Nintendo’s gaming cartridges for the Switch will leave gamers with a bitter taste in their mouths. Literally. The company has reportedly added “the most-bitter chemical compound known to humanity,” to its cartridges for the Nintendo Switch. The chemical, denatonium benzoate, is often used to apply to things that most companies don’t want people put in their mouths or attempt to ingest.
Since the Switch is designed to be portable for gaming convenience, there is no disc drive. Like many other hand-held Nintendo devices, the games come on small cartridges.
Like most things, we as humans can’t believe it until we see it or, in this case, taste it. This was proved when many took to Twitter to announce that they had experienced the horrific taste first hand. Even the co-founder of the video game blog Giant Bomb, Jeff Gerstmann, Tweeted, “I put that Switch cart in my mouth and I’m not sure what those things are made of but I can still taste it. Do not try this at home.”
I put that Switch cart in my mouth and I'm not sure what those things are made of but I can still taste it. Do not try this at home.
— Jeff Gerstmann (@jeffgerstmann) February 25, 2017
Yet the one question that many seem to find themselves asking is why would Nintendo make the cartridges taste so horrible? The truth is that the chemical coating the cartridges is there the prevent kids, and even gamers and bloggers, from putting the devices in their mouths. Denatonium is used in a vast majority of items to prevent human consumption. It can be found in antifreeze, paints, and even nail polish to prevent people from chewing on their nails.
The spokesperson who spoke with Polygon made sure to note that while this chemical has been added to the cartridges, it is non-toxic.