Never before seen Nintendo hardware shows how it tests Switch cartridges

Nintendo Switch OLED White lifestyle shot
(Image credit: Nintendo)

Brazilian journalist Necro Felipe has shared images of special hardware used by Nintendo to inspect and test the integrity of game cartridges for the Nintendo Switch.

According to Felipe, the machine in the first image is what's used to inspect the cartridges, with several of them visible on a conveyor belt. The second device, which is shaped like a box, is what's used to manually check the cartridge's integrity.

Felipe doesn't share any detailed specifics on how these devices work, but they claim that the second one was developed specifically by Nintendo itself. It's also believed that this is the first time either of these devices have been shown to the public in any capacity.

Nintendo loves it cartridges

No doubt Nintendo had to create its own bespoke software since, out of the big three console manufacturers, it's the only one to release its games on cartridges instead of discs.

Nintendo has consistently used them since the original NES. It did transition to discs for the GameCube, Wii, and Wii U, although its handheld consoles like the Game Boy Advance and DS line stuck to cartridges.

The Switch cartridges quickly gained a reputation for tasting terribly when the console launched. This is because of a special bittering agent that's applied to them, no doubt done so by another machine.

We still don't understand why people began tasting the cartridges in the first place, but this was obviously done to help prevent small children from accidentally eating one.

Michael Beckwith

Michael is a freelance writer with bylines at the Metro, TechRaptor, and Game Rant. A Computer Games Design and Creative Writing graduate, he's been passionate about video games since the Game Boy Color, particularly Nintendo games, with Xenoblade Chronicles being his favorite game ever. Despite everything, he's still a Sonic the Hedgehog fan.