Same agent as used in anti-nail biting treatment coats Nintendo Switch game cartridges to help prevent children swallowing them
The Nintendo Switch is a mixed-use, family friendly console and its games come on little proprietary memory cards. Those cards have been with reviewers for a week or so now and, while information about the games on them may still be embargoed, it has emerged the cartridges themselves taste horrendously bitter.
History does not definitively record who first thought it a necessary part of their review to lick one, but someone did.
Kids (and game reviewers?) being kids, and therefore inclined to stick anything they can in their mouths, Nintendo confirmed it has tried to do worried parents everywhere a favour and reduce the chances of the SD card-sized cartridges from being swallowed.
A Nintendo spokesperson told gaming site Kotaku: 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, it stresses.
Denatonium is one of the extremely bitter tasting chemicals used in anti-nail biting treatments, among other things. The Guardians Alex Hern taste-tested the Switch launch title The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild and can report, it is indeed gross.
I wasnt expecting the rumours to be true, so took a fairly meaty lick of the top half of the cartridge, and it rapidly proved to be a mistake, Hern said. Ive heard the compound described as bitter, but that doesnt really do it justice: its just a pure, concentrated dose of unpleasantness, and it lingers in your tastebuds for an uncomfortably long time.