SNES / Super Famicom

Super Nintendo Entertainment System / Super Family Computer

About the SNES / Famicom

SNES Console

The Super Nintendo Entertainment System (often referred to as SNES, Super Nintendo or Super NES) is a 16-bit video game console and also Nintendo’s second foray into the game console market. The console introduced quite a few advanced graphical and sound features when compared against other consoles of its generation. It also was the first start at gaining significant progress in the field of 3D graphics, utilizing its “Super FX”  chip the SNES was able to run games with smoother and more detailed 3D graphics than had been seen before.

The SNES was a surprising global success with the console quickly becoming the best-selling 16-bit console despite having a relatively late start  and having to face quite fierce competition from SEGA’s Genesis in North American and European markets.The SNES was successful enough to still remain popular even in the 32-bit era and has continued to be popular among fans, collectors retro gamer’s, and emulation enthusiasts.

The SNES is one of the most emulated consoles available, having a plethora of emulators that successfully emulate the console completely such as bSNES which offers 100% accurate emulation of the SNES’s hardware, while it does require a more high end system it does mean that everything shown on the screen is exactly how it would be with the original system, right down to every little bug or quirk.

SNES Emulators / Super Famicom Emulators

higan is regarded as the most accurate SNES emulator with the development team achieving cycle-accurate emulation. If you want to play games as they were intended, you can not go past higan.

snes9x is one of the most popular and portable SNES emulators. Unlike higan, snes9x has a focus on achieving the best speeds possible making it a great alternative to higan if your computer can not handle the cycle-accurate emulation.

zsnes is a SNES emulator that suffers from low accuracy when compared to higan and snes9x. Most of znes’s development focused on achieving portability and performance, with the bulk of the emulator being written in x86 assembly.

SNES / Super Famicom Specifications

CPU Specifications

  • Processor: Ricoh 5A22 (16-bit core)
  • Processor Speed: 3.58Mhz
  • RAM: 128 kB
  • Other Features:  1. DMA and HDMA

    2. Times IRQ

    3. Parallel I/O processing

    4. Hardware multiplication and division

Audio Specifications

  • Audio Processor: Sony SPC700, Sony DSP
  • Audio Processor Speed: 1.024Mhz
  • Audio RAM: 64kB
  • Audio Format: ADPCM, 8-Channels
  • Audio Output: 32Khz 16-bit stero
  • Effects: 1. ADSR envelope control
    2. Frequency scaling and modulation using Gaussian interpolation
    3. Echo: 8-tap FIR filter, with up to .24s delay
    4. Noise Generation

Video Specifications

  • Video RAM (VRAM) : 64kB (Main)
    512 + 32 bytes (Sprite)
    256 x 15 bytes (Palette)
  • Colors Available: 32768 (15-bit)
  • Max Sprites: 128
  • Max Sprites per scan line: 32
  • Max Sprite Size: 64x64 pixels
  • Max Backgrounds: 4 planes
  • Max Background size: 1024 x 1024 pixels
  • Resolutions: Progressive – 256x224, 512x224, 256x239, 512x239

    Interlaced   – 512x448, 512x478

  • Pixel Depth: 2, 4, 7 or 8 bpp indexed; 8 or 11 direct.
  • Effects: 1. Pixelization(mosaic) per background

    2. Color addition and subtraction

    3. Clipping windows (per background, affecting color,  math, or both)

    4. Scrolling per 8x8 tile

    5. Mode 7 matrix operations

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