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InfinityVive

Why old games support only 4:3 Resolutions?

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Posted · Original PosterOP

So I was about to buy a 21:9 Monitor today but I tested Need for speed underground 2 on it, I tried changing aspect ratio but it was un-changeable, The only supported resolutions were: 640x360, 640x480, 800x600, 1024x768, 1280x1024, So the photo outfit was so wide af, Like the car was 3x wider... But why old games only support 4:3 ratio?

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16:9 monitors didn't exist when those games were made, most likely.


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Because there was no such thing as widescreen outside of cinema at that time. Everything was 4:3, including TV, that's why TV shows like the Simpsons, family guy and Friends were all in 4:3 as well until the later seasons. 

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Now that the Avengers have discovered time travel, I'm confident that we'll have support for older games soon.


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You'll need a mod to enable higher resolutions on old games that don't have a HD remake.


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Most people did not have wide screen displays back then. Most older games can be modded to suport higher resolutions  and wide screens. sometime its as simple as editing an config file.

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47 minutes ago, InfinityVive said:

So I was about to buy a 21:9 Monitor today but I tested Need for speed underground 2 on it, I tried changing aspect ratio but it was un-changeable, The only supported resolutions were: 640x360, 640x480, 800x600, 1024x768, 1280x1024, So the photo outfit was so wide af, Like the car was 3x wider... But why old games only support 4:3 ratio?

4:3, and 5:4 where the mainstream aspect ratios used back then. With 16:10 and 16:9 being very rare.

16:9 CRT TV's existed more commonly, and they were monstrously huge and heavy. Our family used to have a ..i think it was 34" ..or 36" 16:9 CRT, its bulk was insane.

 

Anyway , games had no reason to have 16:9 resolutions. Thats not to say some older games cant run 16:9. Those that were not bound by aspect ratio existed, Total Annhilation, by Cavedog for example could run 16:9.

 

Also understand that PC and console hardware had a hard enough time running standard 4:3 and 5:4 resolution, to keep an acceptable vertical resolution and go wide screen would have made things even harder to run.


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Because CRT monitors were easiest to make in 4:3 or similar aspect ratios simply due to physics (how glass is bent and how electron gun in crt monitor works) and technology could be adapted from CRT TVs to computer monitors.

 

LCD screens don't have these limitations and it was easier to change them to 16:9 and 16:10 panels in order to increase margins. 

Think of making lcd panels like being cut from big panels that are let's say 2-3 meters long by 1-2 meters long... you have more waste with 4:3 and similar resolutions, and less waste (more panels) from wider aspect ratios.

 

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Posted · Original PosterOP
45 minutes ago, TehPlayer14 said:

Game's code didn't support other than 4:3 ratio this is why

But, Can I mod the game to make it support 21:9? (Like moding config folder)

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Just now, InfinityVive said:

But, Can I mod the game to make it support 21:9? (Like moding config folder)

Config won't do unless the game engine supports code for displaying it

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On 8/8/2019 at 7:55 AM, InfinityVive said:

So I was about to buy a 21:9 Monitor today but I tested Need for speed underground 2 on it, I tried changing aspect ratio but it was un-changeable, The only supported resolutions were: 640x360, 640x480, 800x600, 1024x768, 1280x1024, So the photo outfit was so wide af, Like the car was 3x wider... But why old games only support 4:3 ratio?

Your question has been answered, but as a fellow player of older games I strongly recommend you bookmark PCGamingWiki. They often list fixes for stuff like this, and there's one for NFSU2

https://pcgamingwiki.com/wiki/Need_for_Speed:_Underground_2#Video_settings


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Underground 1 and 2 and Most wanted and Carbon ALL have mods to enable 16:9

 

I use 1920x1080 full screen on all of them.

Widescreen Gaming Wiki has all of this info..

The mod uses 640x480 mode in game (placeholder values) but actually uses 1920x1080p and its apparent clearly its not actually 640x480 and IS using the mods..


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