Tech

Nintendo Switch OLED: Should We Worry About Persistent Burn-In?

Here are some nifty tricks to prevent persistent burns
Nintendo Switch OLED

Before the Nintendo Switch OLED‘s release, Nintendo confirmed that there might be possibilities for the console to experience persistent burns. It is a situation in which OLED displays can experience image retention if subjected to static visuals over an extended period of time.

What are persistent burns?

A persistent burn, also called internal burn or screen burn, is a phenomenon that will affect OLED screens if they display a static image for too long. Over time, that image may remain still be visible even if the images were to change, making them transparent above the currently playing image. This is called a “ghost image”.

image

Standard Switch with Persistent Burn

On Nintendo Switch, you may have this kind of burn due to a too static HUD, like with some RPGs and/or games where the HUD doesn’t change at all or a logo that would not move during a long game session. Although it is present, however, be aware that it is something rare and that there are ways to counter this phenomenon with a few tricks. Please note that these tricks may also be used on any OLED TVs, smartphones, or monitors as well.

Counter the persistent burns

When Nintendo confirmed the risk of burns, the company advised gamers to make full use of the console’s settings. Features like the auto-brightness, which prevents the screen from getting too bright, and the auto-standby, which turns off your console when you’re not using it for a preset period of time, are to be used by gamers. Knowing that the Nintendo Switch does not have a screensaver and that the Home menu is really static, make sure that the console is turned off when you remove your Nintendo Switch OLED from its dock if you are not going to use it immediately, like if you are intending to put it in case.

Finally, to maximize your chances of preserving your screen, you can already get into the habit of changing games quite regularly, precisely to prevent the same image from being present on the screen for too long.

Are persistent burns frequent?

It is rare, in 2021, for an average consumer to create an environment that could result in persistent burns. Nonetheless, it’s something that you might find quite easily online through YouTube or social media. Most companies, like Nintendo, Apple, Google, and LG, warn their customers about “potential” burn-ins, however, most “burn-in” is actually image retention which goes away after a few minutes and, most certainly, image retention will happen way before it becomes permanent burn-in.

This said persistent burns are not something to worry about. If you are like most people and that you vary your content and are not the type of person to let your Nintendo Switch OLED turned on daily on the same image for hours, you are safe. However, if you are to put your Nintendo Switch OLED’s brightness set to max and regularly play only one game all day every day for weeks, then get the non-OLED version of the Nintendo Switch, which is cheaper anyway.

Want to protect your Nintendo Switch OLED screen?

I was today years old when I figured that there is a small film that is currently on the Nintendo Switch OLED screen and is actually an anti-scattering adhesive film that you should NOT peel off when you take your Nintendo Switch OLED out of the box. If you mistakenly peeled of the adhesive film, know that Nintendo sells one with its official new carrying case on their website. I, for myself, purchased a tempered glass bundle on Amazon that comes in a pack of four that you can put on your screen for more protection since I didn’t know there was a film on the Nintendo Switch itself. (Thanks Bobby for letting me know!)

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Father of two teens, gamer, editor for a french-speaking written media, independent game developer and programmer in everyday life: I introduce my kids to gaming through retro classics as well as recent games.

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