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Robust Switch: Nintendo's OLED screen needs two years of continuous operation for clearly visible burn-in

Burn-in effect of the hearts from the interface. (Image source: Wulff Den)
Burn-in effect of the hearts from the interface. (Image source: Wulff Den)
OLED screen technology is now quite durable. This is shown by an endurance test by Wulff Den, which ran the new Switch from Nintendo in continuous operation with a static image. After the burn-in effects were barely noticeable in the first year, things look a little different two years later.

With a worst-case test, the Youtuber Wulff Den has managed after two years to ensure that the display of the new OLED Switch from Nintendo shows easily recognizable but often not disturbing burn-in effects. It is a respectable time, especially as the scenario is more like a laboratory test. Wulff Den was able to detect the first burn-in effects after 150 days and later after one year and 50 days, but they were barely recognizable at the time.

After two years of continuous operation, things are different now. The switch was turned on from morning to night. As a result, a scene from The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is clearly burned in. The whole thing was tested with a static screenshot.

An autofire controller was used to prevent the Switch from dimming the screen when viewing the screenshot. This made it possible to create an unrealistic scenario in practice, as a player is unlikely to stand in front of a temple with their game character for two years. Even the interface is unlikely to be used permanently, as other titles are sometimes used during regular play.

So if you play day and night for two years and switch games from time to time, Wulff Den's burn-in effect is unlikely to happen. His test shows just how robust the Switch and its OLED panel are. The display has lasted around 18,000 hours so far, which surprised Wulff Den himself. He initially reckoned with two weeks of operation in the worst-case scenario.

OLED screen lasts a long time

Even extreme gamers who play eight or more hours a day should therefore easily be able to use the device for six years - and even longer if they change their games in between and don't stare statically at a temple.

Especially as the burn-in effect is not particularly strong. Super Mario Wonder, for example, could be played without a noticeable burn-in effect. The Switch would have to continue running for a while to create a more disturbing effect, which is particularly noticeable with bright or monochrome image content.

Wulff Den's conclusion is clear. There is nothing to stop you from using the Switch like a normal console - caution due to the OLED screen is not necessary.

OLED screen technology has developed significantly in recent years. The current state of research is that these OLED displays would even last 100 years or more if the annoying blue color were not there. The test with the Switch shows that the durability is sufficient in practice. This increases the likelihood of other components, such as fans or batteries failing over time.

However, neither happened in the Wulff Dens test. As a side effect, the battery showed no significant differences to another Switch of the same age that he uses in practice. The fan also still worked, although this was not tested in a load scenario.


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> Expert Reviews and News on Laptops, Smartphones and Tech Innovations > News > News Archive > Newsarchive 2023 11 > Robust Switch: Nintendo's OLED screen needs two years of continuous operation for clearly visible burn-in
Andreas Sebayang, 2023-11-10 (Update: 2023-11-30)