Anamorphic 16:9 Widescreen

Prior to 4K, HDTV and even flat panel displays, widescreens with a 16:9 ratio were relatively exotic. Widescreen video material was mostly limited to special edition releases of some video cassettes and laserdiscs. Widescreen images were transmitted anamorphically, that is horizontally compressed, as a regular 4:3 image with the display device stretching the image. This method been continued to be used even with some HDTV transmissions. Wide screen displays and video slowly became popular with the adoption of the DVD video format that allowed 4:3 and 16:9 presentation from a single source in addition to the switch to digital TV transmission in various markets.

Prior to the seventh generation of video game consoles that featured various forms of HD video output and non-anamorphic digital output, widescreen games were relatively rare. Only a few developers, clearly with an interest for technical achievement, undertook the extra effort. The PlayStation 2 and Xbox 360 were the earliest platforms where widescreen support started to become common and were enabled at the system level (as opposed to enabling individually in each game).

This term covers games up unto the sixth generation that supported a widescreen mode. Later generations are ignored as widescreen output became standard.


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