Before the triumph of CDs and DVDs, cartridges were the standard in the video game industry and could therefore be found en masse in children’s rooms in the 90s. A myth was then born there that concerned game modules that simply wouldn’t start: Blow hard into the plug-in cards and they’ll run again. This misconception persists to this day, but you should completely avoid it. Especially on the Switch!
Nintendo explains how not to do it
Nintendo’s Japanese customer support keeps picking up interesting sources of error about the Switch on Twitter, including the temperature range in which the hybrid handheld should be used. Now the support team is dealing with the slot for the game cartridges, which you can plug into the top right of the switch, and reveals what you should definitely not do.
For example, do not put any objects in the slot for cleaning!
With a cotton swab or a can of compressed air, you can bend or break the contacts that are used to read the game content.
The contacts are at the bottom of the slot, according to the tweet from Nintendo Support:
link to Twitter content
At worst, your attempt to clean the card slot could result in you being unable to play any physical versions at all.
However, if you close the flap over the card input, the console should not get dirty either. If it does happen, then you’d better use a vacuum cleaner on a low setting and use it to free the slot from the dirt.
The infographic also notes that cards with bent contacts are another no-go.
And even a stubborn legend is on the loose
Nintendo not only warns against putting objects or damaged cartridges in the slot, but also blowing into it.
You’ve probably done this before with 3DS, DS, Game Boy, Super Nintendo or Nintendo 64 games once they failed to launch, but be sure not to!
A number of components in the air we breathe – including saliva, water particles and germs – can cause the contacts to decompose or rust. Both those in the card slot and those on the back of the playing cards.
So basically refrain from blowing on the electrically conductive components if you want to have fun with your switch in the long term!
How did the myth come about in the first place?
With plug-in formats it can happen that the contacts of the data carrier and the console are not parallel to each other. In this case, the data cannot be read. To counteract this, it is sufficient to remove the cartridge and reinsert it so that the contacts are realigned.
This is how the bug with blowing in came about: With the push method, the cartridge is removed in order to apparently free it from “dirt”. A few particles on the contacts don’t actually interfere with data transfer. It’s enough to plug in the memory module again and the game will work.
However, since one’s own actions, i.e. blowing, were held responsible for this for a long time, the assumption has persisted to this day.
Also with you? Have you ever blown into the card slot on the Switch or any other Nintendo handheld?