolution because it resulted in less slowdown)
- 128 sprites on-screen (with a maximum of 32 sprites per scanline)
- Stereo audio
- 8 channels
- Support for 8-bit audio samples
- Between 2 Mbit and 48 Mbit of data
Donkey Kong Country soundtrack on YouTube (it’s so good)