I am building a WinXP box to play games I have trouble with on Win10, and I am thinking of placing a 4:3 screen on it, as I didn't think games really supported widescreen until probably well after WinXP was legacy...but I was wondering around what year would I start seeing some or most games going widescreen? Or in another way, when did widescreen monitors become common on new computers?

I am not sure if a widescreen monitor would display the 4:3 output in a box (for games that did not scale or stretch to widescreen)...but I think that 4:3 games look much better when framed in a monitor of the same shape.

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    Will be far cheaper and safer to just install VirtualBox – OrangeDog Oct 19 '17 at 11:23
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    To the people who are close voting because they think this is an "Identify This Game" question, It's not. This is a gaming history question. – Nzall Oct 19 '17 at 11:52
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    @Nzall Gaming history questions run a very fine line. Seeing it as game identification is to be expected in most cases, really. Just portraying this as gaming history doesn't automatically make it on-topic, either. – Frank Oct 19 '17 at 11:59
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    I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because it is about basic computing history, not anything specific to gaming. – Frank Oct 19 '17 at 12:09
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    I'm voting to reopen this question. – Studoku Oct 19 '17 at 16:01

Based on http://www.wsgf.org/mgl, widescreen support in some way, be it through external software, manually changing ini settings, changing registry entries, a command line flag or completely native, was in most games around 2000. Fully native support was pretty much standard around 2006.

  • Interesting. I guess that is mainly for 3d games? I have a few adventure games that don't scale at all well to fullscreen. – aaa90210 Oct 19 '17 at 19:38
  • @aaa90210 Check the link I posted. It has almost 30 pages of games starting from 1984. – Nzall Oct 19 '17 at 19:52
  • oh yes the link was excellent, I was just guessing mainly that the 3d games would be easiest to make widescreen than those with pre-rendered 2d backgrounds. Thanks. – aaa90210 Oct 19 '17 at 21:53
  • @aaa90210 It honestly depends on the game. Many 2D games are simply a sliding viewport on a map, and making those widescreen frequently is just increasing the width of the viewport and maybe resolving some bugs. 3D games are actually somewhat trickier because you then could get into problems with HUD design (what parts of the hud do we make wider?), FoV (we need to adjust gun models so they don't end halfway), balance (widescreen means more peripheral vision) and even gameplay and atmosphere (some games rely on certain objects not being visible at the same time). – Nzall Feb 2 '18 at 8:44

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