Super Nintendo Entertainment System is Nintendo's second console. Unlike their first 8 bit system "NES", Super Nintendo has 16 bits of power. It was introduced in Japan in the late 1990, and a year later Super Nintendo crossed the sea and was sold to the US market as well in the late 1991. History was made.
Road to the 16 bit success was far from easy. Nintendo had to think of a billion ways to encourage the consumers to go with their 16 bit Super Nintendo and not with their competitor Sega, and with their great and amazing, but in my opinion surely not as good as Super Nintendo, product called Sega Genesis (MegaDrive in Europe). The 16 bit war went on for almost 8 years and to tell you the truth there was no clear winner of it. It was kind of fifty-fifty. :) Genesis had the advantage of getting released in the US earlier than Super Nintendo. When it came out, Genesis was already considered to be "the system" of the early 1990s, but luckily, after a year or so Nintendo started to produce great games and really proved the hardware supremacy of the Super Nintendo compared to any other 16 bit system. The only thing that Genesis had better than Super Nintendo was clock speed which made Genny kind of better for sports games like Fifa Soccer series, NBA Live series, and NHL series. The differences were little in those games between the Super Nintendo and the Genesis versions, but for the hard core sports gamers it was very annoying if they bought a Super Nintendo just to play sports games and found out that Genesis with the overall weaker hardware had better versions of them. ;) Despite that, Super Nintendo started to gain power of the gaming market quickly, and no matter to its late launch in the States it managed to catch up with the rest of the 16 bit systems. Nintendo even tried to make a CD add-on for Super Nintendo which would allow the Super Nintendo to load the games from CDs. This also would have helped the programmers make bigger and better games because CDs have much more storage space than cartridges, but the whole plan failed because Nintendo didn't want to accept Sony's ways which clearly meant that they wanted to be in charge of the deal. For those who don't know, Sony were Nintendo's partners for the planned CD add-on. This is where Sony fooled Nintendo. Instead of making the CD add-on for Super Nintendo, Sony decided to go on their own and they've created the famous PlayStation, and became Nintendo's biggest competitor in today's hot systems. :)
Super Nintendo finalized its great years of success with a number of great titles. I'm talking about games like Donkey Kong Country series, Super Mario RPG, Yoshi's Island, Super Metroid, and a bunch of other great titles in the period of 1994-1998. Most of the games from that period were suprisingly rich in graphics and they've astounded the gamers who once thought that 16 bit systems could not perform that well, like do the ACM graphics in Donkey Kong Country series. In the late 1997, Nintendo released a redesigned version of the Super Nintendo which is lighter and smaller than the classic model. This version is the most practical system I've ever seen. It's so small and neat if you plan to carry it in a bag when you go to your friend's house for example. This re-release of the Super Nintendo did not help much in keeping the 16 bit scene last longer, but it did help a little in terms of new games being made for Super Nintendo.