Pokémon Bank Paid Service Will Allow You To Store Your Pokémon In The Cloud

By Ishaan . September 4, 2013 . 4:14am

In a Nintendo Direct presentation this morning, Nintendo, Game Freak and The Pokémon Company shared new details on Pokémon X and Pokémon Y—specifically, how you’ll be able to transfer your old Pokémon to the new games.


Nintendo will release a downloadable app for Nintendo 3DS titled Pokémon Bank. This application will allow you to store your Pokémon in a box that resides on the Internet. You’ll have access to 100 boxes, allowing you to store up to 3,000 Pokémon. You’ll be able to transfer Pokémon to and fro between Pokémon Bank and Pokémon X/Y.


Additionally, a second application called Poké Transporter will allow you to transfer Pokémon from Pokémon Black/White and Pokémon Black 2/White 2. If you put any of those four games in your Nintendo 3DS cartridge slot, you’ll be able to transfer Pokémon from them to Pokémon Bank. Then, using Pokémon Bank, you’ll be able to transfer those Pokémon into Pokémon X and Pokémon Y.


Pokémon Bank will require an annual fee. The storage service will be an ongoing service that will be continually maintained and will be compatible with Pokémon games developed in the future as well. More details regarding this service will be announced in the future.


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  • Meruse

    This is a joke right? Never thought Nintendo would start charging me just to transfer pokemon in a more convenient manner. =/

    • Pyne

      First earthbound and it’s “premium” price, now this, what is next?

  • Sakurairo

    While I’m not thrilled about the annual fee, I’m just relieved they’ve finally confirmed that transferring Pokemon to the next generation will be possible. I’ve got too many favorites that I’d be crushed if I couldn’t take them with me to X/Y.

    • Luke

      I think it will be worth it, it probably won’t be a lot AND we will be able to transfer our Pokemon to all future generations! Which is literally the coolest thing ever.

      • chibidw

        Not to mention the most overdue thing ever.

        • Pyne

          because we couldn’t do it before, yeah right. /s

          Pokegen and clones in X & Y all the way.

    • ckoerner

      I have Pokemon from Ruby that are still part of my rotation in White 2. :)

  • Go2hell66

    annual fee? milk it nintendo…

    • XypherCode

      It’s a new thing for them. They need the fee to keep up with server costs and such. Not a deal breaker but I still need to see how much that’ll be before I use the service myself.

      • malek86

        Sometimes I wonder why Valve seems to be the only company still willing to offer cloud servers and storage for free. Can’t the costs be covered by the price of the games? Which will likely to be much more than $40, since if you subscribe to this service, it means you wanna use it for more than one or two Pokemon games.

        Oh well, given the scope (it’s literally just a database), I don’t think it will cost more than $10 per year.

        • XypherCode

          We may never know the reason. Maybe they’re still trying to build the infrastructure for X and Y and future titles. Who knows, maybe down the line they’ll make it free and it’ll become a standard for the Pokemon games.

          • malek86

            Possibly, although who knows, given that both Sony and MS seem aimed toward paid online in general. Anyway, the japanese price is 500 yen per year, so it will probably be even lower than $10 per year in the west.

            Given the general reluctance of parents to let kids buy stuff with credit cards, though, I wonder if they’ll also sell yearly subscription at Gamestop and other stores.

          • XypherCode

            It’ll be nice to have various payment options for this especially for kids wanting to utilize Pokemon Bank. The Gamestop one is a good option.

          • Komali

            Is it confirmed that the japanese price will be 500 yen? If so less than 10$/year seems a reasonable price for this service

        • Herok♞

          That doesn’t really make sense, its a separate thing, it wouldn’t make sense to be maintaining the servers for everyone on the large pokemon fan base when they know not everyone is going to utilize it, they can charge the people who want to use it an appropriate fee. Basically its the difference between renting a small high school football field(the paying customers) and the Super Bowl Stadium (which would be servers for everyone)

          • malek86

            Fair enough, but I don’t think every single service always has to be paid its value. Sometimes comapnies can also give out services for free, as a way to entice more buyers and generally build image and/or trust. Like I said, Valve doesn’t make you pay extra to use its cloud servers for storage, unlike MS and Sony. Skydrive and Dropbox are also free of charge until a certain limit.

            Of course Nintendo can make it paid if they want, it’s fully in their rights, but if it were me, I would still think about it twice.

          • biskmater

            Its a paid app, that is exactly what they are doing, just don’t get the app.

          • Pyne

            the problem is that as I understand it and due to a lack of evidence to the contrary, this is going to be the only way to transfer pokemon from generations past to X & Y. Unless otherwise stated this is a Money Grab in my opinion.

    • Herok♞

      Well to be fair it does make sense, you would pay an annual fee for actual storage and then even for digital storage you pay a fee each year for cloud storage on PS +, so this is nothing to get up in arms about unless they overprice it, I can see myself paying $10 or less a year for this.

      • CirnoLakes

        It’s true, cloud storage costs money. But that’s like saying an internet web-page costs money. It also costs money to run Siliconera. “Cloud” is just a fancy word for internet.

        This is an incredibly low amount of storage that could be free. And is often free, and would be available to Pokemon players, if NIntendo actual gave customers options over technology. Instead of forcing Nintendo customers into a “Nintendo technology at a premium price or no technology”.

        Emulation fans have been doing this sort of thing with Pokemon for years. And have been able to get around such costs because of the vast infrastructure of the internet. These aren’t big movie files, they’re tiny bits of data. If you could convert them to a notepad file, you’d be able to just store them on Google Docs or something.

  • Nanaki

    I’m glad that Poké Transporter is coming!

    • roydgriffin

      Nanaki, I’ll give you my like for your fancy avatar. ;)

    • drproton

      I was sort of hoping there would be a clean break, so hacked pokemon would stay off the GTS, at least until the 3DS itself gets hacked.

      • Laer_HeiSeiRyuu

        Yeah, perhaps the apps will identify hacks or something

  • komiko12

    Oh my.. I was hoping that I could transfer directly from Gen IV games. :(

    • Luke

      They may still have that option, but imo this is waaaay better as it does not require a time wasting mini game, it’ll be an easy mass transfer.

  • DragonSix

    Annual fee?! Are you fucking kidding me…

    • Byron Kerrison II

      Rather it be a monthly fee?

      • Pyne

        better make it free, without CLOUD POWER and hassle free, what about that?

  • roydgriffin

    Yes!!! I was hoping to see my old trusted team in 3D!

  • ShawnOtakuSomething

    Mixed feelings but sounds great

  • My only worry is that if you start using it and then can’t pay, your Pokémon get held Pokéhostage…

    • XypherCode

      I’m thinking you’ll be able to withdraw your Pokemon but can’t deposit anymore. The same as with file hosting sites who charges a fee for use.

      • I’ve never used file hosting sites that charge, so this is interesting info! Thanks!

        • XypherCode

          No prob. But I’m not entirely sure if that applies to Pokemon Bank though.

          • An educated guess is more hopeful than blindly assuming they’ll be holding Pokémon…or even worse, deleting them.

    • JNT

      Confirmed for being run by team rocket

  • sd28

    since you don’t have to use the service and an d have in game storage having to pay for extra space on a sever is fine with me

  • Death Saved

    Looks like Masuda wanted the service to be free but those other two decided to turn it into DLC

    • Luke

      I don’t think they will be charging enough to make a profit

      • Armane

        Pokémon Black and White sold 5 million copies combined. If XY does similar numbers and 1% of that subscribes to this service, that’s 25 million yen they are better off. They’ll be making nothing but profit off of this.

        • Luke

          Well that’s only about $250,000, this will need a lot of development and maintenance for 5000 users. I still don’t think this is really a profit centre for them.

          • Armane

            I think you underestimate the costs of servers. They could afford to run the Dream World servers without charging and that had ~2 million active users.

          • Luke

            I was thinking more of the salary of the programmers for the cost, it’s true that servers are pretty cheap. Dream world is a good point though, I wonder if they found they were taking a loss on it?

      • Death Saved

        I think they will due to the following:

        1-They taking an already existing system (in game) and adapting it for the cloud so they wont need to spend much on development.

        2-While not a lot of people will need the extra storage, A lot of people will use it to transfer there Pokemon from the previous game.

        P.S: dont you hate it when people downvote you and not leave a comment stating the reason?

  • EQeE
  • Adrián Alucard

    Great, a free feature from previous games now is a paid feature…

    • Bobby Jennings


    • School Idol Addict

      We never had the abilities to store pokemon on cloud before.
      And do you have any idea how many billions of pokemon will be stored in cloud ?
      So i think it’s fair of Nintendo to ask a bit of money in exchange for a cloud storage.

      • Lynx

        Except I think he was referring to how we’ve been able to transfer Pokemon between Gens for free.

        Like, Red/Blue to Gold/Silver Crystal, Ruby/Sapphire/Emerald/FireRed/LeafGreen to Diamond/Pearl/Platinum to Black/White.

        • I really really hope that the PokéTransfer itself is free and we only have to pay for storing mons captured in Gen VI :(

          It’s kind of a dealbreaker for me to pay an annual service each time I want to transfer someone from an older game.

          EDIT: Though $5 isn’t too bad. I might as well pay for it once in a while each time I wanna transfer mons.

        • Miss_Madness

          Actually it wasn’t so much free, since someone had to buy a link cable to trade. That cost money. Only the DS pokemon games were truly free with Transfer.

          • s07195

            And GBA to DS, since most people had DS Lite.

          • Adrián Alucard

            Link cable wasn’t only for pokemon, there where a ton of games where use it, so the link cable worth it (and unofficial ones were very cheap)

          • Miss_Madness

            It still wasn’t free though. You still had to buy it to trade and transfer pokemon at all even if you did find more use out of it.

          • Pyne

            why don’t you add the cost of transportation to your calculations as well, because unless your neighbor plays too, you will need a bus, taxi or car to meet your friends; so another two or three bucks more to the cost of transfering in the past generations? maybe add the electrical current needed to charge the DS to the mix, what about that?

    • komiko12

      I think PokeTransfer might be free?

      • Adrián Alucard

        Poketransfer sends pokemon to pokemon bank and viceversa

      • Pyne

        not really, smells like a cash grab

    • I really don’t consider having to buy another DS free in the slightest unless you have someone else’s DS you can use.

      • Adrián Alucard

        Pokemon it’s about trading with friends, Why should I buy the same console twice for trading? I use my friends’ systems

        • Transferring is not the same as trading fyi.

  • Question: does this mean I need to pay the annual fee to transfer my mons from Gen V or is PokéTransfer completely separate?
    I’m asking because while I don’t personally have anything against annual fees, I don’t plan on using a cloud service and I just want some of my old mons who have been with me since Gen 3.

    • MoustachePikachu

      I believe there’s a trial version when the app launches, so you should be able to transfer all of your pokemon. I’m not 100% sure how long the trial lasts tho.

      • That sounds nice but I don’t like the sound of it at the same time…
        What if I replay one of the older games and I want to transfer a mon later along the road? Must I really pay for the service in that case?

        • MoustachePikachu

          In that case, I would think you would have to pay for the service for a year… At least it isn’t too pricey? Heard it’s 500 yen and I think that’s roughly $5.

          • Oh that’s not too terrible.
            I really wished it was otherwise but that’s pretty affordable.

    • ddh819

      at first i thought you were talking about your mom’s pokemons

  • Adrián Alucard

    I wonder Why you can’t use the SD card to store pokemons You cant use the downloaded games or data in others 3DSs. They can do the same with the pokemons

    • Suicunesol

      Maybe they’re afraid of hackers manipulating Pokemon stored on the SD card.

  • I hate it how the Pokemon transfer requires the Pokemon bank to transfer things. The 3DS has other methods of memory storage. There’s no excuse for them not to use that feature other than adding incentive for buying a rather useless app.

    • Miss_Madness

      There is a major reason for this. It will really cut down on all those hacked pokemon. Until someone tries to cheat the new system.

      • While that’s a nice thought I think they are different services with different purposes.
        It’s worth noting there’s nothing exclusive to a cloud service to check hacked mons; they could do it with any type of app.

        • Miss_Madness

          It would be dumb of them not not to have something to check for hacked mon for transferring in generally at this point.

          • I agree, and that’s exactly what I said on my reply.
            Sorry if it got the message mixed up.

          • Miss_Madness

            Yeah I was a bit confused by what you were saying. Then again it might be because I’m trying to comprehend things after only 2 hours of sleep.

          • No problem ;)

      • Please explain how this will cut down on all the hacked Pokemon?

  • Symbol de Au

    Well I won’t be getting it but on the bright side there is a trial version of it at launch that can be used for free.

  • Miss_Madness

    Heads up the bank will cost 500 yen or about $5 a year. So yeah I can go with this.

    • School Idol Addict

      Ah that’s good, i was going to say i wouldn’t pay more then 5$ a year for something like this.

  • Chaos_Knight

    So I won’t be able to transfer from my Diamond and Platinum? *doesnt have BW*


    • roydgriffin

      Transfer your Diamond/Platinum critters to BW first, and then from BW to XY!

      • Chaos_Knight


        Damn typo.

        • Herok♞

          simple get one of the black and white games if you like pokemon I say white 2 is the best game since crystal

        • roydgriffin

          Oh, I’m sorry. :/
          But if you could find it somewhere cheap (which at the time x and y are out should be quite easy, at least B/W)
          and use it as transporter for your pearl/diamond team!^^°
          Just suggestions! I would probably do that if I were in your situation.

    • J_Joestar

      well it wouldn’t be the same as older generations where you couldn’t skip a gen when transferring.

  • Jesse Torres

    That was one thing that was worrying me, now I know I can transfer my old pokemon to X and Y. Thanks game freak!!!!

  • Zypharium

    I didn’t expected something bad as this from Nintendo. I mean, I know that EA takes for every shit money, but Nintendo? I won’t pay 500 Yen for something that is not even worth the money. This was not smart of you, Nintendo.

  • AuraGuyChris

    Nice to see that Pokémon can be transferred all the way from Gen 3 to Gen 6.
    But it irks me that we’ve come to the point where we have to pay, but I’m not that bothered. I wonder why they just didn’t let us transfer Pokémon DIRECTLY to the games… I guess the whole reason for the bank to exist is to exterminate hacked Pokémon.

    • I don’t see why people reached that conclusion?
      Checking hacked mons is not exclusive to cloud services; they can have whatever desired transfer app check the code of the mon as it transfers.
      EDIT: Furthermore if they wanted to eliminate hacking they could implement stricter in-game sumchecks and prevent the pokemons to ever be introduced in the games period.

  • s07195

    …And what about other DS games, like Soulsilver? (Never got Black/White or the sequels)

    • Any Gen IV game has to transfer to Gen V. Pretty standard for pokemon to have to go through each Gen (like if I wanted to move my Gen III mons I’d -need- to transfer to Gen IV, then to Gen V then to Gen VI)

      • s07195

        Well, better buy a copy then. >.>
        Not that I have much good Pokemon at all, though. I don’t do Battle Tower and online battles.

        • I know. It’s a pretty silly mechanic if you ask me but it’s the way they’ve been doing things.
          Afterall it’s no secret Pokémon sells hardware (people buying GameCubes specifically to get Colosseum exclusive mons?) so they’ll try to take as much advantage as they can.

          On a side note, I wish they added Pokemon Ruby/Sapphire/Emerald games to virtual console or something with a direct transfer to Gen VI. It’d be much easier to get some of the Hoenn mons that way.

      • komiko12

        Dunno, But I think the app would just read data from the box. So I think they can easily make Gen IV to Gen VI transfer if they want to.

        • Yes it would, really. It’s a marketting strategy.

  • Steven Higgins

    It’s like having the in-game Pokemon Center PC box service IRL. That’s so cool

  • SirRichard

    The idea of a consistent cloud storage service for Pokémon starting with this pair of games and carrying on through all the rest of them is interesting, but it all banks (hurf) on the cost, and what people perceive a good cost to be. Already some are expressing concern or worry or disgust over the idea of a fee, it’ll be interesting to see what Nintendo believes the service is worth.

    Also, I like that it’s yet another example of a long-held idea of theirs, something that they just could never quite realise in the form or fashion they wanted. It’s always interesting to see them digging back into things they’ve done and trying again in a new way, it shows that it isn’t always just people coming up with ideas to make money as it is people tinkering with what technology can do, over in Nintendo.

  • Robgoro

    Alrighty, well, there goes my hopes for getting rid of hacked Pokemon permanently!

    • Spirit Macardi

      Problem is, how can you tell a hacked monster from a legitimate one? I mean, if it has a skill it shouldn’t have like a Spiritomb with Wonder Guard, then it’s obvious. But what if a Pokemon was hacked with stats that are extremely good, but still possible to obtain through legitimate play?

      • Armane

        It depends on if it’s well hacked. If it’s well hacked it should have legal moves, appropriate XP for it’s level, and so on. If it’s poorly hacked it won’t pass Nintendo’s hack checks.

        • Spirit Macardi

          And that’s the entire point I was making.

      • Robgoro

        There are plenty of ways to determine whether a Pokemon is hacked IF it is poorly made (you have to deal with a lot of technical details while creating it), but, that’s the problem: there isn’t anything set up to trace fake pokemon, and there isn’t even a system in place to prevent their creation. That was my number one hope with the next gen, that I’d stop seeing tournaments with perfect-IV and perfect-EV legendaries, or Pokemon whose moves you have to breed down three lineages to earn.

        Powerful Pokemon are supposed to be rare, and take some effort. That’s the nature of Pokemon.

  • Placido Michael Cortorreal Flo

    WEll pretty cool concept and all but i have my doubts on something…
    My 3DS doesnt read at all my copy of Pokemon White…(you place the cardtridge and does not read at all)so il have to get a copy it actually reads and trade all the pokemon and then use the bank, but here ismy question does that means the bank will not accept the pokemon i got in the faulty copy of pokemon white? i mean i even got got official _Darkrei from the wifi events and such but im still worried about that

  • Spirit Macardi

    Seems funny to have it be a paid service, since most people will likely only use it one time to transfer their old Pokemon and then never touch it again x3

    • Suicunesol

      It looks like there’s a free trial for about a month before you have to pay! :O


      • Spirit Macardi

        So now you don’t even need to pay for it for the time it would take to do the transfer? Makes my point all the more perplexing x3

        • Suicunesol

          I guess the service is just for storing Pokemon then; not really transferring.


    All this needs is a function for them to slowly gain experience over time.

    Then it’s basically a real-life Poke DayCare!

  • Presea

    I like that we can store our Pokemon on the cloud now, that’s really nice. :) Though the annual fee sucks, even though it’s not that expensive.

  • Suicunesol

    First of all, I think there’s a method to Nintendo’s madness besides simply making money. Aside from server costs, which to be honest isn’t a big issue because Nintendo can certainly handle them, the reasoning for the fee is to curb the number of hacked Pokemon entering the system. As I’ve read it, it’s possible to detect hacked Pokemon when their stats are unusually high. (That’s how Nintendo weeded out cheaters in the WiFi tournament.) But otherwise, if a hacked Pokemon’s stat values are within plausibility, then Nintendo can’t tell the difference.

    Some may be mad that it’s a paid service, but if the service is paid, it means that only those people who really want their Pokemon transferred will pay the fee. It won’t weed out every hacked Pokemon, but it should at least deter a large majority of them from coming in.

    500 yen (or $10) a year is the fee, correct?. It’s not much at all. It’s nearly one dollar a month. If you can play video games at all, you can pay that much.

    UPDATE: Lol… there’s a free trial for the first month. Nevermind. :P

  • SlickRoach

    *Huge sigh of relief* I knew this would have to come but I really needed an official conformation that there was a way to transfer from B/W2. Now I can rest at ease.

  • Suicunesol

    Serebii.net is saying that Pokemon Bank and Poke Transporter are debuting on December 25th in Japan, and December 27th in Europe. Not only that, but there will be a free trial for the service until January 31st.

    So we can transfer Pokemon for free for about a month, then we pay afterward. But we can’t transfer Pokemon right away… >_>

    • Anesia Hunter

      Let me guess… We need a credit card to even try the free trial.

  • Learii

    so is not free huh? oh well is not I going to use it anyway because I didn’t play any others ones

  • JoJo_649

    You guys should mention that the app will be free for a month (perfect time to transfer the 649 :P), after that you’ll have to pay a fee.

  • grayson gee

    People are complaining about the fact that they have to pay 5$ a YEAR, not a MONTH, a YEAR. Is 5$ really that hard to come by nowadays?

  • I may be tired and interpreting this incorrectly, but does this mean we won’t have ‘Someones-PC’ anymore? Or does this service exist to extent beyond that?

    • British_Otaku

      No one has said anything on those lines, so I assume that we will have Bill’s PC with the usual increase in scale but not enough to make this seem like a useless option for EV/IV people.

    • Suicunesol

      That would be really mean if Nintendo shrunk the number of boxes you have in the games to force you to use the service. :(

  • Ben Sylvia

    So I have to buy an extra app with a yearly fee to be able to transfer my dozens of Pokemon from 5th gen to X?

    Would rather have an annoying and repetitive mini game.

    • Suicunesol

      It’s free for a month, if that helps any, kind sir.

      • Ben Sylvia

        Yeah, wasn’t aware of that at the time, or about how low the fee was.

        Much better than I at first assumed everything to be.
        Except having to wait 2 months to get my Ampharos from White 2.

    • DDragon

      The Apps to download will be free, you only pay for the storage of the pokemon you put onto the bank itself. The transfer app is to transfer the pokemon from White/Black W2/B2 to X and Y.

      Source: http://www.theverge.com/2013/9/4/4693376/pokemon-bank-cloud-storage-service

  • VenerableSage

    So stupid that the transfer is limited to Black/White/Black 2/White 2. Not exactly unexpected, mind you, but stupid nonetheless.

    I didn’t buy Black or White because they did not impress me. Black 2 and White 2 were more interesting, especially with the World Tournament, but the fact that they carried on from B/W meant that I wasn’t going to get them.

    Considering that Diamond, Pearl, Platinum, Heart Gold, and Soul Silver were all developed for the DS, just like the Gen V games, there is absolutely no reason outside of pure “greed” (i.e. expecting you to buy every damn release, even though they’re basically just the same plot outline over and over) that the Poké Transporter shouldn’t be able to pull data from the other DS games. I’m a computer scientist – the changes and additions in Gen V didn’t obliterate anything from Gen IV, they only added on to it – so there is nothing that should be preventing Game Freak from allowing those to be transferred.

    Furthermore, I now have to wonder: since Transfer is confirmed, is Poké Transporter going to automatically process Hidden Power (so that older ‘Mons retain their HP typing) or is Gen VI just going to shift existing ones to new types and powers, completely rendering carefully planned HP typing useless?

  • LogicIncarnate

    So now you have to use a paid DLC to transfer your pokemon from old games to new. Sounds like Nintendo is taking people to the “bank” on this one.

  • artemisthemp

    500Yen according to Serebi
    That ain’t bad

    • CirnoLakes

      It isn’t a lot of money, but it is still very unnecessary.

      Furthermore, with as many “cloud” services there are out there, people shouldn’t even have to go through directly Nintendo.

  • CirnoLakes

    Pokemon bank sounds nice.
    Paid service not so much.

    Also, I don’t mean to harp, but hasn’t this sort of thing already been available on other platforms for years? I feel like we’re just getting something that other technologies have had for a long time, and paying for it.

    I love Nintendo. But it still often feels like they’re discovering the internet exists, like it were a brand new technology. This is both good and bad. Good, in that they’ve still been interested in offering simple, classic console experiences that aren’t bogged down by the internet. When internet capability has literally ruined lots of other companies.

    Bad, in that it feels like they give novelty to decades old technology. It’s almost like they just discovered the colour TV in many respects. And this only flies because Nintendo restricts it’s customers so much. It’s like the anti-PC in many respects. With PCs, for instance, it’s all about however much you want to expand. With Nintendo, it’s all about what little technology we want to allow you to use with our games at a premium price.

    If Nintendo just allowed players to do things how they wanted to, and be allowed to use the technology they want to, the kinds that are vastly cheaper and easier, Pokemon fans could simply store their Pokemon on dropbox or something. Instead of having to pay a yearly fee.

    I love Nintendo, I do. But it’s kind of no wonder their systems are some of the most popularly emulated in existence.

  • Vash bane

    so what would be the price of this “feature”?

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