Update: Nintendo has released Pokémon Bank in North America.
Pokémon masters in Europe and Australia no longer have to keep their pocket monsters locked up in tiny spheres for years at a time … they can now keep them locked up in a bank vault, too.
Nintendo released the Pokémon Bank and Transporter apps for 3DS in Europe and Australia today. These programs enable players to store up to 3,000 of their captured Pokémon in the cloud. That means gamers can access their older creatures from their games without having to swap game cards or connecting 3DS or DS systems. They can now just download them.
Despite releasing the tools in other English- and Spanish-speaking markets, Nintendo still has no date for a North American launch.
Pokémon Bank is free for European and Australian users through March 14. For anyone who wishes to continue hosting their battle animals online after that point, they’ll have to pay an annual fee of $5 to pay for Nintendo’s storage and bandwidth costs.
With this latest release, Pokémon Bank and Transporter are now both available in Japan, Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Australia, New Zealand, and Europe. Fans in North America are still waiting for the tools.
Nintendo did previously release Pokémon Bank and Transporter worldwide (including North America), but it had to take down the apps due to catastrophic issues with the servers that run the Nintendo Network.
We’ve reached out to Nintendo to determine when it will re-release the apps in North America, but it has not yet responded to our request for an answer. We’ll update this post with any new information.
With Pokémon Bank, long-time fans of the franchise can bring in their pocket monsters from the Generation V series of releases. Those include Pokémon Black and White as well as Pokémon Black 2 and White 2. Those games could also connect with the previous releases in the series to host creatures that players captured all the way back to the original Pokémon Red and Blue for the Game Boy in 1998.
Nintendo plans to support the Bank app through all future Pokémon releases so that fans can more easily import their characters into the next Pokémon titles.