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Games Retrospect

What Should I Know before Getting a SNES?

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I've been trying to get a console this month because I'm in possession of some disposable income. As usual, I have a ton of options and one of the possibilities is getting a SNES. Thing is I've never even touched one. I have a SNES Classic Edition which I loved and has an amazing selection of games, but I'd like to own the real thing just for the purposing of collecting and also to play on the real thing. So how much should I pay for the system? Also, I've seen the original SNES, as well as the SNES Jr. I know the former supports S-video and the former doesn't, but I also know that the Jr. tends to be more collectible. To sum up: 1) Do you think it's worth getting a SNES if I own the Classic Edition, 2) Which version should I look for? 3) How much is an acceptable price for the system in case I decide to go for it? Thanks in advance!

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I paid around $20 for my current SNES around 10 years ago when my original one stopped working. $50-60 seems reasonable to me for one with the av cable, ac adapter and a controller, but the market might be different now.

Edited by DragonGrafx-16
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I'd give the following answers/opinions.

 

1. If you don't/can't/won't modify the SNES Classic, I would say it's worth getting a real SNES for some of the games that aren't on the classic.

 

2. I don't have any real judgement on the different varieties of SNES. If you're collection for collecting sake... do both. If you want one to play with, I'd just get a basic SNES. Without knowing your setup, I don't have a real answer for this. If you have a CRT, I think all the SNES will come out equal. I know the SNES Jr. has to be modified for a higher quality like RGB. Regular SNES will be pretty close unless you're just super picky on the video quality. 

 

I'll drop a link to go with this. --> https://www.retrorgb.com/snesversioncompare.html

 

3. As far as acceptable price... This will vary by what all is included. I'll do a rundown of what I feel is fair.

  • SNES only - $20 to $30 - You can go higher on this if the SNES is in amazing condition, but I really don't think it's worth more than $30 even then.
     
  • SNES with cables and a controller - $50 - This feels like the fairest price. You can maybe swing a bit higher if you can identify everything as OEM.
     
  • SNES with cables, 2 controllers, and a game/games - $80 - This price is really only worthwhile if you can identify the games as worthwhile to yourself. It really only matches if everything's in good/great condition, all the parts are OEM where plausible, and the game that come with it is both worthwhile to you and worth the extra cost. 

 

Now you could always find a really nice looking SNES with nothing and start from there. It's just best to get things bundled together as you can usually get a better price that way overall and save some time. Once you start buying things individually plus any shipping costs if you do online... It'll add up quick. I wouldn't pay more than $100 for any sort of bundle unless it's got some of the big, expensive hits though. 

 

Keep in mind, I haven't really been buying retro lately, so I don't know if my prices are dated or not. At the end of it, it's however much it'll end up being worth to you.

Edited by KeeperofLindblum
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I'd definitely search around on eBay if you want the best pricing... I found the following while just looking at the first page. (Shipping puts it a bit over what I quoted.)


Random eBay Auction - $85 + Shipping
 

If you try to buy it local at a game shop... You're gonna overpay, but you'll be able to see it in person. 🤷‍♂️

 

 

EDIT - I only linked that auction because the system isn't yellowed, no obvious cracks, and it comes with (what appears to be) all OEM except the one third party controller. Games are okay but would get you started with 4. 

Edited by KeeperofLindblum

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I paid about 30 dollars with shipping several years ago.  But with ac, av, and 2 controllers.  Not just bare.  And for 50 dollars I got a JR with 2 knock off controllers, knockoff ac, and 1 av cable.

 

also JR is not compatible with game genie v1. 

 

 

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2 hours ago, KeeperofLindblum said:

I'd definitely search around on eBay if you want the best pricing... I found the following while just looking at the first page. (Shipping puts it a bit over what I quoted.)


Random eBay Auction - $85 + Shipping
 

If you try to buy it local at a game shop... You're gonna overpay, but you'll be able to see it in person. 🤷‍♂️

 

 

EDIT - I only linked that auction because the system isn't yellowed, no obvious cracks, and it comes with (what appears to be) all OEM except the one third party controller. Games are okay but would get you started with 4. 

Thanks for providing some prices to at least know what I should expect to pay for the system. I found a SNES Jr. CIB for $90 (that's including shipping), two controllers, no games. I'm not crazy about collecting console variations, even if I ended up with some of those, but I kind of like the design of the Jr. But maybe I should get a regular SNES with no cables, no nothing and start from there. I found one locally for $50, but that feels like a lot for something I'm buying online and I can't really test and open until it gets here.

 

I used to have a CRT, but I gave it to my kid to watch his DVDs. I'm pretty sure I can convince my wife to get at least a 14-inch just for the purposes of playing retro games.

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1 hour ago, Games Retrospect said:

Thanks for providing some prices to at least know what I should expect to pay for the system. I found a SNES Jr. CIB for $90 (that's including shipping), two controllers, no games. I'm not crazy about collecting console variations, even if I ended up with some of those, but I kind of like the design of the Jr. But maybe I should get a regular SNES with no cables, no nothing and start from there. I found one locally for $50, but that feels like a lot for something I'm buying online and I can't really test and open until it gets here.

 

I used to have a CRT, but I gave it to my kid to watch his DVDs. I'm pretty sure I can convince my wife to get at least a 14-inch just for the purposes of playing retro games.

Get at least a 22-24" CRT. 14 is fine for old computers (C64, Atari 8bit/ST  ETC.) but a larger TV is better for consoles, especially for split screen multiplayer.

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17 hours ago, Games Retrospect said:

Thanks for providing some prices to at least know what I should expect to pay for the system. I found a SNES Jr. CIB for $90 (that's including shipping), two controllers, no games. I'm not crazy about collecting console variations, even if I ended up with some of those, but I kind of like the design of the Jr. But maybe I should get a regular SNES with no cables, no nothing and start from there. I found one locally for $50, but that feels like a lot for something I'm buying online and I can't really test and open until it gets here.

 

I used to have a CRT, but I gave it to my kid to watch his DVDs. I'm pretty sure I can convince my wife to get at least a 14-inch just for the purposes of playing retro games.

Sounds like a good deal on the CIB SNES Jr, but that choice is up to you if that's what you want.

 

$50 local seems a lot unless it's coming with at least the cables and controller/controllers. Any games on top of that would just be a bonus~
 

Granted, the AV cables are super cheap and easy to get... but OEM is highly suggested on any cables you get as cheap cables and cheap power bricks can have some issues. 

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1 hour ago, 0078265317 said:

And super expensive.  Probably more than the OP wants to spend. 

I don't think I can get one here unless I import it from the US and if I can actually find one here, it would be super expensive. They look really cool though. I also thought about getting a Retron 5, but it would cost me 4 times as much as a SNES does... so at that point I might as well get the consoles it plays individually and play on the real thing. I don't know, there are way too many options to play retro games these days. Too many, haha.

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44 minutes ago, Games Retrospect said:

I don't think I can get one here unless I import it from the US and if I can actually find one here, it would be super expensive. They look really cool though. I also thought about getting a Retron 5, but it would cost me 4 times as much as a SNES does... so at that point I might as well get the consoles it plays individually and play on the real thing. I don't know, there are way too many options to play retro games these days. Too many, haha.

What country do you live in?

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Since everyone else has price & model details covered, I'll add this:

 

SNES systems are very prone to yellowing. It doesn't affect play, but it sure looks bad- if you're up for some homebrew retrobrighting, you might get a deal buying an ugly unit. On the flip side, if you get a nice one be careful of letting it sit in the sun & dust often.

 

SNES systems are also one of the weirdest when it comes to intermittent function. For some reason, it seems rather common for an SNES to have a game or two it just doesn't like to play- my sister, for example, briefly owned one that wouldn't play Super Mario World. The game store tried a good dozen known working copies for her, not one ran on that deck. If possible, have a local buddy/shop in mind that you can cross-check non working games with.

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Although I don't know much about it, I've heard about SNES units where a video chip has gone out?  There's also something about a "1-chip SNES" that is preferable?  I'm not sure if these are later units or earlier ones, but it seems there were board revisions and such where some are more reliable than others?

 

Also, as for the yellowing, I've heard that the newer units (those released closer to the end of the unit's manufacturing run) are better at staying their original color.  My unit looks pretty nice, at least for the top and bottom shells.  Not sure if it just for some reason hasn't been affected or if it's a newer one.  Never really researched it much... just know it works.  =)

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8 hours ago, Eltigro said:

Although I don't know much about it, I've heard about SNES units where a video chip has gone out?  There's also something about a "1-chip SNES" that is preferable?  I'm not sure if these are later units or earlier ones, but it seems there were board revisions and such where some are more reliable than others?

 

Also, as for the yellowing, I've heard that the newer units (those released closer to the end of the unit's manufacturing run) are better at staying their original color.  My unit looks pretty nice, at least for the top and bottom shells.  Not sure if it just for some reason hasn't been affected or if it's a newer one.  Never really researched it much... just know it works.  😃


One chip units were around 94-96 closer to the end of the snes. One chip units supposedly have better graphics.  The JR is a one chip.

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Also make sure which ever super Nintendo you choose comes with an official ac adapter.  Third party ones are junk.  I lost my original.  The third party one that came with my junior does not work on the JR.  It powers my full size original Super Nintendo.  But not my JR.  How odd.  And even on eBay original adapters are expensive.  

 

Also if I have a dead adapter can it be repaired?  Or not worth it?

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I ordered a performance off eBay for 16.  I know its a lot but I always had good luck with performance.  I have been through 2 official and they are no good.  So we will see how this goes.

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I think the $50-$60 price range is about right for one that is good condition and comes with OEM accessories (power brick, av cable, controller). As an earlier poster mentioned, you will pay more going local, but you can see it and have someone to yell at if it doesn't work when you get it home.

 

While I don't think this was brought up much, what kind of games are you interested in? The major 1st party titles can be expensive due to demand (even they had a high print run). Something like SuperMario Kart can fetch stupid prices. On the game front, be patient and what for a good deal. The days of Super Mario World being $5-$10 are probably long gone, but don't pay $30 for it.

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The most I paid for an SNES game was $40, but that was for Super Aleste (a Super Famicom game, rather than paying $70+ for Space Megaforce). The most I've paid for a NA SNES game was $30 for Super Metroid around 2008 (or so). It must easily be double that now. Super Nova cost a bit more than $30 but it was a Christmas gift a few years back.

Edited by DragonGrafx-16

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On 7/16/2019 at 5:11 PM, 0078265317 said:

What country do you live in?

Argentina, the market's really weird over here. Especially when it comes to Nintendo which doesn't really have a presence here in South America and everything that you get comes from importers. I get super excited whenever I get a Nintendo game or batch of games at a good price because that's a rare sight over here.

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On 7/20/2019 at 1:39 PM, cybercylon said:

I think the $50-$60 price range is about right for one that is good condition and comes with OEM accessories (power brick, av cable, controller). As an earlier poster mentioned, you will pay more going local, but you can see it and have someone to yell at if it doesn't work when you get it home.

 

While I don't think this was brought up much, what kind of games are you interested in? The major 1st party titles can be expensive due to demand (even they had a high print run). Something like SuperMario Kart can fetch stupid prices. On the game front, be patient and what for a good deal. The days of Super Mario World being $5-$10 are probably long gone, but don't pay $30 for it.

See if you can help me here (of course, this is for everyone): I found a SNES with two original controllers, no AC adapter and no games for pretty cheap. The system costs $35, but the only caveat is that the power jack is busted. According to the seller it works perfectly, but I know I need soldering skills to replace the jack which costs around $10 + shipping. I don't know if it's worth it, but that's the only system I found at that price. The guy sent a video with proof it works and was more than willing to tell me all the "problems" it has. Do you think that's a good deal or I should pass?

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23 hours ago, Games Retrospect said:

See if you can help me here (of course, this is for everyone): I found a SNES with two original controllers, no AC adapter and no games for pretty cheap. The system costs $35, but the only caveat is that the power jack is busted. According to the seller it works perfectly, but I know I need soldering skills to replace the jack which costs around $10 + shipping. I don't know if it's worth it, but that's the only system I found at that price. The guy sent a video with proof it works and was more than willing to tell me all the "problems" it has. Do you think that's a good deal or I should pass?

Not worth it to me. You will need to find a decent power supply, preferably OEM, $10 to fix that power jack, and then your time. That puts you in a range suggested by others. That said, I don't know how easy it is to get things in South America or what the standards are where you live. You will want a console that matches the standard your TV uses (assumption here is that you plan to use a CRT). 

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