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Did The Original Super Nintendo Save Games?

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Do you own a Super Nintendo and want to know if it saves games? Have you looked all over the internet, but you can only find out about the classic and you don’t want to know about the classic, but the original? 

So did the original Super Nintendo save games?

Unfortunately when the original SNES or Super Nintendo was released, it did not save games, as memory cards for saving games had not been introduced yet. Some games such as Super Mario World did have specific save points that the consoles built in memory would be able to save. 

If you want to know more about the history of the Super Nintendo, and features of the system you will want to keep reading. If you don’t like to read though, you can simply watch this video to learn about the Original SNES. 

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Features of the Super Nintendo Entertainment System

Game Cartridges 

The cartridge media of the Super Nintendo is officially called the Game Pak in the majority of Western regions and Cassette in Japan and some parts of Latin America. Even though the SNES has 128 Mbit of memory, it can only use 117.75 Mbits as the operations of the console take the rest of the memory.  

Cartridges could also come with battery-powered SRAM to save the game state, custom processors, extra working RAM, or any other hardware that does not overstep the top current rating of the console.

Although these cartridges were expensive, so not many gamers had them for their consoles. 


All versions of the Super Nintendo are chiefly gray even though they come in mildly different shades. The authentic North American version comes with a boxy design that includes purple sliding switches plus a dark gray eject lever.

It has a curved loading bay surface that is designed to both invite interaction and protect the console from being used as a tray for food or drinks, which could easily spill. The Japanese and European versions have a rounder look, with darker gray buttons and accents.

The North American New-style Super Nintendo (model SNS-101) and the Japanese Super Famicom Jr. (model SHVC-101), both come with a rounded color and are smaller in size. However, while the SNS-101 buttons are purple in color, the Super Famicom Jr. buttons are gray.

The controllers of the European and American SNES versions come with cables that are a lot longer than the Japanese Super Famicom controllers.

All versions of the SNES include a top-loading slot for game cartridges, even though the shape of the slot varies from region to region to match the distinct shapes of the cartridges. 

The MULTI OUT connector can output RGB, composite video, S-Video and RGB signals, and RF, which includes an external RF modulator. Original versions also come with a 28-pin expansion port as well as a standard RF output, including a switch for channel selection on the back.

The redesigned models only output composite video, which means they need an external modulator for RF.

The ABS plastic, which some older SNES and Super Famicom consoles are cased with, is especially vulnerable to oxidation when exposed to air. This is likely due to an incorrect mixture of the additives that retard or stabilize flames.

This, coupled with the especially light color of the initial plastic, results in affected consoles turning yellow. If the sections of the casing are made with different kinds of plastic, it will result in two tones.

You can correct this issue by carrying out Retrobrighting, which involves applying a mixture of chemicals to the case and exposing it to UV light.


The S-SMP is an audio subsystem that is a single dedicated chip consisting of an 8-bit CPU, plus a 16-bit DSP as well as a 64 KB of SRAM. Having been designed and created by Sony, the audio system is actually totally independent and different from the rest of the Super Nintendo system.

It is measured at a nominal 24.576 MHz in both PAL and NTSC systems. It also has the capacity to produce stereo sound, formulated from 8 voices generated with the use of 16-bit audio samples and a number of effects such as reverberation.


The CPU of the Super Nintendo is a Ricoh 5A22 drawn from the 16-bit WDC 65C816 microprocessor. In NTSC territories, its nominal clock speed is 3.58 MHz. However, when accessing slower peripherals, the CPU slows down to either 2.68 MHz or 1.79 MHz.

The CPU also comes with an 8-bit data bus as well as two address buses. While the 24-bit “Bus A” assists in general accesses, the 8-bit “Bus B” helps with getting access to support chip registers like the audio and video co-processors.

The WDC 65C816 also assists in:

  • an 8-channel DMA unit, a 16-bit multiplication, and division unit
  • an 8-bit parallel I/O controller port interface circuit which allows parallel and serial access to controller data
  • a circuitry for developing non-maskable interrupts on V-blank and IRQ interrupts on evaluated screen positions

Initial modifications of the 5A22 used in SHVC boards are vulnerable to unexpected failure. This can produce a range of symptoms, which include glitches in graphics during Mode 7 operation, inability to correctly read the controllers, and a black screen on power-on.

The first modification 5A22 also had a disastrous bug in the DMA controller that had the capacity to result in games crashing while they were still running. However, this problem was fixed in the following revision.


The Picture Processing Unit (PPU) of the Super Nintendo comprises two different but close IC packages. It includes 64 KB of SRAM to store video data, 544 bytes of OAM (object attribute memory) to store sprite data, and 256 × 15 bits of CGRAM (color generator RAM) to store palette data.

It is the CGRAM that lets the console show up to 256 colors, selected from the 15-bit RGB color space. The PPU, which creates one pixel every two or four cycles, is measured by the same indication as the CPU and also includes 8 video modes.

History of the Super Nintendo

The Super Nintendo Entertainment System was released in 1991, a time when memory cards were not in existence. The Super Nintendo held games in its cartridges with the games sized from about 0.23 MB to 4 MB. However, the two largest games of the console, Tales of Phantasia and Star Ocean, brought up the maximum with their 6 MB sizes.

The console comes with 128 KB of general-purpose RAM, which is different from the RAM assigned to the video and audio subsystems.


Now that you know all about the Super Nintendo and if it can save games, you will probably want to know what the best games are for the system. Here is a video explaining the best games for the Super Nintendo! 

If you realize the price of the Super Nintendo with all of the games may be too much for you, you may want to consider buying the Super NES Classic edition as well.