I bought, used, and returned a 22" widescreen monitor over the past week. It was great seeing Half-Life 2 and Call of Duty 2 in widescreen format, with the widescreen field of view. It really increased the immersiveness of the game. In real life, when you look at something, you have a lot of peripheral vision going on. But on a standard 4:3 monitor, the game screen only occupies the center of your vision, and your peripheral vision is mostly filled with the real world. A widescreen monitor (16:9 or 16:10) changes that, and it's a really cool experience that all FPS gamers should try at least once. It was also gorgeous exploring World of Warcraft and Guild Wars in widescreen.
So if it's so great.. why did I return it? Well, I had no idea LCDs worked the way they work. In order to display the screen correctly, I *had* to increase my game resolutions to 1680 x 1050. Unlike CRTs, LCDs can't scale up resolution without a performance hit. Not a big deal for most people, but for frame rate watching gamers it's a different story.
1680 x 1050 was such a big drain on my PC that widescreen gaming was mostly unplayable, outside of HL2 and COD2. DOD Source and CS Source had crummy frame rates. And BF2142, my fav game at the moment, didn't support widescreen gaming at all. So yeah.. if you're interested in trying widescreen gaming, be sure you have a powerful enough PC.
In other news...
The PS3 and Wii are coming! I'm going to try and pick up a Wii on launch day. While I'm not too excited about any of the launch titles, I figure I'll be getting a Wii eventually, thanks to Smash Brothers Brawl.
The PS3 is a must have.. some day. The launch line up is getting bad reviews so far, with Genji 2 getting a crummy 6.5 from Gamespot. Bummer! I enjoyed the first Genji even though it scored poorly, so I'll probably enjoy Genji 2, too. But with a score of 6.5, I'm not in any hurry to play it.
Besides, I'm drowning in games anyway. Final Fantasy 12, Okami, Xenosaga 3, Neverwinter Nights 2 (which is dissapointing, by the way!), Metroid Prime Hunters, Phoenix Wright, Trauma Center, BF2142, Zelda Minish Cap.... yikes. Can't wait for winter break :)