Widescreen hacks

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A widescreen hack is an emulator feature that make older games playable on 16:9 aspect ratio.

Most video games before mid-2000s were developed for TVs and monitors with 4:3 aspect ratio. If these games are played on 16:9 aspect ratio, the game is either displayed with black bars on each side or stretched to fill the whole screen. Some emulators however provide a widescreen hack option to make these games look nice on modern monitors.

Some games before mid-2000s do have built-in 16:9 aspect ratio support, but usefulness of this option will vary. Some games just add black bars to top and bottom, while others have very zoomed out camera, so widescreen hacks may still be useful in these games.

Limitations[edit]

A widescreen hack basically hacks camera size and position, so depending on the game there might be graphical glitches.

  • 2D sprites/HUDs such as health bars or minimaps might look stretched or displayed on wrong location.
  • Enemies or objects outside of 4:3 area might suddenly appear or disappear, because the game skips rendering for offscreen things. Similarly, the screen-wide visual effects such as fade-in and fade-out may only affect the 4:3 area of the screen.

Emulators (2D)[edit]

NES[edit]

  • WideNES: is a novel technique to automatically and interactively map-out NES games, in real time. This allows you to peek beyond the screen boundaries of NES games. Currently only implemented in the emulator ANESE.

Game Boy[edit]

  • WideGB: a addon/fork of SameBoy with widescreen support. Uses a similar technique as WideNES.

Super Nintendo[edit]

  • bsnes-hd - a fork of bsnes with support for widescreen and Mode 7 with HD rendering.

Games with specific patches:

Sega Genesis[edit]

Emulators (3D)[edit]

Nintendo 64[edit]

There are two plugins for Project64 that has widescreen hack support.

  • Jabo's Direct3D: The versions included in Project64 2.x has a widescreen hack option, though the plugin itself is buggy compared to versions came with Project64 1.6 (the version before the widescreen hack option was added). Jabo backported this widescreen hack to the 1.6.1 version, which retains the stability of 1.6 with some of the fixes from the other, buggier plugin.
  • GLideN64: Currently the only known plugin that can do both widescreen hack and custom texture packs, though the system requirement is much higher than Jabo's. As of May 2018, it now has a new overscan feature that lets the users manually edit offsets to remove black borders/lines around the edges of a game's video output and is compatible with any widescreen hack. The widescreen hack does not work if running the plugin in LLE mode, however.

GameCube/Wii[edit]

Dolphin has a widescreen hack under graphics options. The aspect ratio option must be set to 'Force 16:9' to make it work. Some games have specific Gecko Codes to fix the aspect-ratio in widescreen. Check the game page in the Dolphin Wiki to find those codes. It's also possible to enable them in RetroArch (guide on reddit).

swiss-gc (nightly builds) have per-game hacks for a lot of GameCube games that work better than Dolphin's widescreen hack option. See this gif on how to use it with Dolphin.

PlayStation[edit]

  • PCSX-Reloaded has the widescreen hack in the CPU options.
  • ePSXe also has the widescreen hack located within the GTE Hacks options. This feature was added in version 2.0.5.
  • DuckStation and SwanStation, a new PSX emulator, also has a widescreen hack located in the Enhancement Settings.

PlayStation 2[edit]

PCSX2 can render the games in 16:9 aspect ratio, though unlike other consoles game-specific patches are required. See PCSX2 widescreen game patches and PS2 widescreen hacks for patches.

PlayStation Portable[edit]

PSP has a widescreen aspect ratio from the beginning, with PPSSPP you can render games in other ratios such as ultrawide 21:9 and 31:9. There's a forum post with collection of patches.

Dreamcast[edit]

Flycast has widescreen support available via hack that creates widescreen automatically with HUD supports or cheats, use only one of those. Redream has widescreen support available in the Manage cheats menu.

External links[edit]

RetroWide - forum for discussing widescreen development, both ROM-hacking and technology on the emulator side.