Pokemaniacs, rejoice! If you’ve been hoping for a way to transfer your digital collection of Pokemon from earlier titles in the series to the more recent 3DS duo of Pokemon X & Y, Nintendo finally has you covered in the form of Pokemon Bank, a downloadable app now available on the 3DS eShop.
Making use of cloud storage technology, Pokemon Bank is free to download and use for its first month of release, but it’s worth noting that in order to maintain the app’s servers, Nintendo will start charging an annual fee of $4.99 for users on March 14. The app’s primary purpose is to serve as an additional storage facility for those with massive collections of digital critters, allowing up to 3,000 to be stored online for each user.
Perhaps more interesting is the companion app, Pokemon Transporter, available as a separate download from within Bank. Users with copies of any of the last four DS games in the series – those being Pokemon Black, Pokemon White, Pokemon Black 2, and Pokemon White 2 – can insert their game cartridge into their 3DS, boot up Transporter, and transfer their Pokemon to the cloud, which can then be transferred into X & Y.
There’s a couple things worth pointing out here. First, the transfer only works one way, so you’d better be sure you don’t need your old Pokemon in the Black & White games any more. Second, while other DS Pokemon games, namely Diamond, Pearl, HeartGold, and SoulSilver, are not compatible with Transporter, the option to transfer Pokemon from those games into Black & White is possible, though you’ll need to beat Black or White‘s main story first to unlock the option, as well as have two 3DS or DS units to wirelessly trade.
Finally, it’s worth noting for collectors that as an introductory gift, users who activate Pokemon Bank will for a limited time be able to snag a free Celebi, a rare legendary Pokemon from the days of Gold & Silver on the Game Boy Color. Not bad, if I say so myself.
We will continue to keep you updated on more news regarding the Pokemon franchise as it drops. In the meantime, let us know if you plan to try out Pokemon Bank or Pokemon Transporter in the comments section below.