With my recent acquisition of a Color TV-Game Racing 112, My collection now includes almost every major revision of every Nintendo home console ever released, complete in box.
- Wii U
- Nintendo 64
- Virtual Boy (I’m counting it as a console, since it is really not portable)
- Super Famicom Jr.
- Super Famicom
- Famicom AV
- Round Button Family Computer
- Square Button Family Computer
- Famicom Disk System (a separate platform, but not a console)
- Color TV-Game Block Breaker
- Color TV-Game Racing 112
- Color TV-Game 15
- Color TV-Game 6 CTV6G (orange)
- Color TV-Game 6 CTV6S (white)
A small confession: My Wii U is not a Japanese model.
There were a few more minor revisions of the consoles along the way – FF logo/non FF logo Famicom, output changes, different coloured consoles of various sorts (even shapes like the Pikachu N64), but these are all the major Japanese revisions. The Wii Mini revision was not released in Japan.
There’s one major item missing – the Computer TV-Game. I’ll almost certainly never get one of these. This ‘console’ is incredibly rare, insanely expensive, and its questionable if it was even a consumer product since it was literally an arcade game with TV out. It sold for ¥48,000 in 1980. For comparison the Color TV Game Racing 112 was selling for ¥5000 in 1980, and the Famicom launched in 1983 for ¥14,800.
The Sega set is on its way, but will take a few more years I think. So many revisions…
What is the ultimate Super Famicom/SNES model? For me, it’s the Super Famicom Jr. (with RGB mod)
Like many consoles, the Super Fami got a late-life redesign. This slightly smaller model unites the design aesthetics of the Super Famicom and the US SNES model.
It takes the raised block surrounding the cartridge slot and ‘ruffled skirt’ foot trim from the American machine. Otherwise it follows the clean lines and rounded sides motif of Super Famicom, eschewing the ugly boxy purple/lavender-accented nightmare that was the American Super Nintendo.
This is similar to the direction Nintendo took with the AV Famicom, which blended Famicom and NES design elements (NES colouring and controller ports, Famicom shape and cart loading mechanism)
The Super Famicom Jr doesn’t support RGB out of the box, but it’s a quite simple mod to restore it. And once it’s been restored, it produces a stronger, higher contrast RGB signal than any other model.
It’s not actually that much smaller than a regular Super Famicom, but is very light compared to it.
It also comes with a slightly redesigned controller, with a nice molded Nintendo logo, and a longer controller cord.
Some people don’t like the blown-out contrast of this model, some prefer the softer RGB and slightly different hardware behaviour of the original model. And there’s an argument to be had that the original Super Famicom (and the PAL Super Nintendo which used the same design) is the nicest looking model.
But for me, the Super Famicom Jr is the nicest looking sixteen-bit Nintendo, with the best video output.