Original SNES

Here’s why SNES Mini will power-up Nintendo’s revival

John Crossley

30 Jun 2017



You blow the dust out. A clunky cartridge rattles around the top of the console. There’s a satisfying thud when the plastic slots in, a switch is flicked, and the machine whirs into action. It’s a childhood memory I’m sure I share with many SNES owners. That and the absolute joy of stealing a victory on the line in Super Mario Kart. For those of us in certain age bracket, the SNES (or Sega Megadrive, and later on the Sony PlayStation, depending on your affiliation) was a key component of growing up. Nintendo has announced this week it’s bringing back this titan of retro gaming with a rebooted SNES Mini. And I really can’t wait. When the news broke, it provoked this reaction: Why? Nintendo is tapping into a rich vein of tech-driven nostalgia in super-successful fashion. It’s successfully bringing back hits from our younger years into the modern day, while also striving forward with its own new breakthroughs. Two years ago many people (myself included) thought Nintendo was a company doomed in the mobile era. Today, shares are trading close to a 10-year high in the wake of May’s Switch launch plus a fruitful foray into mobile gaming. Nostalgia tech is proving to be a hit across the board. Reviving retro experiences with modern-day processing power is stripping away the drawbacks from yesteryear. And it’s very, very affordable. It’s a winning combination that means I won’t be the only one so willing to part with £69.99. And it isn’t just Nintendo getting in on the action. Sega Forever saw some classic titles made available for smartphones, and Atari has also teased they’re getting back into the console game. In mobile, Nokia stole the show at this year’s MWC with a modernised 3310 (albeit to a mixed response by some commentators). But while I won’t be able to re-live the awkward fumble with the SNES cartridge, I will have 21 games preloaded, including Super Mario World, Street Fighter II, and the never released Star Fox. It’s a mouth-watering prospect. Let’s hope Nintendo makes enough. Demand outstripped supply for its predecessor, the NES Mini, and the company shifted 2.3 million units. It has promised to make more for the SNES Mini, but I’d argue this will be an even bigger hit (owing purely to the vintage crop of games). Power me up! Be sure to watch out for a review back here when (or if!) I get my hands on one in September.