Nintendo released its new Switch OLED in early October. The new device has the same performance specs and interface as the old model, with one key difference. It replaces the 6.2-inch LCD display from the old model with a bigger 7-inch OLED screen.
While the new screen keeps the 720p handheld resolution as its predecessor, its brighter display and bigger size improve the gaming experience. Despite its upgraded size and vivid colors, there’s some concern about screen burn-in associated with OLED screens.
What is screen burn-in?
Organic light-emitting diode (OLED) screens work differently from liquid crystal displays (LCDs). OLED screens don’t require backlighting and each pixel creates its own light when the diode is charged. Since this type of screen doesn’t require unnecessary backlighting, it can be slimmer and more compact than LCD alternatives.
Screen burn-in occurs when some parts of the display age faster than others, causing a permanent image to show on the display. This fault can occur if the screen is constantly displaying the same image.
It’s important to avoid confusing screen burn-in and image retention. Image retention is similar to screen burn-in, but the image on the screen disappears after some time.
While screen-burn-in is theoretically possible on OLED screens, it is unlikely to occur with responsible use. Most manufacturers have taken steps to reduce its occurrence through better designs and sometimes implement software to combat the issue.
That said, manufacturers still warn users about the possibility of screen burn-in on their products and give buyers tips on avoiding it. Warranties don’t usually cover screen burn-in, so users may face costly repair costs screen burn-in occurs.
Will screen burn-in affect the Nintendo Switch OLED?
It’s hard to say whether the Switch OLED will be affected by screen burn-in. Results will vary based on how each player manages their Switch OLED.
Nintendo issued a statement to T3 in which it addressed the OLED concerns. While Nintendo acknowledges the possibility of screen burn-in due to static images, it also says the Switch OLED display is designed for long-term use. In their statement to T3, Nintendo advises Switch OLED buyers to use the auto-sleep function to ease concerns if they are worried about screen burn-in.