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Nintendo Switch OLED: Why I’m not worried about burn-in

77 Read — 07 July 2021 11:37
Nintendo Switch OLED: Why I'm not worried about burn-in

Nintendo Switch OLED: Why I’m not worried about burn-in

Commentary: OLED screens can exhibit image retention or ghosting, but I doubt it will be a problem on the new Switch.

Nintendo just announced a new Nintendo Switch with an OLED screen, coming in October for $350, and my first thought was “Great, the current LCD screen kinda sucks.”

My second was “I bet people will be worried about burn-in.” I review TVs for CNET and plenty of folks ask me about burn-in on the OLED TVs I’ve been recommending for years. My answer for the Switch is the same as it is for TVs: I’m not worried about burn-in. And based on what I know now, most other prospective buyers shouldn’t be either. 

Let’s start with the basics. Screens today — on TVs, phones, laptops, tablets, smartwatches and, yes, portable game consoles — use two major technologies: OLED (organic light emitting diode) and LCD (liquid crystal display). OLED screens have better picture quality than LCD screens, mostly because they can produce a perfect shade of black, which creates better contrast and “pop” as well as more saturated, richer color. 

Nintendo touts “vivid colors and crisp contrast” on the 7-inch OLED display found on the new Switch, and I have no reason to doubt that claim. In my years of owning the original Switch and countless hours of gaming on its LCD screen, I’ve found it mediocre at best in terms of contrast and color. I fully expect the new Switch to look a LOT better.


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