Supplies of Nintendo’s latest console, the Switch, are extremely limited at the moment and most people aren’t lucky to have one. But some who have managed to get their gamer mitts on the coveted item are finding dead pixels on the screen. Nintendo’s solution? Just don’t consider it a defect.
Nintendo’s official response to the issue of finding a dead pixel on the Switch’s portable screen can be found on its troubleshooting page. It reads in its entirety:
Small numbers of stuck or dead pixels are a characteristic of LCD screens. These are normal and should not be considered a defect.
That’s a vague response to what could be a serious issue for some consumers. Many people would be able to blow off a defect like this:
But, for others that little flaw might be just the kind of thing that nags at their fastidious nature and makes it impossible to spend hours staring at the relatively expensive little screen.
The fact is, a dead pixel or two on an LCD screen is not an uncommon occurrence. As manufacturing processes improve, they’ve become less of a problem. A lot of manufacturers have a publicly available dead pixel policy that outlines what they consider to be a problem. This policy can mean the difference between having a warranty honored or whether a retailer might give you problems with an exchange. For instance, HP’s limited warranty for monitors that were manufactured after May 2009 has a zero tolerance policy for “full pixel defects.” However, the policy tolerates up to “five combined bright/dark anomalies.”
Nintendo doesn’t appear to have a broad policy that’s easily available. We’ve reached out for comment and will update when they reply. For now, it appears that users will have to wage their complaints on an individual basis. It’s worth noting that after back in 2004, Nintendo bowed to pressure from consumers and offered to fix any dead pixels on its DS handheld system.
If this is a problem for you, don’t give up. Go through the channels at your disposal and if you run into any egregious situations let us know. In the meantime, Nintendo might announce a plan to take care of consumers.