Gaming Tech News

The Nintendo Switch: Are Dead Pixels a Defect?

Dave Parrack 06-03-2017

The Nintendo Switch is now out in the wild. If you’ve got one, please enjoy playing The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. Just don’t look too closely at the screen or you may find some dead pixels, which, once seen, can never be unseen. But should dead pixels be considered a defect?


In October 2016, Nintendo unveiled the new Nintendo Switch Meet Nintendo's New Games Console... the Nintendo Switch Nintendo has unveiled the Nintendo Switch, a home/handheld hybrid games console designed to give Nintendo fans the best of both worlds. That is if everything goes according to plan... Read More . Now, five months on those sensible enough to pre-order one are getting their hands on the games console. Unfortunately, the hardware launch hasn’t gone without a hitch, with multiple gamers reporting hardware defects.

The main complaint appears to be dead pixels on the screen. Dead pixels are visible as a bright or dark spot or, in extreme cases, a light or dark patch. However, a debate has ensued as to whether or not a small number of dead pixels constitute a defect.

Detecting Disputed Defects

According to a Nintendo Support page, “Small numbers of stuck or dead pixels are a characteristic of LCD screens. These are normal and should not be considered a defect.” Which means that, for the time being at least, Nintendo is refusing to support anyone whose Switch is afflicted with dead pixels.

Switch owners who have units with dead pixels on the screen are understandably disputing this stance. There’s a Reddit thread containing over 2,000 comments, with people debating the validity of Nintendo’s refusal to help fans affected by the issue. And some nuanced arguments on both sides.

Regardless of Nintendo’s official stance, there’s nothing to stop you from returning your Nintendo Switch 15 Questions You Have About Nintendo Switch Answered The Nintendo Switch is here! We've got one, and have answers to the top questions about the system. Read More to the retailer you purchased it from. Depending on where you live they may not have a legal obligation to offer a replacement or refund. However, most retailers will at least try to keep their customers happy. And if they refuse then just don’t ever shop there again.


History Repeats Itself

Interestingly, Nintendo has been here before. In 2004, the company released the DS, and some units were unplayable thanks to dead pixels. After pressure from fans, Nintendo offered to fix affected units within the warranty period. So we can only hope that a similar change of heart is on the cards here sooner rather than later.

Do you own a Nintendo Switch? Have you noticed any dead pixels on your screen? Do you consider this a defect? Or do you buy Nintendo’s explanation that this is normal? Will you be returning your Switch for a refund? Please let us know in the comments below!

Related topics: Nintendo, Nintendo Switch.

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  1. Peter
    March 6, 2017 at 11:07 pm

    As long as it's not like the original Game Boy. My device started losing vertical lines and eventually lost so many that it was unusable. Of course, that was after the warranty period was up. :( It did keep me from buying any Game Boy devices for quite some time, though.

  2. James Bruce
    March 6, 2017 at 4:40 pm

    Shame it doesn't have a web browser, or they might be able to fix it with :p

    • Doug Meredith
      March 11, 2017 at 7:44 am

      that fixes stuck not dead pixels