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Yes, Nintendo Switch cartridges taste terrible

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For a few days now, rumors and reports have been circulating that the cartridges for the new Nintendo Switch taste really bad when you lick them or put them in your mouth. The Verge can now confirm that, yes, licking a Switch cart is the absolute worst. Don’t lick your Switch cartridges.

It never actually occurred to our reviewers to lick the cartridges we tested, because honestly who does that. But the internet could not be ignored. Here’s GiantBomb’s Jeff Gerstmann putting a cart in his mouth and regretting it almost immediately:

We had Verge executive editor Dieter Bohn lick The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild to taste for himself. “It tastes like insecticide,” he told the staff in Slack. “It is literally the worst thing.” To compare, I licked an iPod Nano, a Logitech Harmony remote, a Fitbit, and an LG Watch Sport. I can confirm that all those gadgets are inoffensive to the palate, ranging from plasticky to metallic depending on the materials.

Later, Bohn added, “It won’t go away. I don’t want to do this again.”

IGN’s Alanah Pearce said via Twitter that Nintendo purposefully made the cartridges taste awful so children won’t eat them, which I concede is gross but smart. Kids love putting tiny objects in their mouths, and this tactic might prevent games from being destroyed.

Questions, like whether or not all Switch games or just first-party games taste terrible, still need answering. In the meantime, Nintendo sent us a statement confirming that the taste is by design:

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.

We’ll be testing out how more gadgets taste on Snapchat if you’d like to follow along.

Verge Snapcode

Update March 1st, 9:30 PM ET: Article updated with statement from Nintendo.