The United States Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has issued a warning about Nintendo Switch emulators. The trade body urges gamers to be aware of ‘scams’ and misleading offers.
In a statement published to the FTC website, the commission encourages would-be Nintendo Switch players to “think again” when it comes to using emulators. Although it recognizes that players may not have been able to get their hands on a Switch, as the console has set sales records and seems to be constantly sold out, it stresses that there is “no legit Nintendo Switch emulator” and that any online ads that claim to offer such a thing are a “scam.”
What’s “worse” says that FTC, is that these ads lead people to download things that may “install unwanted applications on your computer” that in turn offer “misleading information about computer problems that aren’t really there, then ask you to pay to fix them.” Others may just direct gamers to online surveys that claim “you must complete to get a code to unlock the emulator” though these are in fact a ruse to get personal information and credit card details.
The FTC also encourages fans to take steps such as just keeping security software up to date, playing a Nintendo Switch at a friend’s house until they can buy one for themselves and reporting possible scams to the trade body. Though while this is sage advice that anyone should take note of when it comes to Internet scams, it may not be enough to deter the most eager people. After all, Nintendo Switch stock shortages are expected all year round and it may be tough for people to resists the (very convincing) ads that suggest they can get in on the Switch fun without having to wait to buy the console itself.
Also not helping matters is the fact that The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is playable on PC, but not through official channels. That particular instance uses a Wii U emulator rather than a Nintendo Switch emulator but it’s perhaps understandable that some may think that since the Wii U has been busted wide open, the Switch has too and emulators for the new Nintendo console are really out there and available from the platform holder itself. Again, it’s important to stress that these emulators do not exist in any official capacity so buyers and enthusiastic Internet users should beware.