The Super Nintendo Entertainment System (SNES, also known as the Super Famicom in Japan) was a fourth-generation 16-bit video game console introduced by Nintendo in 1990 (1991 in North America). It was Nintendo’s second home console, following the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) and introduced advanced graphics and sound capabilities compared with other consoles at the time.
The North American version of the SNES has different shaped cartridges to those for other regions, to act as a form of regional lockout. North American cartridges have a rectangular base with inset grooves matching protruding tabs in the console, while other regions’ cartridges are narrower with a smooth curve on the front and no grooves. Internally, a regional lockout chip (CIC) within the console and in each cartridge prevents PAL region games from being played on Japanese or North American consoles and vice versa.
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