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In an experiment to see how far the Switch OLED screen can be pushed before burn-in, a YouTuber has purposefully kept his Switch OLED running for almost 1800 hours.
YouTuber Wulff Den put his stress test to the test by keeping a static in-game screenshot of The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild on-screen at maximum brightness at all hours of the day. Wulff Den had intended to keep the image up for seven days, but he prolonged the experiment and published a film documenting the findings 11 weeks after the experiment began.
Those are quite encouraging outcomes. “OLED burn-in should not be a problem to you at all,” the YouTuber concludes, noting that roughly 2000 hours after leaving the console running, there were no “noticeable burn-in markings” and no change in the color tests he did compare the original and final screens.
“If you’re worried about OLED burn-in on your Switch because you have like 2000 hours in a game, I think you can relax a little bit,” he says. “I don’t think it’s a practical concern for anybody.”
He did, however, mention that the image’s whites were significantly dimmer after the test and that some of the other colors had a greenish tint. In any case, this isn’t the kind of image retention that some fans were concerned about.
To burn or not to burn, that is the question.
Since the announcement of the Switch’s OLED model last year, enthusiasts have been anxious about the prospect of burn-in. Image retention has long been a flaw with OLED panels, particularly TVs, and was predicted to become more prevalent in this case. Static pictures that show on screen for lengthy periods of time in games, such as HUDs, logos, or main menus, have some gamers concerned that their attractive handhelds may be damaged by permanent markings.
However, as Wulff Den’s video shows, this is unlikely to happen. Even if you don’t allow your Switch out of your sight too often, 1800 hours will get you a long way into the console’s lifespan. The fact that no ghosting or markings of any type occurred during Wulff Den’s acid test indicates that Nintendo’s engineers have made significant progress in lowering the likelihood of burn-in.
We believe you may rest easy knowing that image preservation will not be a big issue. You’d be better off just making sure you don’t drop it.