The Super Famicom Box was a system developed by Nintendo and used exclusively in the hospitality industry in Japan. Specifically, it was placed in hotel rooms where blocks of time could be purchased to play the built in games via a coin box mounted on the side.
The Super Famicom Box is basically just an armored tank version of the regular Super Famicom hardware with a few differences. For one, the controllers featured extra long hardwired chords, a distinct change from the 12″. The machine also used highly specialized cartridges. The cartridges, which dwarf a regular Super Famicom cart, are inserted in the machine via a key-locking door in the front.
Until recently, only three cartridges were proven to actually exist. The cart which contained Super Mario Kart, Star Fox, and Super Mario Collection (All Stars) also contained the machine’s essential bios and was required to boot it up. The other two carts could be added and switched out, or not used at all. They are listed below, including their ofiically name/serial number:
- PSS-61 Super Mario Kart, Super Mario Collection (Super Mario All Stars) and Star Fox
- PSS-62 Waialae No Kiseki (Golf) and Super Mahjong 2
- PSS-63 Super Donkey Kong and Super Tetris 2/Bombliss
It has been long rumored that there exists a fourth cart variation which supposedly contains Super Donkey Kong and Bomberman 2. There have been many conflicting reports across the internet, and as far as I know the first shred of proof even hinting towards this cart (officially referred to and marked as PSS-64) actually existing for real is the photo below:
That photo was sent to me by a fellow Super Famicom Box owner and retro gaming enthusiast, Jens. He had posted on Famicom World they he had finally unearthed the mythical PSS-64 cart. I contacted him through the site, thirsty for proof and the ensuing details. Jens, who goes by the screen name “djense1″, describes how he found the cart :
“Well I found it two weeks ago..(this) Japanese guy introduced his Japanese shop site at a forum – the shop page was even in english. So he (was) offering lots of stuff MSX, also some rare Famicom games and finally he offered a super famicombox with this game – as I knew the SDK/Bomberman2 kart is not really confirmed i bought this (immediately).”
As luck would have it Jens (who is originally from Germany) happened to be in Japan at the time, and scored this for $99 USD plus $15 USD local shipping. Not a bad price to pay for what is surely one of the rarest Super Famicom era Nintendo treasures.
There is a massive lack of information about the Super Famicom Box on the internet (at least in English). Save for my previous article, and the article on SNES Central, there are but a few tidbits here and there scattered throughout various websites and forums. Let this article stand as undeniable proof that the Super Famicom Box does indeed have a fourth cart variation. Now, if i can just find one for myself…