The model SNS-101 known as the SNES Mini in America, and the Super Famicom Jr in Japan, was a compact redesign of the original machine, designed by Lance Burr, who was responsible for the American and European NES, and American Super Nintendo.
The American machine was released first on October 20th 1997, and was aimed at the budget market, and as such it is missing some of the features of the full machine.
Firstly, it is a lot smaller, the expansion port on the bottom was removed, there is no LED power light, both on/off and reset buttons have been moved to the left hand side, and the cartridge eject mechanism is no longer present.
The main attraction of these machines today is the improvements made to the motherboard, namely in the video hardware, which is much improved over the original SNS-001, the display is much sharper and more vibrant, making the machines very collectible today, even though the machine does not support S Video or RGB out of the box, the picture still looks markedly clearer, the pins for the unsupported video are still present and just need re connecting for an even better experience.
The controller was slightly redesigned in that the Super Famicom embossed logo was replaced by a moulded Nintendo one.
The Super Famicom Jr is much rarer, and was released a few months after the SNES Mini, mainly to combat the flood of counterfeit machines that had been produced for the Japanese market, buyers of the American machine should look very carefully, as at first glance a pirate machine looks much the same, guides exist online to tell the difference between a legitimate machine and a forgery.
Like its big brother, the American version can be simply modded to play Super Famicom games by cutting off two small pins from inside the cartridge slot.
Date: 20th October 1997
This exhibit has a reference ID of CH43039. Please quote this reference ID in any communication with the Centre for Computing History.
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