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Nintendo Switch owners, beware: Broken game cards may cause permanent damage

Nintendo Switch owners are advised to check their game cards before inserting them to play, as broken ones may result in permanent damage to the hybrid console.

A Japanese repair store issued the warning after investigating the issue, when some Nintendo Switch owners in Japan reported that their consoles stopped loading game cards after inserting a second-hand or borrowed one.

The repair store discovered that the problem occurs due to broken game cards with bent and broken strips at the back, as seen in the photo provided by the Esuteru blog.

Image used with permission by copyright holder

If a broken game card is inserted into the Nintendo Switch, it will bend the contact pin inside the game card slot. Unfortunately, this appears to be permanent damage, as the repair shop claims that even after it is fixed, the console will no longer be able to read the cartridges.

The repair store recommends all Nintendo Switch owners check their game cards before they insert them, as sparing a second to look may save the console from irreversible damage. This is especially true in the case of second-hand purchases. If a game card has a bent or broken strip, the repair store said that it would be better to remove the damaged strip entirely to prevent bent contact pins. Fortunately, it takes severe carelessness and a lot of abuse before a game card suffers such damage, so players should not worry about providing extra protection to the cartridges.

It remains unclear why the Nintendo Switch will not be able to read game cards after repairs. While owners of consoles that are permanently damaged by this issue may still play games by purchasing their digital versions, it will be a shame to have part of a $300 device not functioning just because of negligence in checking the integrity of game cards.

The warning on broken game cards comes just before the E3 2019 Nintendo Direct, which will air on June 11 at 9 a.m. PT. Among the games that Nintendo Switch owners may expect in the presentation are The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening, Pokémon Sword and Shield, a new Animal Crossing, Luigi’s Mansion 3, Super Mario Maker 2, Fire Emblem: Three Houses, and many more.

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