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CREATED FEB.22.2011
UPDATED FEB.24.2011
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TEXT WRITTEN BY
MARTIN NIELSEN
THE SUPER FAMICOM (SNES) MEMORY CARTRIDGE - NINTENDO POWER
THE OFFICIAL SUPER FAMICOM COPIER
Way back in 1997 Nintendo launched a service in Japan called "Nintendo Power". It has nothing to do with the official US Nintendo magazine except for the name, in Japan Nintendo Power is a game kiosk service much like the old Famicom Disk System days where people could buy games cheaper from special vending machines, buying empty famicom disks back in the day - now replaced by Flash Memory cartridges.

The service was available both for the Super Famicom and Gameboy and the cartridges could of course contain more than one game, or be completely rewritten with new games at your wish.

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GamePak ID SHVC-MMSA-JPN-1
Suggested R/P 3,980 yen (excluding tax)
ROM Capacity FLASH MEMORY 32Mbit (4Mbit x 8 blocks)
Backup RAM S-RAM 256kbit (16kbit x 16 blocks)
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GamePak ID DMG-MMSA-JPN
Suggested R/P 2,500 yen (excluding tax)
ROM Capacity FLASH MEMORY 8Mbit (1Mbit x 8 blocks)
Backup RAM S-RAM 1024kbit (64kbit x 16 blocks)

As mentioned the Nintendo Power appeared very late in the Super Famicom era, but it must have been successful because the service lasted until February 28, 2007... long after the Super Famicom hey days.

One of the things that made the Nintendo Power service successful was most likely because of the exclusive games as well as the cheap cost. Once the cartridge had been purchased for 3980 yen, roughly US$48 with the current currency exchange, it could be rewritten over and over with games ranging from 2100 yen, roughly US$26, for new releases to 1050yen, roughly US$13, for older titles. With that said though, the exclusive titles sold for a little more, 2625yen, roughly US$32.

The Nintendo Power exclusive titles are:

Director Metarusureidagurori December 2000
Picross NP Vol.8 June 2000
Picross NP Vol.7 April 2000
Picross NP Vol.6 February 2000
Picross NP Vol.5 December 1999
Picross NP Vol.4 October 1999
Fire Emblem Thracia seven hundred and seventy-six September 1999
Picross NP Vol.3 August 1999
Forest of Beginnings July 1999
Picross NP Vol.2 June 1999
Picross NP Vol.1 April 1999
Derby Stallion 98 September 1998
Excuse Kun Ha August 1998
Zoo Mahjong More! July 1998
Dr. Mario June 1998
Supafamikonuozu May 1998
Famicom Detective Club PART2 April 1998
Supapanchiauto March 1998
Kirby Kira Kira Kids February 1998
Wrecking Crew '98 January 1998
Ke Oni Island Shigeru Shinpei December 1997

A complete list of Super Famicom titles available on the Nintendo Power system is available here.

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The Super Famicom contains 32 megabits of storage for games, though the PCB has space for another 16 megabits I don't think a larger cartidge was ever released. The cart has 8 blocks of 4 megabits each, so the cartridge should be able to contain up to eight 4 megabit games, but the label on the cartridge only has "room" for 7 titles, so who knows - maybe the limit is 7 games.

Another limit to the cartridge is the lack of special chips like the DSP and SuperFX, so none of the games that requires such are available in the Nintendo Power library of games, obviously.

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When a game had been bought, you would receive a 1 page manual much like the old Famicom Disk Writer days.

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