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Nintendo says dead pixels on the Switch are ‘normal’, not defects

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The Nintendo Switch has been flying off shelves since its launch last week, and while many Switch owners are already up to the hilt in The Legend of Zelda: Breath of Wild, a number of customers have taken to Reddit (opens in new tab) with reports of dead pixels on their screens. 

And unfortunately, it might be tricky for owners to get their defective units replaced, as Nintendo doesn’t really consider dead pixels a problem, according to the Troubleshooting section of the Nintendo UK website. (opens in new tab) 

In a section regarding “black or bright dots on the Nintendo Switch screen that do not go away” and “dark or light patches on the screen,” Nintendo’s official response states that, “Small numbers of stuck or dead pixels are a characteristic of LCD screens. These are normal and should not be considered a defect.”  

While this may disappoint Nintendo Switch owners who’ve shelled out hard cash for a new console only to find it’s got (super distracting) dead pixels, there is hope – in 2004, pressure from angry customers saw Nintendo offer to fix all Nintendo DS units (opens in new tab) over the same issue. 

It’s also worth remembering that while the house that birthed Mario doesn’t think dead pixels on the Nintendo Switch are a big deal, in many locales you should still be able to get a replacement unit from the retailer you purchased the device from – we’d advise trying that first before taking your grievance all the way to the top.

Stephen primarily covers phones and entertainment for TechRadar's Australian team, and has written professionally across the categories of tech, film, television and gaming in both print and online for over a decade. He's obsessed with smartphones, televisions, consoles and gaming PCs, and has a deep-seated desire to consume all forms of media at the highest quality possible. 


He's also likely to talk a person’s ear off at the mere mention of Android, cats, retro sneaker releases, travelling and physical media, such as vinyl and boutique Blu-ray releases. Right now, he's most excited about QD-OLED technology, The Batman and Hellblade 2: Senua's Saga.