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Thread: SNES games have a resolution of 256x224 (8:7) but are meant for 4:3 screens

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    Pear (Level 6) gbpxl's Avatar
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    Default SNES games have a resolution of 256x224 (8:7) but are meant for 4:3 screens

    ...so what is the correct aspect ratio to display these games at since it appears that there are multiple aspect ratios beyond just the 8:7. Did the developers squish the picture so that when displayed on a 4:3 screen, pixels would appear as squares?

    I am guessing I answered my own question but are there certain games when set to an 8:7 aspect ratio, you will get the true intended artistic vision of the game?
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    Great Puma (Level 12) jb143's Avatar
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    They were just designed knowing the pixels weren't square. So the "scaled" image you see would have been the artistic vision.
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    Pear (Level 6) gbpxl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jb143 View Post
    They were just designed knowing the pixels weren't square. So the "scaled" image you see would have been the artistic vision.
    In other words, stretch the picture to 4:3 for every video game that came out prior to PS2/XB/GC
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    Insert Coin (Level 0) Pr3tty F1y's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gbpxl View Post
    In other words, stretch the picture to 4:3 for every video game that came out prior to PS2/XB/GC
    This. Non-square pixels were totally a thing (and, I guess, still are).

    Same thing goes for things like CPS1/2 arcade games. They run a 384x224 resolution but are not wide screen. They should be stretched to a 4:3 AR to be viewed as intended.

    EDIT: Also, some SNES games run at 512x448 (well, R.P.M. Racing does - at the expense of color depth and having interlaced video output, but it is HiRes) as well as others that run at 512x224 (like Kirby' Dream Land 3) where you get "translucency" where none really exists as it's alternating solid lines of pixels that CRTs will seamlessly blend to create the appearance of translucency (due to the higher pixel density across the horizontal axis) where the SNES's color math (addition/subtraction) which is usually used for SNES translucency is not being used. However, all are still 4:3.
    Last edited by Pr3tty F1y; 11-26-2019 at 09:21 AM.

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    Pear (Level 6) gbpxl's Avatar
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    what about Genesis games? There is a ton of overscan with those games so I am wondering if that should be factored in. I always play with alk the overscan 100% visible because it is still technically part of the game
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    I think most genesis games are 320x224. I'm not sure if that 320x224 is stretched to 4:3 or if there are just 8 pixels of overscan above and below the image that would "pad" it to 320x240, but I do know that the actual output is usually 320x224. This is why games that began life on the Genesis/Megadrive and were ported to the SNES are somewhat zoomed in and stretched (see Earthworm Jim and Cool Sport, for example - both were originally coded for the Genesis resulting in slightly squashed sprites and less visible play field on the SNES).

    I never noticed that back when I was a kid, but doing a side-by-side comparison, the Genesis' superior resolution is put to good use. Genesis games also make a lot more use of alternating lines of color that CRTs blend together to make more colors due to the Genesis' more limited color palette. It may look like crap on a HDTV, but on an original CRT, it blends together very nicely.

    However, the Genesis can also do the 256x224 mode that the SNES does usually so games that started on the SNES and ported to the Genesis could run at this lower resolution on the Genesis with no visual distortion (I believe Flashback runs in 256x224).

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