I'm a BIG supporter of widescreen gaming, and I want to make sure that Kristopher Kubicki's otherwise stellar article doesn't turn people off from getting a widescreen monitor. In his article he states, "Very
few games support 1680x1050 as a resolution (with the exception Half Life 2 and Far Cry), so no matter what you play, you will be playing on a scaled signal."
I am here to tell you that this is simply not true.
While there have been notable exceptions in recent releases (including WC3, Pirates!, Rollercoaster Tycoon 3, and SW: KOTOR2), most new games support widescreen resolutions either natively or through easy hacks/tweaks. Recent major releases with native widescreen include: NWN, COH, WOW, EQ2, Guild Wars, HL2, GTA3 (+VC), Doom3, Sims2 (though a hack is needed for any res above 1600x1200), Warhammer 40k, UTk4.
Recent releases that are hackable (by an .ini, registry or commandline tweak) include America's Army, Battle for Middle Earth, COD, MOH, XIII, Painkiller, Rise of Nations, Elder Scrolls 3, Splinter Cell, C&C: Generals, and Star Wars: Republic Commando. In addition, anything built on the Quake 2 or Doom 3 engines also supports widescreen, with simple tweaks
In addition, some "old school" favorites such as the original Command & Conquer series (including RA, RA2, and Tiberian Sun), RTA2, Homeworld, Mehcwarrior 4, Doom I & II, Quake 2, Dungeon Keeper 2, and Max Payne support widescreen either natively or by hack. And, some enterprising folks have hacked Sim City 4, SW:KOTOR, DAOC (pre-Catacombs, as Catacombs added widescreen), Myst: Uru, Tiger Woods PGS Tour 2004, and Prince of Persia: Sands of Time, to get widescreen support.
The bottom line is that most current games support widescreen, and the releases that don't are dwindling. Many upcoming games such as Vanguard: Saga of Heroes (http://www.vanguardsoh.com/
) and Pyschonauts will support widescreen.
The difference in many games can be amazing. COH and WOW not only look more cinematic, but you can move tool bars and UI mods to the sides, freeing up screen real estate. In NWN, you can keep character sheets, quest logs and "paper dolls" open, withou obscuring the game. I'm not here to recommend any one manufacturer of displays, just major manufacturers make a good widescreen, whether it is 20", 23", 24" or 30". I will tell you that once you go widescreen, you will never go back.