A YouTuber has deliberately left his Switch OLED running for over 1800 hours in an experiment to determine how far the console’s screen can be pushed before suffering from burn-in.
The stress test, conducted by YouTuber Wulff Den, involved leaving a static in-game screenshot of The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild on screen, at full brightness, at all hours of the day. While Wulff Den had originally planned to leave the image up for seven days, he continued running the experiment and released a video cataloging the results 11 weeks after the test began.
Those results are remarkably positive. “OLED burn-in should not be a concern to you, at all,” the YouTuber summarises, finding there were no “noticeable burn-in marks” nearly 2000 hours after leaving the console running, and no difference in the color tests he ran comparing the initial 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 does, however, point out that the whites of the image became slightly dimmed after the test, while some other hues took on a greenish tint. Regardless, that doesn’t constitute the type of image retention that some fans were worried about.
Analysis: to burn or not to burn
Switch fans have been concerned over the possibility of burn-in ever since the console’s OLED model was announced last year. Image retention has historically been a drawback of OLED screens, particularly TVs, and was reasonably expected to become a common occurrence here. Games often feature static images that appear on screen for long stretches of time - such as HUDs, logos, or main menus - worrying some that their lovely handhelds would quickly be ruined by permanent marks.
Wulff Den’s video demonstrates that’s unlikely to happen, however. Even if you rarely let your Switch leave your hands, 1800 hours will take you a long way into the lifespan of the console. The fact that no ghosting or marks of any kind appeared during Wulff Den’s acid test suggests the boffins at Nintendo made great strides in reducing the chance of burn-in for the console.
We reckon you can rest fairly safe and sound in the knowledge that image retention won’t be a major concern. You’re probably better off making sure you don't drop the thing.
If you’re still on the fence over whether the console is right for you, read our Nintendo Switch OLED review to make up your mind.
- Best Nintendo Switch games: from Mario to Hades
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Callum is TechRadar Gaming’s News Writer. You’ll find him whipping up stories about all the latest happenings in the gaming world, as well as penning the odd feature and review. Before coming to TechRadar, he wrote freelance for various sites, including Clash, The Telegraph, and Gamesindustry.biz, and worked as a Staff Writer at Wargamer. Strategy games and RPGs are his bread and butter, but he’ll eat anything that spins a captivating narrative. He also loves tabletop games, and will happily chew your ear off about TTRPGs and board games.