The Super Nintendo (SNES) is fondly remembered by many gamers as one of the greatest home consoles of all time. But those looking to hop back into the SNES' fantastic library of games might not remember that there was actually a second model – the SNES Mini (also referred to as New-Style Super NES or the SNES 2).
So, SNES vs SNES Mini: What are the differences?
- Original unit; model SNS-001
- Featured an RF Out, an Eject Button, and an Expansion Slot
- Revised unit; model SNS-101
- Much smaller than the original model
- Removed the RF Out, Eject Button, and Expansion Slot from the previous model
Those are the major aesthetic differences between the original SNES and the SNES Mini – but which model is the best? Which console is right for you? Well, there are actually some important pros and cons for both models to consider before purchasing.
- Slightly cheaper
- Original, classic design
- Bigger and bulkier than the SNES Mini
Overview: Other than size, the differences between the original Super Nintendo and the New-Style Super Nintendo are pretty subtle. The consoles are priced similarly. (That being said, prices tend to fluctuate. Make sure to check out our continuously updated article – How Much Is A SNES Worth – in order to stay up-to-date on costs for each of the respective models.) And on top of that, there isn't a major difference between the two when it comes to graphical output.
Yes, the SNES Mini dropped RF Output support, but RF Output isn't an optimal way to display Super Nintendo games and TVs don't even support that format anymore. Both consoles, however, have the “Multi Out” port which supports a wide range of outputs.
The two consoles also don't vary when it comes to the games they support. Both models have access to the SNES' entire library of games, and there aren't any major discrepancies when it comes to output or performance.
Bottom Line: The SNES is a classic console. Everything from its design to the Super Nintendo's epic library of must-play titles suggests that the console is iconic for gamers old enough to remember it. There aren't a ton of differences between these two consoles, so you might want to get whichever unit you find for the best deal.
- Much smaller than the original SNES
- Doesn't feature the same classic design as its predecessor
- Slightly more expensive
Overview: Honestly, we struggled to find a ton of pros or cons either way with these two models. If using outside, third-party equipment, there are ways to get better picture quality out of one console or the other – but even then, the two models are pretty even.
And the lack of any real disparity is reflected in the price difference. Yes, the New-Style SNES is slightly more expensive than the original model, but it's just that – slightly more expensive. There isn't a major discrepancy in price, and that's because both models aren't all that different.
Yes, the SNES revision dropped a ton of ports, buttons, and expansions from the original model – but it's all things that aren't even all that useful today. Essentially, Nintendo was just trimming the fat, and the console is slimmer because of it.
That being said, you may miss some of these outputs if you're playing on an older CRT television. If you're trying to hook up the retro gaming console to a modern TV, however, these missing features aren't anything to sweat about.
The Mini was originally released as a budget unit at the tail end of the console's life cycle, but unlike other cost-effective consoles, the SNES 2 has actually aged pretty well. Honestly, for most gamers, take your pick – you won't be disappointed either way.
Bottom Line: This budget model still hangs with its older brother after all of these years – and while it doesn't feature any major improvements, there are no fatal flaws either. If you're looking for something a little bit smaller to sit under your television, the SNES Mini is definitely worth taking a look at – that is, unless you're playing on an old CRT television.
Bonus: SNES Classic Edition
- HDMI Output
- Great features like Suspend Points and Rewind features
- Much smaller than the original model and SNES Mini
- Debut of the previously unreleased game Star Fox 2
- Only 21 games; not able to legitimately expand
- 4ft wired controllers (however, great wireless options are available)
Overview: The SNES Classic Edition is a miniaturized version of the original Super Nintendo with 21 games digitally built into the console. Outside of being a smaller version of the iconic console, the SNES Classic features some great and useful features like Suspend Points and Rewind. Suspend Points allow you to save games at any point and the Rewind feature is exactly what it sounds like – it grants gamers the ability to rewind games.
In addition to those great features, the SNES Classic marked the debut of the previously unreleased game Star Fox 2. But despite getting its own exclusive title, the re-released miniature console is unable to legitimately expand its library past its 21 included games. That being said, there are ways to hack the console, although we at Retro Game Buyer don't condone that.
Lastly, the 4ft wired controller is a bit short and antiquated for modern use, but there are actually some great options from companies like 8bitdo and My Arcade.
Bottom Line: While Nintendo picked 21 great games for its Classic re-release, there are still a ton of fantastic titles that are missing. The SNES Classic Edition is a great option for those who are looking to relive some of their favorite 16-bit games, but it's not ideal for those looking to collect for the console.