Don't panic! It takes a very long time to get Nintendo Switch OLED burn in

Nintendo Switch OLED held between two hands with one of the JoyCons being slid off
(Image credit: Nintendo)

Since the Nintendo Switch OLED released last October we’ve been enamoured with its gorgeously vibrant screen. However, as with any OLED display the fear of burn in is real and constant. 

But these fears might be misplaced. YouTuber Wulff Den has performed a fairly intensive Nintendo Switch OLED burn in test and the results are seriously impressive. In fact, his findings would suggest that you really don’t need to worry about burn in if you’re fortunate enough to own a Nintendo Switch OLED. 

To test how long it would take for an Nintendo Switch OLED screen to start showing signs of burn in, Den left his console running on a static image of The Legend of Zelda Breath of the Wild at max brightness (and with the in game camera focused on a particularly bright background) for 3,600 hours. That’s almost five months of a Nintendo Switch OLED continually displaying the same image.   

Remarkably the screen is only beginning to show some early signs of burn in now. Even after 3,600 hours of continual use, the ghosting isn’t particularly noticeable unless observed at just the right angle. Den had previously reported his finding after 1800 hours and there was essentially zero burn in at that point. 

Of course, the average Nintendo Switch OLED owner isn’t going to be displaying the exact same image on the screen for a continual period of 3,600 hours. Even if you played one of the best Nintendo Switch games practically nonstop, it’s still highly unlikely you’d reach the point where the game’s image would permanently burn into your console’s screen. 

OLED burn in prevention methods have improved significantly in recent years as manufacturers have developed software-based safeguards not to mention OLED pixel longevity has improved as well. Nevertheless, it’s still commendable that Nintendo has managed to fit its latest console with a display that is both vibrant and burn-in resistant. 

This welcome news could make actually getting hold of a Nintendo Switch OLED even harder. The home console handheld hybrid has experienced serious stock shortages over the past few months, and the situation doesn't look set to improve any time soon. 

If you’re on the hunt for an upgraded Switch, make sure to check out our Nintendo Switch OLED restock hub for the latest updates and those all important retailer links. 

Rory Mellon
Entertainment Editor (UK)

Rory is an Entertainment Editor at Tom’s Guide based in the UK. He covers a wide range of topics but with a particular focus on gaming and streaming. When he’s not reviewing the latest games, searching for hidden gems on Netflix, or writing hot takes on new gaming hardware, TV shows and movies, he can be found attending music festivals and getting far too emotionally invested in his favorite football team.