Nintendo’s decision to shutter the Nintendo 3DS and Wii U eShops doesn’t only impact games, but other things like Pokémon Bank. While it might become impossible to play certain games, the Pokémon app will live on — but not forever.
Here’s how Nintendo.com describes Pokémon Bank:
Pokémon Bank is an application and paid service with an annual fee of US $US4.99 ($7) (CA $US7.09 ($10)) that will allow you to deposit, store, and manage up to 3,000 of your Pokémon in private Boxes on the Internet! It will be a powerful resource for players who like to obtain many different kinds of Pokémon, or for those who like to raise many Pokémon in preparation for battles and competitions! Pokémon Bank also makes it easy to transfer Pokémon from copies of Pokémon Sun, Pokémon Moon, Pokémon X, Pokémon Y, Pokémon Omega Ruby and Pokémon Alpha Sapphire — including the downloadable versions — to a single game!
According to The Pokémon Company’s Japanese language announcement, the app will become free in March 2023 when the eShop shutters. However, that same day, new downloads of the app won’t be possible. (Likewise, it won’t be possible to download Poké Transporter, which is used with Pokémon Bank.)
But how long will the Pokémon Bank continue to exist for free? The fine print of the Pokémon Company’s Japanese press release reads, “The period in which the free service will end is not yet decided.” It adds that an announcement will be made on the official site and to check back “at a later date.”
Even more explicit is The Pokémon Company’s Japanese-language tweet regarding the announcement, which states the app will be free “for a fixed period of time.” As of writing, the English-language Pokémon Twitter account has yet to make any announcement regarding the service. The same is true for the English language site pokemon.com and the North American press site.
Like anything, of course the Pokémon Bank will end. However, it’s nice to see The Pokémon Company keeping it alive, even if it’s on life support at that time, especially as Nintendo pulls the plug on the eShop.