Nintendo introduced the Super Famicom Box in 1994. The Super Famicom box had many similarities with its predecessor the Famicom box. It was also a multigame system, which allowed the gamer to play different games on one system without having to physically insert a new cartridge into the console each time.
Unlike its predecessor, the Super Famicom box had a more attractive design. It has a beautiful black color with a subtle shade of anthracite. On the left side of the front, a hole has been milled where the SNES controllers can be visibly stored. They are therefore always within reach and if you have had enough, you can easily store the controllers. No more problems with ugly long wires that lie around the console. And that is necessary, because although the box has regular SNES controllers, the wires are a lot longer than the regular SNES.
In any case, it is striking that they have opted for regular SNES controllers, since the console was sold exclusively for the Japanese market. You would therefore expect that the Super Famicom Box would have Super Famicom Controllers instead of its European-American variant. Probably the reason is that the SNES controllers suited the aesthetics of the box better. Very different from the garish white and red. The colors in which the regular Super Famicom shines. Tastes differ, but for a European consumer, both the regular SNES and the Super Famicom box will look more attractive and solid than the toy-like appearance of the Japanese Super Famicom.
Unlike its predecessor, the Super Famicom Box was sold instead of rented. However, like the Famicom Box, it was not a consumer product. Nintendo continued to target companies. Due to its sleek appearance, the popularity of the consumer Super Famicom and the fact that companies themselves owned the game console, it became more attractive for a broader part of the business market. In particular hotels were drawn to the possibilities of the console for their customers. In many cases they offered the console as a premium service for the more luxurious hotel rooms or supplied the console as an option on top of the regular room price. It was also possible to supply the Super Famicom Box with an additional “coin box”, making it lucrative for hotels operating on a lower price point.
Another problem with the Super Famicom Box was that the system could only accommodate two cartridges (see photo). One of those two cartridges was required, because, in addition to three games, the BIOS was also installed on it. Without this cartridge, the console would not function at all. This meant that the games on this first cartridge could never be changed. Since most systems were sold with two pre-installed cartridges, and only the second cartridge could be replaced, there was no incentive for Super Famicom Box customers to purchase new cartridges. In addition, it did not help that three games were installed on each cartridge. So if you were to change one cassette, you would exchange three games for three others at once. These reasons contributed to the fact that so few “new” cartridges and therefore few new games came into circulation.
The Super Famicom Box, despite the mentioned drawbacks, has sold well in its home country Japan. Even when the console was no longer officially available, it remained very much alive on the second-hand market. Nowadays availability is less obvious. Many of the initial buyers of the Box, such as hotels, have sold their inventory a long time ago. They often got rid of their entire stock at once when it turned out that the console was no longer appealing to their hotel guests due to its outdated graphics. The consoles are much harder to find in Europe and the US than in Japan. Especially when looking for a copy that is in good condition. In particular the plastic sides, that held the front cover in place, were made of cheap pastic and often did not survive the sea or air crossing. A Super Famicom Box in good condition is therefore easily sold to collectors for around 300 euros.
|Name||Super Famicom Box|
(in good condition)
|CPU||16-bit 65C815, 1,79/2,68/3,58 Mhz.|