Halo 3 split-screen wastes 16:9 HDTV edges

Zack Stern
Z. Stern|09.26.07

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Halo 3 split-screen wastes 16:9 HDTV edges

Gamers with HDTVs are often aspect ratio nerds. And a few Halo 3 co-op HDTV players have begun complaining about wasted space in the left and right margins of 16:9 (A.K.A. 1.77:1) screens. The issue is about dividing screen space in single-console games with less than four players. As-is, Halo 3 leaves black margins on the sides of the screen.
With two players, by our measurements, the game runs each perspective at a CinemaScope-busting 2.7:1. While that view makes better use of the space than two stacked 1.77:1 frames, why not let gamers choose to run across the entire width? If it's a competitive advantage in multiplayer games, gamers should be able to use it in the co-op mode.

With three players, the top window fills the same 2.7:1 frame, while the bottom two stay at the original 1.77:1 ratio. In four-player games, everyone gets the 1.77:1 view.

We're too far into the HDTV transition for games to be wasting screen space or having other perspective issues. We understand that designers want total control over the gaming experience. But we players want to use every pixel for which we paid.

[Thanks, Dustin]
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