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Your biggest SNES Classic questions, answered (update)

An FAQ for Nintendo’s hottest product this year

holding SNES Classic Edition in hand Nintendo

Nintendo created an interesting problem for itself with the NES Classic Edition.

The NES Classic Classic was a $60 system that emulated an NES with a collection of included games, just like the SNES Classic Edition, and it did the job well. It sold out the moment it was released, with lines regularly forming to buy the restocked units and the system selling for many times its retail price on sites like eBay. Then Nintendo discontinued the system, claiming that limited availability was always part of the plan. Many fans never had a chance to purchase one, nor even see one on store shelves.

It’s rare that a company creates a product that seemingly everyone wants only to cease production while demand was still so high. Fans were angry, and rightly so. It felt like a very large scale publicity stunt.

Update (Sept. 29, 11 a.m. ET) Nintendo has since released the sequel to that hardware, the SNES Classic Edition. If you’re curious about why this is such a big deal, we have you covered. We’ll also be able to provide some guidance on your most pressing questions.

What is the SNES Classic Edition?

It’s an official, legal Super Nintendo emulation machine that’s sold by Nintendo and includes 21 games. It even looks like a little Super Nintendo that connects to your television via an HDMI cable.

That’s it, really. But that’s already a lot, as the NES Classic Edition proved.

SNES Classic Edition box Nintendo

When is the release date of the SNES Classic Edition?

The system will be released on Sept. 29, 2017 in North America and Europe, and on Oct. 5, 2017 in Japan.

How much is the SNES Classic Edition?

The system officially sells for $79.99, but it’s likely there will be shortages and the hardware will sell for much more than retail price on the secondary market. Nintendo has ways to stop this, but it’s unlikely the company is interested enough to do so.

The $20 price increase from the NES Classic Edition likely comes down to the addition of the second controller, as well as a possible increase in per-unit cost. But we’re guessing it’s mostly that second controller.

What games come with the SNES Classic Edition?

It’s a pretty great list of classics! You get:

  1. Contra 3: The Alien Wars
  2. Donkey Kong Country
  3. EarthBound
  4. Final Fantasy 3
  5. F-Zero
  6. Kirby Super Star
  7. Kirby’s Dream Course
  8. The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past
  9. Mega Man X
  10. Secret of Mana
  11. Star Fox
  12. Star Fox 2
  13. Street Fighter 2 Turbo: Hyper Fighting
  14. Super Castlevania 4
  15. Super Ghouls ’n Ghosts
  16. Super Mario Kart
  17. Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars
  18. Super Mario World
  19. Super Metroid
  20. Super Punch-Out!
  21. Yoshi’s Island

The inclusion of Star Fox 2 is kind of a big deal.

SNES Classic games library Nintendo

Will my existing Super Nintendo controllers work with the SNES Classic Edition?

Unfortunately not. The ports on the front of the system only look like the original SNES ports — the controllers will use the proprietary port originally found on the Wii. You can see the ports in detail in the following image:

SNES Classic Edition - right top angle view, controller panel open Samit Sarkar/Polygon

It’s a bummer.

What other controllers work with the SNES Classic Edition?

Since this hardware is using the Wii controller port, it’s likely that controllers that also use that port should work. The NES Classic Edition worked with a variety of controllers, for instance.

We’ll be sure to test things when we have hardware in the office, but a controller should be compatible if it uses the Wii port and features a directional pad, four face buttons, two shoulder buttons and a select and start button.

Will I be able to add more games to the SNES Classic Edition?

Not officially. The system is designed to be sold with the 21 included games, and that’s it.

The SNES Classic Edition is likely to be hacked in a similar manner to the NES Classic Edition, however, which means you may be able to install games you download yourself, with varying degrees of legality.

How many controllers are included with the SNES Classic Edition?

The hardware comes with two controllers out of the box, so you won’t have to buy a second controller to play with a friend. This is a nice upgrade from the NES Classic Edition, as second controllers for that system were so hard to find at retail.

How do I buy an SNES Classic Edition?

The supply seems to be stronger than the NES Classic Edition, and many fans were able to walk into stores to buy one on launch day. Your best bet is to check online, call your local retailers and stay vigilant online. Nintendo has promised to do a better job of keeping up with supply, so we’re hoping most people who want to buy one will be able to do so.

Is there a different SNES Classic Edition in Europe?

Yep! And it’s adorable.

nintendo classic mini: super nintendo entertainment system Nintendo of Europe

The selection of games included with the European version is the same as the North American version, but the system won’t come with an AC Adaptor. You can power the system with a USB cable, however, so import away if you can find one and like the aesthetics better.

Is there a Japanese SNES Classic Edition?

Of course there is, and it looks the same as the European system. But the game selection is slightly different.

The Japanese release of the Nintendo Classic Mini Super Famicom includes Ganbare Goemon: Yukihime Kyūshutsu Emaki (aka Legend of the Mystical Ninja); Panel de Pon, which came stateside as Tetris Attack; Super Formation Soccer (aka Super Soccer); and Fire Emblem: Mystery of the Emblem. The mini Super Famicom will also ship with a different Street Fighter game: Super Street Fighter 2: The New Challengers instead of Street Fighter 2 Turbo: Hyper Fighting.

Here is the full list of games:

  1. Contra 3: The Alien Wars
  2. Donkey Kong Country
  3. F-Zero
  4. Final Fantasy 6
  5. Fire Emblem: Mystery of the Emblem
  6. Legend of the Mystical Ninja
  7. Kirby Super Star
  8. Mega Man X
  9. Panel de Pon
  10. Secret of Mana
  11. Star Fox
  12. Star Fox 2
  13. Super Soccer
  14. Super Ghouls n Ghosts
  15. Super Mario Kart
  16. Super Mario RPG
  17. Super Mario World
  18. Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island
  19. Super Metroid
  20. Super Street Fighter 2: The New Challengers
  21. The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past

Nintendo completionists will want the North American and Japanese versions to get both external designs and all the possible games.

Should I buy an SNES Classic Edition?

Good question! You can read our full review, but it’s a pretty great system in general.