SNES Classic Mini - a review of the new "retro" console from Nintendo

On Geektimes materials about retroconols like NES, SNES and all others are often published. This is not surprising, since many people started their way in IT precisely with games, and most of these games have a very warm attitude. Actually, it is thanks to these old games with their original ideas that the lion's majority of modern hits appeared, many of which are the heirs of their “ancestors”, with updated graphics and somewhat modified controls.

The new SNES Mini Classic console, which went on sale on September 29, is no exception. For the first time information about it appeared in the summer of this year . Then it was noted that in the wake of the popularity of NES Mini , Nintendo decided to release the SNES Mini. As in the previous case, only the design of the case and the game remained from SNES. And in the set of games SNES Mini appeared Star Fox 2, which was designed for the original Super NES, but it did not appear on sale.

First, a little about how hard I managed to get my console. Originally planned to get it on pre-order in one of the Spanish stores (I live in Spain). I tried to order in Mediamarkt - buggy form. He stuck to another place - there the console was bought out in a couple of hours. And only in the third store, almost by chance, it was possible to pre-order, with home delivery. I thought that on September 29th the cheerful postman would bring me everything in the morning. But no - on September 27th an e-mail arrived that the consoles would be delivered to me only on October 12th.

Why is that? Who knows. Therefore, it was decided to go in the morning of the 29th and try to buy the console by yourself. In the same Mediamarkt, it was not possible to do this, because the gadget was given only to those who made a pre-order, mere mortals left with nothing.

I was lucky quite by accident - without any hope I went to the small Game branch (this is another large store) in the suburb of Granada. Wow, there was a whole box of brand new SNES mini. I bought a couple for every fireman. At the same time, we had to stand in line - as it turned out, the same day, FIFA 2018 for PS4 went on sale, so everyone stood in the line - both those who expect SNES and those who love football. The queue was friendly.

What can you play?

In the summer, it became known that 21 retro games will be included in the game bundle (20 of which everyone knows about + Star Fox 2). 14 of them are published by Nintendo itself, while the rest are created by Capcom, Konami, Square Enix. Here is a list of games:

Those marked with one star are suitable for simultaneous play together. In games marked with two stars, you can play by turns (as in Super Mario, for example).


The appearance of the console, of course, is different from SNES. First of all, size. It literally fits in the palm of your hand. Developers, by the way, made an interesting move and closed modern ports for controllers with a plastic cap with an imitation of ports of old controllers. Functional load does not carry all this, but it's cool, that's really it. There is also an imitation of the slot for the cartridge and a button to turn it off.

The body is made of gray plastic, pleasant to the touch. And in general, the console produces a pleasant impression, which begins to take shape even when looking at the box. She made from high-quality cardboard with at least high-quality printing. Behind there is a list of games with pictures, in front - an image of the console itself.

Packed with all the same quality. Plastic pockets, wire harness - everything is thought out here.

What is in the box:

There is no power supply, but any USB charger or even an external battery is suitable.


The exclamation mark was not put in vain, because in the same NES Mini there was only one controller, and the second one had to be bought. Well, here the completeness is complete, so you don’t need to buy anything at all, including additional cables.

As far as can be judged, all this was done at Foxconn's factory, in the same place where Apple's iPhone is assembled. In the European version there are no sharp corners - everything is smoothed, and this leaves a pleasant impression.

The power is turned on using the Power button, and if you need to return to the main menu, use Reset. This button does not restart the console, but gives access to the main menu. The gameplay at the same time you can save, and then continue from the same point (more on that later).

As for the controllers, they are practically no different from their predecessors. And the location of the buttons, and colors, and coloring are the same. By the way, the length of the wire is one and a half meters, so that it allows you to play at a comfortable distance from the TV.


Hardware stuffing

The console uses the Allwinner R16 single-crystal platform with four ARM Cortex A7 microprocessors and the ARM Mali 400 MP2 graphics accelerator. RAM is 256 MB (DDR3), flash memory - 512 MB.

Somewhat different software. It was created by the developers of the Japanese company, the foundation is Linux OS. This software emulates not only SNES, but also additional processors that were used in games such as the SA1 CPU for Super Mario RPG and Kirby Super Star, not to mention Star Fox. Plus, the NEC DSP-1 add-on devices are also emulated, which were installed in the Super Mario Kart cartridges.

Additional games. The user Habrahabr @ClusterM , who wrote the software for adding new games NES Mini ( review was on Geektimes ) wrote and software for SNES Mini . The filling of the consoles is almost identical, and this allowed us to use the same technique for “jailbreaking” the new console. Actually, the software is the same, but its new version allows you to work with the SNES Mini.


There are practically no differences in the menu from what was in the NES mini interface. The screen is divided into three parts. In the center there are games, a little higher, a menu where you can customize the language, frames, video display (for example, you can put a “retro” emulation of a CRT image).

Plus, there is an opportunity to see legal information, as well as a manual. True, it can only be obtained after scanning a QR code, which is shown in the section instead of a comprehensive reference.

Just below is a panel where you can see saved games, there are four slots for the game.

Connect and configure

If you do not hurry, then you can unpack, connect and start playing for 5 minutes. If you hurry, you can cope in two minutes. Everything is very simple, the child will also understand the connection (children now understand much more complicated things).

Games are loaded almost instantly, there are no glitches and lags anywhere. In general, everything is exactly the same as in the old games, the only difference is that you can save anywhere at any time. If someone thinks that this is unnecessary - well, well, then just do not use this function. Another “cheat” is the opportunity to use the 45-second “time machine”. Are you killed? Go back 45 seconds and solve the problem.

There is one feature - the toys are not adapted to modern iron. If the game had “brakes” at a certain time, they will be here too. Someone thinks this is a disadvantage, but it seems to me that Nintendo specifically decided not to adapt anything, because only so a gamer can feel immersed in the game world of the past. By the way, the console is bought not only by oldfags - it is popular among the players of the new generation, and the children are delighted with it.

When I was standing in line at the store, there was a guy in front of me who was waiting for the opportunity to buy FIFA 2018 for PS4. When he found out that I and another customer who was in front of him in the queue were just eager to buy some retroconsole that was playing old games, he also decided to buy. I hope he likes what he sees.

In general, the console is just great, you can not argue here. This is a return to the sources, and despite the fact that there are a large number of cool emulators of almost all consoles, the new hardware implementation has found its own target audience .


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