Company: Nintendo of America(NA), Nintendo of Japan(Japan)(System known as Super Famicom in Japan)
The success of the old NES was tremendous, everybody was making games for Nintendo. Nintendo had all the 3rd party developers locked into excluse contracts to only make games for there system, Nintendo was successfully monopolizing the home console market and the NES was making big bucks for Nintendo.
Usually when a new system comes out, the price gradually goes down as newer and better consoles come out to make the old one's obsolete,(example, when the Nintendo 64 came out in 1996, it started out at $200, 3 year's later in September 1999 it was already down to $100.), but that wasn't the case for the NES. The NES was so popular that in a 4 year period from 1985-1989 the NES only dropped down $10 in value from $199 to $189. Something had to stop Nintendo, and something did.
Nintendo has been relying too much on the NES for there star system. The NES was past it's time and Nintendo was still trying to monopolize the market with it. But in 1989, two 16-bit systems were released, Turbo-Graphix 16 and the Sega Genesis. Immediately, sales dropped for the NES, and Nintendo released an announcement stating they don't feel gamers are ready for 16-bit games yet. But sales continued to drop, and so Nintendo started to release games for the Turbographix-16 making it the system to rival the Genesis. But the TG-16 sales were continuing to drop, and Nintendo was constantly researching for there 16-bit hardware. Finally in 1991 they released the Super Nintendo, and the 16-bit gaming wars were on!
The Super Nintendo launched with 4 games: Super Mario World, Pilotwings, F-Zero, and Sim City. Nintendo thought they'd completely destroy the Genesis, and drive away all it's fans, but that wasn't the case as Sega released some great games on the SNES launch day that kept the Genesis alive. Also Nintendo weren't holding onto there exclusive holds on publishers any more. Many of the other publishers were now publishing for both systems.
The Super NES pulled off some great graphics. And it had many more colors to use from than the Genesis. It also had a hardware feature known as Mode 7, with M ode 7 graphics, game's can freely rotate the cameras in circles, giving the game a 3-D feel. Such games that take advantage of this are NCAA Basketball, and NHL Stanley Cup, and the latter Madden games. Also a breakthrough in SNES graphics came with the release of the FX chip which allowed for polygons on the SNES. The games that took advantage of this pulled off high quality graphics and kinda come close to Playstation quality games today. Some games that took advantage of the FX chip were Star Fox, Vortex, Stunt Race FX, and Doom. The only bad thing about the SNES was that it didn't have the fastest processor, and Sega new this and released a game that the SNES couldn't handle when it launched called Sonic the Hedgehog, which eventually went on to become Sega's mascot.
The sound was pretty good for most SNES games. The background music was way better than the horrible midis in the old NES games. Also now most SNES game easily handle the use of voice samples. Of course, you gotta put a limit on the amount of voice used in the game due to how data game cartridges can hold. Sound wasn't perfected yet on the SNES, because some of the SNES sported really bad sound effects, but overall the SNES managed to deliver some pretty good sound.
The SNES had great support from 3rd party developers. Square Soft was still signed into an exclusive deal with Nintendo and it released many popular RPG's on the SNES such as Final Fantasy 4, 5, and 6, Chrono Trigger, and Secret of Mana. The SNES had many games for all of the genres of games, so no gamers were left in the cold.
All right there's the story on the Super Nintendo, let's get down to the final ratings rundown to see how it scores.
Graphics Capabilities: 8.9
Sound Capabilities: 7.4
Variety of games: 9.6
3rd Party Support: 8.8
Rounded to fit GameFAQs score: 9