Nintendo Switch cartridges are designed to taste bad

There has been intense Twitter and blog chitter chatter over the last few days about how bad the new Nintendo Switch cartridges taste. Various pundits have described the taste of these compact new cartridges as; horrible, disgusting, bitter, gross, and similar. Making things worse, the taste is said to be one that “won’t go away,” and it is definitely something that you shouldn’t try out of idle curiosity.

Electronics culture magazine Kotaku reached out to Nintendo to see if there was any actual reason, if there was an explanation, for the terribly bitter tasting cartridges. Initially it has thought that the awful taste was a leftover residue from the manufacturing process, as earlier generation Nintendo console cartridges had a faint hint of a bitter flavour. However, Kotaku was soon to be informed that the terrible bitter and lingering taste had been implemented on purpose.

In a statement to Kotaku, Nintendo said “To avoid the possibility of accidental ingestion, keep the game card away from young children. A bittering agent (Denatonium Benzoate) has also been applied to the game card. This bittering agent is non-toxic.”

Apparently, this bittering agent is said to be “the most bitter chemical compound known”. You might have heard of this chemical before if you have even used stuff from the supermerket pharmacy isle, such as various repellents, shampoos, soaps, and nail-biting prevention treatments. A popular brand of the latter treatment is Mavala Stop which is said to be effective against both nail biting and thumb sucking habits.

A smorgasbord of console cartridges

Launch tomorrow

As a reminder, the Nintendo Switch goes on sale tomorrow, and retailers in the UK such as Amazon, Argos, Tesco, and GAME will all be selling the console for £279. For that price all you get is the console, a pair of left/right Joy-Con controllers, the switch dock, and some necessary cables.

The most eagerly anticipated titles, among those available at launch, are (no surprise) The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, and Mario Kart 8 Deluxe. Bundles on offer with these games currently aren’t any better value than buying separately.