Nintendo Switch OLED launches this October, and true to its name, it will offer a much crisper screen when playing handheld. OLED allows for “perfect” black color, which is somewhat at odds with LCD design. However, OLED screens also run a slight risk of “burn-in,” where an image that is present in static on screen for a long time can “burn” into the screen, remaining somewhat visible on screen ever afterward even while viewing other things. CNET has done a write-up on the subject that assures the risk of Nintendo Switch OLED suffering from burn-in is actually really insignificant, but it also sought out official comment from Nintendo, which provided the following statement:
We’ve designed the OLED screen to aim for longevity as much as possible, but OLED displays can experience image retention if subjected to static visuals over a long period of time. However, users can take preventative measures to preserve the screen [by] utilizing features included in the Nintendo Switch systems by default, such as auto-brightness function to prevent the screen from getting too bright, and the auto-sleep function to go into ‘auto sleep’ mode after short periods of time.
So in essence, Nintendo says just using the functionality included within Nintendo Switch OLED will make screen burn-in really unlikely, and that sounds about right. Although, it is amusing to think that concerns my family had with pausing video games for too long on a CRT TV when I was a kid are still concerns that exist today.
In any case, Nintendo seems more concerned with setting the record straight on the manufacturing costs of Switch OLED than it is with screen burn-in.