Widescreen Gaming Forum

[-noun] Web community dedicated to ensuring PC games run properly on your tablet, netbook, personal computer, HDTV and multi-monitor gaming rig.
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 Post subject: A little suggestion
PostPosted: 17 Nov 2007, 05:47 

Joined: 17 Nov 2007, 05:30
Posts: 1
I just stumbled with this great site and I'm glad it exists as I find the information it provides very useful, however I don't agree 100% with the method used to rate the games.

Some games (like the ones using the Source engine) do support widescreen, but in a sightly worse way than desirable: they assume square pixels, forcing you to choose a widescreen resolution. The widescreen option just determines which resolutions to show in the list.

For example, in an old laptop I had with a 1280x800 16:10 screen, the only widescreen resolutions that worked well were 1280x720 (sightly stretched) and of course 1280x800. However, these were too high to get good performance.

The best widescreen support is when the game completely separates aspect ratio from resolution (allowing non-square pixels to say it with different words). So you can choose 800x600, and then 5:4, 4:3, 16:10 or 16:9 aspect ratio.

Some games that support this are:

Doom3-engine based games (Doom 3 since version 1.2 or 1.3), via console command or menu in latter games. Choices are 4:3, 16:9 and 16:10. To reiterate: if you choose 16:9, and set a (windowed) resolution of 640x480 pixels, the image would look correctly after resizing it to 853x480, which is equivalent to what the monitor does when displaying it fullscreen, so to speak.

Source-engine based games (special console command that is not on the menu - I think it was r_aspectratio - but setting it correctly was more difficult than what you think, I recall the correct value for 16:10 aspect ratios with 4:3 resolutions was around 1.5)

Call of Duty 4: this one detects the (desktop?) aspect ratio, and then by default uses a 4:3-like resolution, but with corrected aspect ratio. In any case you can override it from the menu.

Of course this assumes the monitor will stretch the image to fill the whole screen, which is often the case. Fortunately, some video cards / screens have an option to respect aspect ratio by introducing black bars, which can be desirable if the game doesn't support widescreen.


 Post subject: A little suggestion
PostPosted: 17 Nov 2007, 06:00 

Joined: 07 Nov 2005, 04:16
Posts: 3010
Support for non-square pixels is an extremely unusual feature. If we required it for certification, I would bet that instead of having 50 certified games, we'd have fewer than 5.

Furthermore, I'm not convinced that this feature is all that important. If your laptop can't handle a game at 1280x800, then I'd say you're playing games out of your laptop's league and it's time to invest in a solid gaming desktop.

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