Pokémon Home is a new cloud-based service set to be released early in 2020. It acts like Pokémon Bank – as a storage service for your Pokémon across main-series titles. What differs is that Pokémon Home will launch on the Nintendo Switch alongside Android and iOS devices.
So what’s good about Pokémon Home? Or, for that matter, not so good?
Pokémon storage continues
One of the worst aspects of the third generation games, Pokémon Ruby and Sapphire, is that there was no way to transfer Pokémon from Pokémon Gold, Silver, and Crystal. That meant two generations of Pokémon were stuck with no way to move them along to other generations. Pokémon Bank offers a way to keep moving Pokémon up to the sixth and seventh generation titles. However, it is stuck on the 3DS – we needed either Bank to make the Switch (pardon the pun), or something new to take its place.
That something is Pokémon Home. We will continue to have a way to transfer Pokémon from previous generations to the next generation of games – that is, to Pokémon Sword and Shield. Undoubtedly this the most significant of any pro and con.
Shiny hunting given extra meaning
One worry for many players of Pokémon Let’s Go, Pikachu and Eevee! is that Pokémon caught inside the game may be stuck there forever. While this may still be true of the partner Pokémon (after all, you need them to perform any overworld moves), Shiny Pokémon caught in the game, as well as any other treasured Pokémon, will be able to be transferred. This means there’s a reason to try out Catch Combos and amass more Shiny Pokémon for players who may otherwise have no reason, or motivation, to continue playing the game. This writer is one of those people.
It’s not the only game either. It’s easy to amass extra copies of Shiny Pokémon during Community Day events in Pokémon GO. Trading those over to the main series is nice, and gives a purpose for people to try and go for more than a full set (e.g. three Shiny Bulbasaur so they can also have a Shiny Ivysaur and Venusaur). Plus, it may just be useful for people who play a lot and have too many spare Legendaries or the like, given the limits on storage space for Pokémon in Pokémon GO.
Switching from the 3DS
The 3DS is dead – long live the Switch. The question had come up on what would happen with Pokémon Bank, especially as the Nintendo 3DS draws to a close in seeing new software releases. At least now we know new generations will be future-proof in terms of transferring Pokémon across – nevermind the Switch, it doesn’t seem mobile devices are going away anytime soon.
How well protected will Pokémon Home be from hackers? Bank had been compromised more than once, with players able to transfer illegal Pokémon to current main series titles. Encryption had not been the best, simply put, since it was released for Pokémon X and Y. In fact, some have already stated some interest…
hahaha Pokemon Bank's validation was horrible, my bank has a copy of the 3DS bootroms and my console's OTP in it. Wonder if this will be any better secured? 😉
— Michael (@SciresM) May 29, 2019
If Game Freak themselves are involved, then you’d hope they use better validation processes this time around.
Only one way for older titles
An important note is that you cannot transfer Pokémon two ways – both from and to – for any game besides Pokémon Sword and Shield. While this makes sense, it does remove some accessibility Pokémon Bank offers – the ability to send Pokémon to seventh generation games. This hence makes it a tad more restrictive.
We don’t know the cost of the system. We also don’t know if any existing subscriptions for Bank will be treated separately to Home. At worst, it may require having to pay for two different cloud services if you want to use Bank too. Surely not, one hopes… but it remains to be seen. How would we pay for it, for that matter? Would it require a Nintendo Online account? Could you purchase it via the Google Play Store or iOS store? We need to know more.
“Pokémon Center” (or if you prefer the British English spelling, “Pokémon Centre”) would have maybe been a cuter name than Home. Maybe the name is just too connected to the physical shops seen in Japan to be used for a game title as well, but Home is, in this writer’s opinion, not the most clear nor fitting name. Pokémon Box has been used already, so there’s an excuse there.
What are you hoping we’ll learn about Pokémon Home in the coming months?
Edited by Aldo, Cherrim, Rivvon, and Sheep.