Nintendo Switch Game Cards Taste Terrible For A Reason

A fair warning to new Switch owners: don’t try and taste your Switch game cards. They’ve been coated with a particular bittering agent. The tasting of Switch carts was a trend that begun with Giant Bomb’s Jeff Gertsmann and tested among other industry luminaries. It wasn’t a movement started to be funny, but the consensus is that Switch game cards taste bad, really bad. As Jeff tweeted out, “I can still taste it. Do not try this at home.”

Reporter Julia Alexander of Polygon added her own two cents on the tasting test, based on a fresh copy of Just Dance 2017, and offers more specifics on the taste of these carts:

It doesn’t hit you at first. It tastes just as plain and feels just as slippery as the other three cartridges. In just a few milliseconds, though, a very sour taste invades your taste buds. It smells bad; you can feel it in your throat. It’s revolting, and the only thing I can equate it to is when you’re at the dentist and a drop of sour cleaning material hits the back of your tongue. Your entire face feels it. And the taste lingers for about 20 seconds.

To wit, here is what a Switch game card looks like (far right):

via Nintendo Times

As seen in the photo, Switch carts are even smaller than those of the Nintendo DS and 3DS lines of portables. Those carts did not have bittering agents in their inception (2004 and 2011 respectively). Nintendo issued a statement clarifying why Switch carts come with such a bitter taste: to prevent children from swallowing them.

“A bittering agent (Denatonium Benzoate) has also been applied to the game card,” a Nintendo spokesman said in a statement to Polygon. The company recommends keeping the game cards out of the reach of children. The agent of Denatonium Benzoate is non-toxic, so you won’t be poisoned from it’s taste.

Bottom line: enjoy your new Nintendo Switch games, just don’t enjoy their bitter taste.

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A man with a plan. My favorite video game franchise is Pokemon, but his favorite video game is Resident Evil 4. I can also tell you trivial cartoon factoids.