Yes, retail has the necessary artwork. No, it's not used (As in, the original HUD code doesn't load them, ever). Ask :V: why, but my personal guess is that they realized in testing that these hi-res art pieces are too big for 1024x768. Enabling their use is trivial, but as I said, requires more customization options in the new hud_gauges.tbl (which are trivial to add, btw).
Yup. Plus, as I explained to chief over IRC, the unused hi-res artwork can't seem to decide what size font it's optimized for. The hi-res directives bitmaps assume the font used is 15 pixels height. The hi-res escort bitmaps assume a 19 pixel font height. Hi-res comm menu is supposed to be used with 17 pixel high fonts. I mean, make up your minds! :\
So, the unused hi-res HUD artwork need some work before they can be used. That's probably something for FSU to deal with for some hypothetical hi-res MediaVP HUD project.
This'll all come to fruition once I open up all sorts of definable options for each individual HUD gauge. However, you're still stuck with a 9 pixel tall font (font01.vf) unless you willing to experiment to find a bigger font that won't smedge up the menu interface. To truly have a hi-res HUD without the mentioned side-effects, I need to complete a feature that will allow the HUD to use a *.vf font file separate from the menu interface. Hopefully soon.