Today Nintendo issued out a press release revealing everything you need to know about Pokemon Home, the cloud storage system replacing Pokemon Bank.
Home will be an improvement over Bank in many ways, but it’s a downgrade in others (like the price — we’ll get to that). It boasts a lot of cool features like Wonder Box, which you can use to trade random Pokemon with other trainers around the world, and the Global Trade System, which lets you filter trainer criteria to find the exact Pokemon you want to trade for. There will also be a corresponding mobile app, so you can trade even if you don’t have the game around.
If you’re eager to make the upgrade, realize there’s no going back. There are a lot of one-way trips involved: if a Pokemon is transferred from Pokemon Bank to Pokemon Home, you can’t put it back into Bank. The games work similarly: a Pokemon taken from Let’s Go Pikachu or Let’s Go Eevee and placed into Sword or Shield can’t be transferred back.
Pokemon Bank gave you storage space for 3,000 Pokemon at a cost of just $4.99 a year. Pokemon Home doubles the amount of Pokemon storage slots to 6,000, but also charges over triple the price — $15.99 a year. Throw in the fact that you can’t go online on the Switch without the $20 annual Nintendo Switch Online fee (it’s free on 3DS)…and it’s quite a lot more to ask of Pokemon fans.
If it’s any consolation, Pokemon Home will have a free version, something Pokemon Bank cannot claim….but since they really want you to pay money, you don’t get much. The number of storage spaces is reduced to 30. Only 3 Pokemon can go in the Wonder Box (paid version allows for 10), and only one Pokemon can be used with the Global Trade System at a time. Using these features is still possible, but if you want to get more use out of them, they expect you to pony up.
Nintendo has no plans of shutting down Pokemon Bank — at least not yet. Not only will the two features coexist for the time being, but access to Pokemon Bank will be free for the first month of Home’s existence, to allow for everyone to get a chance to import their libraries of mons.