Originally Posted by Grimmy84
In fact the picture is so much squished that it would not be enough to stretch only to fill up the screen, rahter it would be necessery to stretch it so much as to fill up the screen and normal overscan. Only then would the game have right proportions.
I think this is more than simply underscan, in that case we should have black bars on the bottom and top and that is only true for pal games (due to more lines in that standard - 576 instead of 480)
The term "underscan" can apply to any side(s) of the screen. It doesn't have to mean all of them at once.
I think that your first statement pretty much sums it up. The games are just grossly underscanned in the horizontal direction. They are designed to have the proper aspect ratio when displayed with the expected 3% overscan or so on all sides. Instead, not only do they not have any horizontal overscan, but they are actually significantly underscanned. Meanwhile, in the vertical direction, the overscan is present as expected, and this leaves you with a squished image.
I cannot come up with any explaination WHY they make the games like this.
Nor can I. I think it is honestly a matter of not understanding the console video hardware properly, and not testing on enough different displays. There are plenty of people in the industry that do not understand the concept of rectangular pixels and anamorphic widescreen fully. Of course all of that could be aleviated if Nintendo supported HD output - at least 720p.