The LCD panel industry’s transition toward the 16:9 aspect is unstoppable, according to DisplaySearch who predicts that the widescreen format will have a 90% penetration of the notebook panel market and 67% of the monitor panel market by 2010. "In the near future, panel makers will take necessary phase-out tactics on existing 16:10 LCD panels in order to drive the market to 16:9 panels.
More here at Digitimes.
I am still using my sturdy old 24" 4:3 tube monitor that is at least 6 years old, even more, and it is still kicking hard. The image is still sharp, so it can take at least a couple of years until I need a new one.
Same situation is with many other people who don't buy completely new machine in every two years.
I am interested in those 16:9 aspect screen, because they are ideal for dvd-movies. When the games will start using that aspect, there is no any real reason to use anything other in home / leisure use.
I heard Duke actually was finished and ready for release. Unfortunately, it was for the Sega Genesis, so they started over again.
As for games supporting new resolutions, I haven't written one myself, but I have tooled around in OpenGL. I see no good reason why games aren't coded to support any resolution from the outset. On the 3D side, it's pretty basic math to do and OpenGL certainly supports it (of course DX would too)...
The only place I see getting a little tricky might be with UI component layouts in some circumstances. (If I'm missing something on the issue I'm happy to learn though)
I hear you, coding on a widescreen monitor is annoying. All that space, but half of it is useless. The only nice thing is that you can have your tool bars on the side without sacrificing too much horizontal space.
I bet some of the reason that they can't just allow games to work at any resolution has to do with testing. The companies probably test at the given resolutions and don't want angry users complaining when something doesn't work properly, especially concerning different aspect ratios.
As for complaints about 16:9 vs 16:10, the difference is barely noticeable. It is kind of annoying if you've just bought a new 30" display, but the 16:10 resolution won't be phased out of games for many years I'm sure.
I'm sure when Duke Forever comes out we won't even notice, you know cause we'll be busy eating our hats, wondering why hell froze over, and running away from the flying pigs.