No, you can’t get a Nintendo Switch emulator

Alex Kidman 31 March 2017

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Offers of free emulators are a great way to get free malware, though.

If there’s a hot technology trend, you can bet that it won’t be long before the scammers come calling with a faked version designed to either phish user data or outright install malware on unsuspecting consumer’s machines.

That’s precisely what’s happening with the Nintendo Switch, with Symantec reporting numerous instances of scams that purport to show "free" Windows-based emulators for Nintendo’s latest console system. The scams include everything from YouTube videos to the opportunity to "win" free Nintendo Switch consoles.

Except that, just in case you weren’t paying attention, the key word in the above paragraph was scams.

They’re not real, but instead fakes designed to convince you to fill out some kind of dodgy affiliate deal from which the scammers benefit immediately, or to install software that could compromise your PC in all sorts of unwanted ways. You probably don't want someone on the other side of the planet rifling through your personal files, accessing your bank accounts or using your machine to assist in taking down external servers or sites.

Symantec notes that a Wii U emulator is in development, and that could play Breath of the Wild. However it’s worth pointing out that, according to the strict letter of current Australian copyright law, while software emulators themselves sit in a legally grey area, copies of games ("ROMs", in the general emulator parlance) are explicitly not allowed as direct copyright violations. Yes, even if you do own a copy of the game in question.

As such, if you want to play the Switch version of The Legend of Zelda: Breath of The Wild, your best bet is go out and buy the console to run it on.

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