News Article

Reaction: The Pokémon Bank and the Inevitability of Online Charges

Posted by Nintendo Life Staff

Gotta buy 'em all

Today's Pokémon Direct broadcast brought 20 minutes of hype for the upcoming Pokémon X & Y, titles that will practically sell themselves regardless. There was some exciting news about limited edition hardware and, oh yes, the choice of Bulbasaur, Charmander or Squirtle as additional starters. Also of interest was the Pokémon Bank, a very 21st Century inclusion that’ll allow you to store up to 3000 ‘mon “in the cloud”, with the Poké Transporter also tying in with the new service to allow you to store and transfer all of your Black & White 1 & 2 Pokémon to the new games. The important detail with the Bank is that it’ll have a yearly subscription charge, reportedly just 500 Yen (about $5 US dollars) in Japan. It’s a brave new world where Nintendo’s going to create a new paid tier in one of its most valuable franchises.

Of course, the argument can be made that maintaining the service has costs that should be supported by the consumer, yet to date Nintendo gamers have largely avoided the trend. It is most certainly a developing trend, however, with Flipnote Studio 3D to include a monthly subscription for its World Gallery, while some kind of free-to-play version of Steel Diver is apparently in the works to open that rather distinct can of worms. Throw in greater use of paid-DLC in some Nintendo games, and the company is gradually monetising content that, previously, wasn’t produced, was free or just part of one up-front cost for the product.

With that in mind, and considering the online play that’s still free with Nintendo, two of Nintendo Life’s editors have decided to give their reactions to the Pokémon Bank and wider issues.

Tom Whitehead

Whether here or on the Nintendo UK live stream of today’s Pokémon Direct, the reaction to the Pokémon Bank quickly evolved from “this looks cool”, to “wait, I have to pay!!!”. That’s a slight exaggeration as some thought about it in more nuanced ways, but in rough terms it was clear that a lot of gamers reacted that way. I’m of the opinion that the rush to monetise these services is a pity, but it’s an inevitability that it’ll happen; all we can do is hope that prices stay reasonable.

Industry wide, at least with game-specific systems, it’s become normal to pay for online services. Microsoft was often criticised for its Xbox Live charges, while Nintendo and Sony were paragons of free online gaming virtue. Sony is backing away from that, however, with PlayStation Plus required for online play on the PS4; in its defence, with the “instant game collection” downloads and more it represents great value on its own, it’s now just becoming more mandatory. Nintendo’s online gaming market is far smaller than on those two systems due to the lower share of CoD and FIFA markets, among others, so the Nintendo Network is likely to stay free for the immediate future.

What Pokémon Bank represents, from Nintendo's perspective, is the creeping attempts to claw in some extra revenue where possible from online. Entirely optional and providing an extra service, it’ll reportedly be the equivalent of $5 a year in Japan; that’s rather inexpensive, but would sure add up to good revenues – beyond the running costs, surely – for Nintendo and The Pokémon Company. Other things that were free are gradually bringing costs, with the still delayed Flipnote 3D also including a priced, subscription-based option with the World Gallery. Just under a dollar a month, though not a tied-in subscription, it’ll also target money that wasn’t part of the business plan in the DS and Wii era.

As a jaded old gamer I thought the new StreetPass games should have been released gradually as free extras for long-term 3DS owners, I shiver when contemplating some kind of free-to-play Steel Diver, and I think it’s disappointing that Pokémon fans will have to pay a little more for all the bells and whistles. Yet then I think about the free online play on 3DS and Wii U, and realise that in the current day it shouldn’t be taken for granted. This is an industry that is increasingly trying to make us buy more extras or pay for online play, so I think we should count our blessings that Nintendo’s taking such small steps.

Don’t want to pay for DLC? Don’t buy it. Don’t want to pay for the World Gallery or Pokémon Bank? Then don’t. It’d be lovely if this stuff was free, but at least we’re still getting fully fleshed out games and free online multiplayer; let’s enjoy it while it lasts.

Damien McFerran

Everyone likes to get things for free — it's basic human nature. Keeping this in mind, it's perhaps understandable that there's been such a mixed reaction to the announcement of Pokémon Bank. Nintendo is offering a service which has no doubt been the dream of many a fan for several years — you can now take your Pokémon with you even when you buy a new game or upgrade hardware — but the sting in the tail is the news that Nintendo plans to charge a yearly fee to use the service.

On the face of it, that's quite an ask — especially when you consider that players are already out-laying a considerable amount of cash on the title itself. Surely when you're dropping a large amount of money on a retail game, a service like this should be seen as added value rather than a paid-for option? Pokémon Bank isn't DLC — it doesn't unlock additional content — and it falls short of being an MMO-style subscription, too. It's also worth noting that mobile games such as Madfinger's Dead Trigger offer cloud storage to preserve your progress when moving between devices, and it's entirely free — as is the game itself, in fact.

Of course, Nintendo has never been one to play by anyone else's rules and it knows full well that it will make a mountain of cash out of Pokémon Bank — what self-respecting fan isn't going to want to keep their beloved Pokémon safe in the cloud, especially after spending countless hours training them and building up their experience? Given that companies like Microsoft and Sony are already taking cash from players in order to facilitate online play and other features, Nintendo is perhaps entitled to grab a little bit for itself, especially when it's for something that is genuinely useful and in high demand. What it really comes down to is how much is going to be charged; $5 a year seems to be the approximate amount for the Japanese subscription, which is an amount few would even bother to argue with.

That's what we think, but let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

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User Comments (141)



gloom said:

It's basically a cloud system to store more Pokemon then you could ever want. The servers obviously will cost the company money to keep up and about 5 dollars a year is not asking much at all. That's about one trip to Mcdonald's or a trip to get coffee. It's very reasonable and sounds like a great service.



Cipher said:

A lot of people seem to be forgetting the fact that this will continue to be updated as new Pokémon games for Nintendo 3DS - no more fidgety transfers. The application gets updated, and bam, up to 3000 Pokémon right there in your shiny new game.

And, I mean, £5 a year is nothing. Really, nothing. And the games themselves will still have plenty of local storage for you to use.



sinalefa said:

I don't mind about the charge, although I hope it is kept similar overseas. Less than 50 cents a month to store thousands of Pokémon is great value. And yes, it is optional.



shingi_70 said:

I rarely do the catch them all for pokemon games, but I may use this just as a precaution in case of losing my DS or game. Rather much have cloud save since this protects all my pokemon expect the main team that would be with me.



Shambo said:

As long as all other features are available on the cartridge, and online functionality on its own doesn't charge you extra, it's really a choice. One I choose to pass. Still really looking forward to the game!
I don't know about Flipnote yet... I loved the original, but I don't think I'll want to pay to use it. I have Inchworm Studio.



Rashef said:

Personally... I like it. Transferring in the past was always a hassle and seemed to be overly complicated. Now we get a streamlined process that'll work for all the future games with an ability to pick and transfer each pokemon we want very easily. Just drag n drop.
Don't want to pay for the transfer? Use the trial period to do it then and forget about it.



XCWarrior said:

I'm not a fan of any type of annual fee, so I'm not thrilled with this. But this is similar to the demo limited usage. How often do you play a demo 30 times? Like never.

I play Pokemon a ton - more than 200 hours in the last 3 games I've owned, one more than 300 - but I have never completely filled all 20 boxes. Maybe I will with X and Y, but until I do - I won't be using the Bank. It's OPTIONAL. It's a bonus feature that wouldn't be in the game otherwise.

Not a big deal. Now the Steel Diver Fee to Pay nonsense, and Mario DLC for a few levels, well those I do not like at all.



Sionyn said:

shysters it undeliverable how many people justify this add expense, with the advent of tablets as well emulators as well as piracy its up to nintendo to offerer better value to compete give the consumer something piracy cant. there is very little to no cost for the pokemon bank, your talking kilobytess of information the price is unjustified and panellises real customers in hope some pirates spend $5 same reason with the whole DLC fiasco of last gen a hedging of bets.

money money all the time what a devouring greed



AyeHaley said:

Aren't you guys forgetting stuff like Pokemon box? That wasn't free.
Besides just like Poke Box: You don't need to buy it.



armoredghor said:

If Microsoft & sony want to add online storage to their online subscription it shouldn't be frowned upon to charge for storage.



allav866 said:

Every time a new PokéMon game came out, there was a weird set-up required for transferring last-gen 'Mon to the latest game. Whether it was using a DS phat/lite to transfer Ruby to Pearl, or using a second DS to transfer to B/W, or simply to transfer 'Mon from Black to White, it was always a pain in the rear-end.
PokéMon Bank is supposedly gonna be compatible with every PokéMon game from PokéMon Black/White onward, and I wouldn't mind paying a small amount each year for that kind of convenience... but I won't have to, since I won't have to transfer PokéMon until the next generation of PokéMon.



DonnaxNL said:

Too bad they haven't directly made a device to also transfer your Pokemon of the Gameboy, Gameboy Color and Gameboy Advance..



SetupDisk said:

The overreaction to this has been quite humorous. 5 Bucks can't even get you a meal anymore except for daily specials.



Linkstrikesback said:

Except, if you want to use the pokemon transfer feature, for this or any further generations, which has been free for the last 10 years, you DO have to buy it.

No-one would be complaining if they weren't putting a massive feature and one of the most important features of pokemon behind a paywall



Nintenjoe64 said:

It's a bit of a non-issue when it's $5 a year and kids these days are willing to pay subscriptions for games they barely play and features they never use and their parents are paying to win candy crush.

Worrying about what is being charged by Nintendo for Pokemon (which in itself is a clever way of getting kids into an expensive collecting hobby) just seems a little silly to me. The problem I see for Nintendo is that if they join the rabble and start charging for little services that could be included in the price of the game, they will have even less of a USP to get the parents and kids interested in their games.



VoiceOfReason said:

Five bucks is not much. It's almost TOO low... What Nintendo is doing here is testing to see if people will actually pay for things like this, but with a low price. Next time, the price may be ten dollars a year, which is still low. Eventually, the price may be higher, or monthly. Then, if people still buy the stuff, Nintendo can follow Microsoft's lead and charge for things like online play itself (Although at a lower price than Microsoft. I can't see Nintendo charging THAT much for any kind of regular fee). Don't get me wrong, if I buy the game, yeah I'm going to pay for the Pokémon Bank. But I suspect that this will happen if the Pokémon Bank is a success.



Dogpigfish said:

Truth be told, these services cost money. They could have easily charged $50 or $15. $5 is pretty low. However, their strategy might be to have $5 transfer for different games. That doesn't bother me because I don't think the world owes me anything, however the kids will have a problem with this.



DarkCoolEdge said:

I think it is a ripoff. How much memory will the server need? Very little, I bet. They are smart, charging "only" $5€ people will pay it because, well, it's only $5€. This should be free.

About Steel Diver and the (overpriced) dlc... let's just say that they are joining the dark side...
(I hate them)

EDIT: they could have charged 10-15 even 50? Are you nuts? You are responsible for all this pay-for-breathing this hobby has become. It is not reasonable to pay $60 to play online, it is not reasonable to pay for dlc developed along the game and it would certainly be not reasonable to pay $15 for this pokemon bank.
It's unbelievable how easy is to get people into accepting all this crap.



snoox said:

It's a good thing, BUT, we only hope it doesn't lead to worse things. Kinda like a gateway drug Nintendo is toking, it may lead to other really super bad practices, but hey maybe not! ^.^



SphericalCrusher said:

$5 a year is an amazing price. More than anything, it covers the security of our Pokemon that we backup to it. I'm super excited to move my 800ish Pokemon over to this, instead of keeping them on various games. Nintendo could be charging a lot more and people would still pay for it, but they are being fair. It's an optional service.



Silver_August said:

It's funny, I see a big pile of Steel Diver in my local Toyrus in a bin for 9.99, lol.

As for the Bank thing...people seem to forget that this is the ONLY way to transfer old pokemon...the storage box is one thing (if anything it concerns me how many boxes ARE in XY...if its barely enough hold 1 of every Pokemon, that'll be a problem.) but it's another that you basically have to pay a fee to transfer your pokemon if you actually play competitively. But its 5 bucks a year so...I won't notice, I need to get some points on my account for my 3ds anyways soooo kill 2 birds with 1 stone.

Long term this is going to make storing them A LOT easier plus its not gonna allow hacks to be transferred SO this means that we'll have a clean slate (for most part), but at the end of the day I will always prefer having the Pokemon in a physical form ...but hey we don't get the thing till december X_X sigh...that's gonna suck



Peach64 said:

People are banging on about the millions upon millions of Pokemon Nintendo will have to store and how it will cost them, but all it's doing is storing which pokemon you have and what stats they have. The space that will take up on a server and in bandwidth negligible and the price we're paying for the game should be more than enough for them. To compare it to MMORPG fees or for playing online is laughable. The amount of data on one World of Warcraft server will dwarf the entirety of Pokemon Bank data Nintendo will ever hold. Just looking at the cloud services being offered by the likes of Google and Apple. They give you more space than files for 3000 pokemon will, and they're free.

Is $5 a lot of money? No, but it's setting another bad precedence. Nintendo charge more for their virtual console titles than Sony or Microsoft charge for their classics, and the other two have far more sales. Not to mention you have to buy the same game for Wii, and again for 3DS, and again for Wii U, where on PSN at least, you buy it once and it runs on all devices.

It's the same with DLC. The price of the Luigi DLC for NSMBU was utterly ridiculous. Add ons like the two GTA IV episodes had far more content in them and were half the price.

The point is not that people don't want to pay $5, the point is they don't want to pay $5 for something that should be free.



Romeo said:

"ripoff" lol.. thanks for the laugh

Nintendo is so much better than all these other companies (hi EA) who like to announce DLC even before the game is released

Nintendo still sells 100% full game and asks for a fair price
companies like EA sell you 60% of the game for the full price and then "offer" DLC, microtransactions and monthly subscription fee's

even their mobile games are no longer playable (just read the reviews... doesn't bother me though because i would never play mobile games)

whenever i buy a game from Nintendo i know that it'll be worth the money i'll just have a great experience playing it... and i know it'll be a FULL-game

when Nintendo starts adding DLC for some games or asking for 5$/year (optional) i'm willing to give them that without hestitation (if we're talking about a game which interests me)

really... 5$/year and everyone is going apepoopiedoodoocacapoopledoople crazy over it..
unlike all the other companies/game-developers and publishers, Nintendo is still so fair to their customers and i have absolutely no clue why everyone is so mad about this whole Pokemon Bank 5$/year-thing



Holly said:

Hmm, was a little worried, but now...I mean, 5 bucks a year is next to nothing. Let's hope the rumors are true.



Shworange said:

To ease the perceived sting of a whole five bucks a year, why not sell a cheap Pokemon plush for 10 bucks. It will come with a code good for a year access to the Pokemon bank. Boom! You're getting a physical item along with the digital one. Everyone's happy. Except for me, I'm indifferent to the whole situation.



AVahne said:

Meh, I'd pay. Makes sense to pay, since this is a freaking SERVICE that requires maintenance and management.



vlar said:

$5 dollar a year is really nothing. But what I really want to do is be able to buy event pokemon (mew, celebi, deoxys,arceus, shaymin) as DLC. I missed some events and I really want them. And it would be a win for nintendo as well because they would make money



ricklongo said:

"Everyone likes to get things for free — it's basic human nature."

This has nothing to do with it. I'm already shelling out the equivalent of around $60 for Pokémon X, due to inflated video game prices in Brazil, so it's fair to say I'm certainly not expecting anything for free. What I do expect, however, is a full game experience inside the little box when I take it home.

It's like when people say PS+, a PAID service, gives you games for free. It's a laughable oxymoron.

This model of charging extra for flashy new features in games I already purchased with my hard-earned money is a cancer on the video game industry, no matter how insignificant the value seems to be. It sets a very dangerous precedent, and as such I refuse to support it.



Bulbousaur said:

Before I was limited to transferring six Pokemon at a time by playing frankly a boring minigame. And in gen 4 I could only transfer six a day. Now I can just transfer what I want, when I want. For an extra £5, I don't see the problem.



ShanaUnite said:

Nintendo what are you doing? Paying €5 for an online storage for pokemons is not ok. Trading from game to game used to be free but guess nintendo likes gold coins :S



rmeyer said:

People are whining about a dirt cheap fee for an optional requested feature?



Xaltheron said:

I think some people are missing the point about why people are unhappy about this. It's not Pokemon Bank itself that's the problem, It's the fact that by linking Poke Transporter to Pokemon Bank, people are being forced to pay for a service they may not want.

Yes, you could just transfer all your pokemon within the free trial period and never use the application again, but what if I wanted to transfer more pokemon in the future? Say I caught a new shiny in a B/W2 playthrough, and I wanted to transfer it to X/Y, I would then have to pay $5 just to transfer that ONE pokemon, are you seeing the problem yet? Having to pay to transfer, no matter how low the price is, is just silly and unnecessary.



Einherjar said:

All that fuss about roughly 5$ a year ? Are you guys serious ? Sure, many games use "the cloud" to store your safe files online, but have you compared the playerbases ? The sheer traffic a single pokemon game causes can surely outnumber a handfull of games on smartphone sthat do the same. And for that price, why even bother to argue ? If they would charge fees like a normal MMO would do, sure, thats anything but ok, but with these fees i really dont see the problem.
Sony jumped on the "subscription model for online play", Microsoft had it for ages and Nintendo doesnt charge anything, and you complain about an optional thing that is literally dirt cheap and even openes up the possibility to link two games together that werent ment to link in the first place ?
Wanting something for free is one thing, but dont realizing that on the other end are servers, needing to withstand a huge amount of traffic (we ARE talking about a main pokemon game here) that need to be paid. If this service was free, cutbacks would have to be made elsewhere, and im not sure if you want it that way.
There are way bigger ripoff tactics in the gaming industry that get shrugged off like nothing and THIS is causing a big outroar ? Come on people, seriously ?



Corleonis88 said:

A lot of people seem to think that they are entitled to this kind of service when they pay for the game. This is a service that is meant to continue for a long time, a single payment just won´t do. Servers cost to keep up, you know?
also, 5$ a year, which is around 0.40c a month is a very reasonable price. If you consider the fact that you can transfer your pokemon the first month at no cost, and then you can forget about the app untill you actually need it again, for example, if you want to restart your game.



Senario said:

@Sionyn Uh what? You expect that because piracy exists this option for the most hardcore about pokemon should not use this and try to transfer pokemon using PC? Most won't use it and there is a free trial. And at 5$ a year I think it is completely fair for those superfans.



Kaabiitorori said:

@Einherjar +1. $5/5€ a year is a very ludicrous amount of money, and yet people complain about something that is entirely OPTIONAL?

Yet I see people are happy to go on $60/60€ subscriptions as a mandatory rule to play online. Something is not quite right here... o_o



DarkKirby said:

The thing is unless a game is hosted on a server run by someone, which typically improves performance, having a fee for multiplayer is stupid. For Pokemon specifically, the game is turn based, so improving connection performance is meaningless. And Nintendo's overall online structure with tied to console purchases and poor online for most games, asking for a yearly fee for online services is ludicrous. Personally, I think paying for online for a game is ludicrous in the 1st place. I'll never pay monthly/yearly fees to play a MMO, and I'll never pay to play multiplayer on consoles either.

People are not upset about Pokemon Bank existing or being a pay service. They are upset because most people don't want to use an online cloud service for storing only Pokemon, much less pay a fee for it. They only want to transfer from 1 game to another, which should not require Nintendo's servers. They are tying the transfer process to the Pokemon Bank to encourage you to pay the fee.



Silver_August said:

Again I think I speak for alot of the people complaining who's main concern is more likely the fact they gotta fork out cash in order to transfer their hard earned Pokemon to X/Y.

We get it, Box, Ranch, longevity, the service has a good purpose, BUT to make it a requirement to transfer Pokemon over is the issue - I honestly do not see this as a storage system upgrade, I see this as a 5 dollar fee to transfer, I'm not complaining just explaining (hey a rhyme!)

If I had to choose between 6 Pokemon a day or a tedious mini-game or this, I'd still go with the first 2 options because I'm patient.

So to call this optional is kind of unfair to the people who have Pokemon dating back to Ruby and Sapphire sitting in their copies of BW2, I know i still have my XD Lugia I keep for sentimental value.



Expa0 said:

Meh, I have always transferred my old pokes thus far just for the sake of transferring them, but it's not like ever do anything with them.

Like every pokemon game, I enjoy the main game with a team created from scratch and possibly do some post-game stuff and then move on to the next game on my backlog. Since I don't do any competive stuff and the battle tower generally doesn't interest me I don't feel the need to cough up money to transfer my pokes.



Einherjar said:

@Kaabiitorori Not to mention the sheer existance of season passes, subscriptions for not announced and probably ripp off DLC. And these things sell without complaints. Why ? Its optional. And all that talk about it beeing mandatory for the B/W <-> X/Y transfer. These games werent supposed to be connected in the first place, so its "just" an added extra.



Silver_August said:

That's like saying all the previous gen's ability to transfer was "just an extra" no, that goes against the spirit of Pokemon, to grow with your Pokemon and make them stronger through your hard work and training. Connectivity is a key part of the franchiese and the ability to transfer and KEEP your Pokemon goes hand in hand with that.

The ONLY reason gen 2 to 3 was cut off was not because of connectivity, it was because the entire frame work of the franchise had to be rebuilt from the ground up do to expansions of EVs, IVs and the introduction abilities, etc, etc.

Gen 6 doesn't show any radical changes to the inner guts of what makes a Pokemon. They claim the hardware couldn't connect and yet that's what the DS section in a 3DS could've done, all you'd need is a 2nd 3ds to read the other.



Emblem said:

Once again people are complaining about nothing. This is an optional service that most Pokemon players will not even use, for those that will use it £5 a year is peanuts.



Ernest_The_Crab said:

@Silver_August Many people have also missed the point that the first month is free for transfers and there's no limit on the transfers for the first month. Not to mention that it's streamlined and FORWARD compatible with all future Pokemon games.



KingMike said:

So, once you pay Nintendo to store your Pokemon, you have to keep paying Nintendo or your Pokemon are effectively ransom?
(I think PETA would have found it's annual anti-Nintendo topic. )



Xaltheron said:

I don't see why they couldn't offer a limited version of Pokemon Bank for free, one that would allow you to transfer pokemon from gen 5 to gen 6 but wouldn't store pokemon unless you paid, seems fair enough to me.



Silver_August said:

The first MONTH, but what if you decide to go back, play the old games and want to transfer what you've gained?

Pros like myself will hold onto our old games because they have access to move tutors and egg moves that I'll be SHOCKED if XY includes because traditionally you don't see the move tutors till the "2nd version" comes out. So chances are you're going to have to transfer them from Gen V to Gen 6, oh shoot guess that's going to cost me 5 bucks.

It's still pennys, but the price tag is for supporting a function I don't even intend to use, and mainly for one I'll only use sparringly.

I like the longevity of the idea, don't get me wrong - but I'd be happier if they just separated the 2 so I can pick up the Box when I know I finally need it.



KodaSmooss said:

Well, it is not a mandatory fee so I cannot complain but I woud have more willingly paid the application 5 to 10 € only once and have the ability to use it at least during the 3DS era. I don't like the idea of having to pay regularly for something.

Let's say I'm not playing Pokémon after a while, I will still have to pay the fee just to be sure I don't lose anything. With a fixed price, it's done once and for all and I don't have to worry about it anymore.



8BitSamurai said:

Not worth it at all, to me, and I hope this is not the start of a dangerous trend. The game costs enough as it is and this service is unlikely to really need expensive upkeep (Battling, trading, etc. are all free even!)

I also just want to clarify that it doesn't matter if it's only $5. It's not a matter of being able to afford it, it's a matter of monetary worth. It can be seventy cents. If it's not worth seventy cents, it's not worth seventy cents.



TrueWiiMaster said:

Pokemon Bank's a cool idea, in that it lets you transfer your Pokemon from one game to another easily, but its storage on the cloud seems unnecessary. I mean, what's the point? It's not like you'll be able to simply turn on another 3DS and access your Pokemon. Nintendo doesn't have the account system for that. So why store the monsters on the cloud, and not on the 3DS itself? That wouldn't require a subscription or an internet connection.

Also, there's a bit of a flaw in the ability to simply transfer your Pokemon from one game to another. I don't know about other players, but I wouldn't enjoy playing through a game with a Pokemon that is fully evolved and has already learned all its moves. I suppose it could be a nice option for more competitive players who want to keep their perfect team, or people solely interested in having their old favorites in their current game, but Pokemon with the option to skip growth doesn't sound like Pokemon to me.



Kaabiitorori said:

@Einherjar Exactly, they are all optional. You like it, take it; you don't like it, don't take it. No need to fuss about something that does not affect to an already fully developed game.

At least, as the article points out, in an scenario where you need a paid subscription just to play online, Nintendo seems to stay out of that policy in the inmediate future. And I hope it stays like that for many years to come.



KodaSmooss said:

I think they have other plans with this app. The storage on the cloud might come in handy with a Wii U game. It would be very nice if you could transfer your own Pokémons to another game on the Wii U. A fighting game maybe?



Kaze_Memaryu said:

At first, I didn't like the paid subscription plan, either. But thinking about it, it's only $5 for an entire year - that's nothing people can't afford. And no argument can change the fact that Nintendo not only has to provide sufficient space for subscribers, but also uphold good servers to cover the traffic, which will be certainly high, now that Pokémon is really revolving around worldwide battles and trading.

But I don't see this as a problem, as long as they provide enough boxes to store every single Poké in the game. If they limited box space to force players into the paid service, it would be a different topic altogether.



feelthesarcasm said:

They never said you couldn't still transfer if you happen to have two systems. I'm sure if you do, they will allow that. But this is for people who DON'T have two systems to have their pokemon stored for $5 bucks a year. People were all ready to buy an entire new 3DS (or 2DS) just to trade with themselves, but now they want to whine about $5 a year?

As for me? I don't have any of my former pokemon games. Haven't bought once since silver so I wouldn't really need one nor do I have the obsession with catching them all.



SanderEvers said:

I'm so sick of people requesting everyting to be free. What is 5 Euro/Dollar? A trip to the groceries will cost more. Sure, there are services that offer a lot of cloud-space for free. But in those cases, you are the product. That's the thing with free stuff, if you don't pay for it somebody will pay for you. Like advertisements, or by selling your data to the government (NSA).

Sure there are tons of free software out there that don't do any of these things (I make some of them myself) but then the person/company who releases it doesn't need to have any profit from it. For instance look at iTunes, it's a free mediaplayer that syncs to your Apple devices. And it's also a store.

And ofcourse this is an extra transfer option. Regular transfer options will still work.



Gridatttack said:

I dont mind the one to store pkmns, but if they charge you to transfer your gen5 games pokemon to Gen 6? It sound lame. Gen 3 to 4 and Gen 4 to 5 were free after all



Crimzonlogic said:

@KodaSmooss I like the idea of that, even though I don't even play the games other than the main series. That might make me try a spinoff-type game, if I can have the pokemon I trained in it.



8BitSamurai said:

@SanderEvers You are still paying the price of the game, and I don't see any reason why you're not allowed to have all of the features, especially considering more up-keep demanding online services in the game are free.



Kit said:

I've been waiting years for something like Pokemon Ranch to come out - and it would be 'the' reason to buy a WiiU for me. But Pokemon Bank? It sounded great until they said that they would be charging a sub for it... forget it. I doubt I'd have that many 'mon I'd need to store off game tbh.

So what happens if you don't keep up your subs one year? Do your 'mon get deleted/impounded until you pay up? Naaa, this just distracts from the awesomeness of the new game(s). And lets face it there'll always be ways to transfer 'mon - I will probably keep my tournament 'mon on B/W 1/2 and be very selective with which ones I do transfer.



Obito_Sigma said:

$5 a year to store my entire collection of Aipoms... I could pay for that. It's not like $15 a month for Elder Scrolls Online....



AlexSora89 said:

I'm hyped either way, but as I said elsewhere, Generation V-to-Generation VI transfers are what are convincing me to get the game in the first place.

As for the fee, five bucks (AND same for euros... please?) a year isn't that expensive. But most likely, the fee will be dropped if the same great sales the series is known for are mixed with a good number of complaints - that is, Nintendo could afford to bow down to complaints if the sales are good.



DarkLloyd said:

i dont plan to use this feature at all since all i want to do is transfer my pokemon the old fashion way with 2 devices will i still be able to do that is the question?



Yoshi3DS said:

I've been waiting for this since the announcement of X and Y. Absolutely brilliant!



Silver_August said:

Unless someone one can link me to something saying otherwise, as far as I understand, this bank will be the ONLY way one can transfer Pokemon from old games to the new ones.



zeldagaymer93 said:

At first I was upset when they announced that there would be a fee. But if it's only $5 a year then I will pay for it.



Drewroxsox said:

It's called Pokémon Bank because Nintendo and Gamefreak will be laughing all the way to the bank 😒
I won't be needing this service because I haven't played Pokémon since Gameboy Advance SP, but that'll change with Pokémon X.



GuSolarFlare said:

so $5 a years to keep my pokemon in a cloud that could be hacked and that I'll barely use as I only catch more than one of the same poke if it's one I really like or if it's one that can be traded by other good ones so my 400 pokes will be in the cloud and I'll have NOT A SINGLE ONE IN THE BOXES only to justify paying $5 a year........



tchaten said:

I wonder if anyone's bank will have all 800 plus whatever Pokemon there are - that'd be pretty amazing



SphericalCrusher said:

@Doma ? I'm obviously not going to release my Pokemon that I caught and raised... Lol. I have completed Pokedex and lots of duplicates from EV training a different way. I'm a competitive Pokemon player.



LoveSugoi said:

Won't need this but battles about this type of thing need to be chosen more wisely. $5 is a Starbucks coffee which plenty of people purchase once or twice a day, this service isn't mandatory and not having it doesn't take away anything from the game itself--which is complete. Afaik, you can still transfer the ol' fashion way. It's a convenience service and a non-issue as far as I'm concerned.



Chris720 said:

I don't see what the problem is. You don't have to pay for the bank if you don't want it. It's simply an added extra for the Pokémon fans, besides this shows the possibility of a cloud based service on Nintendo systems at some point in the future.



Interneto said:

@Kit So... you prefer to pay 20$/30$/40$ for a game where you could storage your Pokémon but you don't want to spend 5$ (or even less) to use a cloud system...? Yeah, makes sense.



NintenBo said:

People complaining about this are ridiculous. Transferring between games in Gen 4 required ANOTHER DS. You only need one now. People are idiots smhhh



SomeBitTripFan said:

@Romeo :

Please be joking.

"Nintendo is so much better than all these other companies (hi EA) who like to announce DLC even before the game is released"

Please read this.

"Nintendo still sells 100% full game and asks for a fair price
companies like EA sell you 60% of the game for the full price and then "offer" DLC, microtransactions and monthly subscription fee's"

And yet Nintendo can charge $53 for a remaining third of a game you already paid $40 for. Please instead of being blind to the errors in a company, examine a companies practices without rose-tinted glasses. Your heaping hate on one company for doing something, yet defending another company for doing the same thing.



shinpichu said:

I wouldn't have a problem with this if it weren't that they're taking something that used to be included with the purchase of each Pokemon game and forcing us to pay for it. That is bullpoopiedoodledingdongdoggiepoo.



Xaltheron said:

The only reason it required another DS was because there was literally no other way it could be done, so we didn't resent it. In this case, however, they could easily allow people to transfer for free without requiring another 3DS, but they simply chose to charge for it instead, that's what we have a problem with.
Paying for cloud storage? I'm cool with that
Paying to transfer? Not so cool.



Doma said:

@SphericalCrusher Ah, most of that stuff isn't worth the time sink imo. I’ve played competitively before, but only with people i know. And the last time i made an effort to collect 'em all must've been Yellow (my first one)... i never tried again after failing that.



Sam_Loser2 said:

I'm fine with not using this service if the Poke Transport didn't require it! A internet and monetarily free way to bring up my old pokemon was present in the last few games. I already shelled out full price for the past pokemon games, I don't want to pay an extra fee so I don't have to abandon all my past effort.



Kirk said:

If it really is only $5 per year I'll not waste my time moaning about it too much but I still wish this kind of stuff came as a benefit of the price you actually pay for the game upfront in the first place.



SphericalCrusher said:

@Doma It's worth the time sink if you wish to battle online, tournaments, etc. Worth it for lots of people, but its not for everyone. It's the best way to level your Pokemon.



Hit-Girl said:

Look at Nintendo as a whole, look at all the magic they give us for nothing. What's $5 a year?



Bliquid said:

Pay for a service that does, like, nothing?
You compare this to MMOs, but the amount of data it will manage will be not only less than REAL cloud services like Dropbox or iCloud, it will be less than a freaking blog hosting site.
This should come free with the price of the game.
But since so many ppl here don't know or care about the value of their money (or rather, daddy's money), keep on it, Nintendo scammers,
Gotta milk'em all.



UgliestSoup said:

The idea of 5 bucks a year is good if you think about it. But you have to look at the big picture here. If X and Y sell one million copies and each person uses the bank, the Big N is sitting at five million dollars. Open your eyes people Nintendo and Gamefreak will grow into the next mafia and begin selling drugs which will make them the richest companies in the world which will lead to the extinction of humans only to allow the mass production of genetically mutated pokemon which will roam the earth and devour galaxies beyond our imagination.



Inflame227 said:

I'll pay for it. My question is... how exactly do you pay, do you do it with a credit card or eshop money or something else.



B_BIackNinja_N said:

Well Imwith everyone that understands the means of the payment. Producing a free product such as Flipnote for the DSi gave Nintendo ideas of the demand for servers that they needed. Cost comes in to play somewhere down the line with any product free or not. And I'm okay with that.



cfgk24 said:

It's great to see so many people here support this. Xbox live is a paid subscription and you get a great service. psn is free and not such a great service. Nintendo five you miiverse free. All this stuff takes programmers time, office space, business rates, overheads. The more money Nintendo make, the better your games and hardware will be and that's good for us all!



Kit said:

@Interneto $5 per year for how many years? And for something I doubt I'd use, na m8 I think I'd rather save my coffers and not waste my money tbh. I'll Just store my 'mon on my carts like I've always done, and if I need more space? Well I'll just release the ones I don"t need, simples, and free too. Methinks Ninty are pulling a fast one and making a cash cow in the process.



DualWielding said:

what bothers me is that they can't find an account based solution for your digital games but they can find one for your pokemon for a fee..... I care more about losing the game itself and having to buy it again if I lost my system than about having to retrain my pokemon since I'm not a competitive player



Corleonis88 said:

@Kit you hit the nail, if it´s not for you, then don´t buy it. You won´t get less of the game because it´s an extra for those who would need it. But still, a lot of people seem to think that it´s terrible to charge for a service that they won´t even buy anyway.



Trikeboy said:

I've never seen a bigger bunch of whiners in one place. If you don't want to pay for this, then don't. Easy and simple. There are still storage boxes in the game. Also, the fist month is free. You can transfer all your Pokemon from BW/2 in that first month free of charge and get them into you X and Y game fast and easily. No more transferring one by one or six by six. And entire box can be moved at a time. Also, Pokemon Bank will be updated from now to the death of the franchise. Caught Pokemon from BW/2 can be played on Pokemon title from fifteen years in the future and beyond. The cost for maintaining this? $5. If you don't see yourself using it, down use it. This isn't Microsoft forcing Kinect on people.



Xaltheron said:

Because transferring pokemon from gen 5 to gen 6 doesn't need to cost them money, they could have made an app that transfers the pokemon from gen 5 cartridges to the SD card, which can then be transferred to an X/Y cartridge.

Or failing that, to quote my earlier post;
"I don't see why they couldn't offer a limited version of Pokemon Bank for free, one that would allow you to transfer pokemon from gen 5 to gen 6 but wouldn't store pokemon unless you paid, seems fair enough to me."

By making Pokemon Bank a requirement for using Poke Transporter, they're making me pay for a service I don't want or need.



JaxonH said:

What! A cloud service that I actually have to pay for?!!! What a scam!!! How dare they ask $5 a year for a service that goes above and beyond, and is completely non-essential to playing Pokémon X/Y!!! This is a scam for sure, and only fools would pay these greedy money milkers the outrageous sum of $5 per year!
Everything should be free, or it's a money-milking scam!

Now who's with me?!!! Someone...............anyone................???................No?



Trikeboy said:


They are doing that so people can transfer their old Pokemon to the new game free of charge and dont have to create an account. Transfer your old Pokemon into it, transfer them onto X or Y then cancel the account. Easy, simple, fast.



Blast said:

Its free for a while and its just 5 bucks for one year! Guess what guys??? So that means this game costs 45 bucks now for the first year! That's still cheaper than most other games!



ToastyYogurt said:

I probably won't pay for Pokemon Bank. I usually barely catch a box full of Pokemon, and I never transition Pokemon between games. But for those that do either or both, it's not a bad investment. 5 bucks a year is one of the cheapest subscriptions around.

I'm not sure if this is the beginning of Nintendo charging extra for everything, though. It's a possibility that Nintendo is charging for things like this in order to help subsidize making up for selling their systems at a loss. Think about it: It wasn't until after the 3DS had its price cut (Nintendo's first time selling a system at a loss) that we started seeing DLC in Nintendo games and all this other pay-to-play stuff.

Not that I am not worried that Nintendo will become a greedy cash-grubber. Even though it seems like a lot of their greedy-seeming actions actually try to help sell more units (New Super Mario Bros. 2 and U, for example), I could be wrong. I hope I'm not, though.



TingLz said:

Why does Apple charge so much for their products? Because they know people will pay for it. Same principle here



Arcamenel said:

You still have the massive game storage space, so if this isn't your cup of tea, don't get it. Just be prepared to re-capture/trade all those Pokemon you couldn't send over when the game moves on to a different system.



unrandomsam said:

There is no reason for this to be at all necessary they could just do an offline save transfer tool.
Don't think kid's games should use stuff like this.



crobatman said:

I don't mind paying for a service that is worthwhile and useful, I hope they add other benefits to it besides storage and transferring pokemin from gen 5. It would be nice if they rewarded those who pay for the service with an exclusive pokemon now and then. Paying around $5 for it? If you can afford a 3DS, Pokemon X or Y, in fact even the computer/other device and internet connection that you using, then surely you can afford another measly $5!
I personally think it is an attractive service for those like me that love to breed pokemon and battle competitively.



crobatman said:

@unrandomsam for your information the series seems to be loved by ALL ages, I am a member of my Pokemon Society at my UNIVERSITY that boasts over 600 members!!!! What do you say about that? Also at the VGC this year, the adults grossly outnumbered the children, so I don't know where you got that idea from.



danthebro said:

i wonder what happens if you buy the service for a year put all your pokemon in then a year later you forget to renew the service. What happens to your pokemon?



FJOJR said:

I think it's great for the eventual generation change. If I could've kept my original Pokemon from Yellow and Gold by paying $5 every generation I would've gladly done it back then.



Marioman64 said:

@AyeHaley pokemon box wasnt a yearly charge though, and you had a "physical" copy of your pokemon (memory card) instead of relying on internet servers that could die



Wheels2050 said:

I'm amazed at the leeway people are giving this - presumably because it's Nintendo. Honestly, if this was any other company, people on NL would be complaining about how unfair it is.

I think the cloud storage idea is neat, and since it's optional then fair enough - charge for it. My issue with it is that transferring Pokemon now becomes a paid service, which has been a fundamental (and free!) part of the series all along.

It's not that $5 is a lot of money - it's the principle of the matter.



c1pher_c0mplet said:

After watching the Nintendo Direct after class earlier, I knew people were going to bring out the ol' "I want it free" gripe. The Pokémon Bank is an awesome idea and makes total sense as the physical cart will only support so much data on-cart. This provides a viable means to keep up w/your Poké boxes (and may even prove more useful than the in-game boxes). If the North American price is truly in the ballpark of $5, that's nothing.

And as far as Dead Trigger providing cloud saves for free, such a feature should be expected of a digitally-exclusive game that's meant to be played on a smartphone (tablet, potentially) whereas a physical cart stores the data on-board. I think Nintendo has the correct idea to treat the Pokémon cloud storage as an EXTRA to physical cart data since that's exactly what it is. Nintendo isn't implementing in X/Y what we too often find in mobile freemium games: paying for content that's necessary to play the game and/or paying to win. The Pokémon Bank is an EXTRA. If folks don't wanna pay, then don't. But I don't think "the principle of the matter" makes for a viable argument.



TwoSmoove said:

@unrandomsam Been playing since I was 10. I'm 21 and still love it.
@crobatman Reminds me of the first time I went to the VGC (about 3 years ago). It was an eye opener to see all of the old and young alike. Good experience for sure.



Xaltheron said:

That works for the first month, but what about when I want to transfer another one or two pokemon in the future? As I said in an earlier comment, what if I go back and play through B/W2 again, and I catch a shiny pokemon and wanted to transfer it to X/Y? I'd have to pay $5 just to transfer that one pokemon. And if I wanted to transfer another couple of pokemon a year later, that's another $5.

Yes, it's only $5, which I can afford easily, but I just don't see any justifiable reason why they should be charging ANYTHING for transferring pokemon from gen 5, the cloud storage I can understand them charging for, but not the transferring.



orravan85 said:

Sounds about right to me. Cloud use and servers cost bank. But I think the underlining context is this: Will Nintendo fans pay a subscription? If they do. What is next? This is clearly a test of the waters for Nintendo.



Trikeboy said:

I am I support of them charging the yearly fee though I'm not sure if I will use it beyond the free month. I will trade my Black and white 2 Pokemon into it then onto X. After that, I probably won't use it. I'm not a comparative player so I won't need that many Pokemon but having the option is good for this generation and beyond.



Wheels2050 said:

@One-Winged-Pit: Sure, but what about after that period? I'll be transferring some Gen III Pokemon to Gen IV (and then GenV) soon, so it's not like nobody ever does transfers way down the line. What if you miss the free trial window, for some reason?

A free trial period goes some way to alleviating the problem, although it won't entirely fix it. What about Little Johnny, who gets Pokemon X for his birthday next year but can't transfer his old Pokemon because his parents won't go through the hassle of organising a new subscription to a service they don't see as being all that useful?

I'm not trying to make out that Nintendo are evil monsters for doing this - it's just that it seems rather hypocritical that so many people here are praising Nintendo for bringing in a new paid service when they would have been disgusted if it was, say, EA doing the same thing.



marc_max said:

Will the Pokémon be kept online even if I stop paying? Then I don't care paying the annual fee every year a new Pokémon game is released.

5$ or 5€ it's not a bad price (but it isn't a good price neither). But since I will be only using it once to transfer from previous gen to new gen, I don't want to pay a year fee if no new generation is released.



AltDotNerd said:

When you think about it, you need someone maintaining the cloud. 5 dollars a year? That's 0.0137 cents a day! What's the worst that could happen? Nothing...except losing EVERY SINGLE ONE OF YOUR POKEMON!



Brother_Jolteon said:

This is nothing but spare change. Its not a big deal, the only people that complain are basically the ones that have to ask their parents and the parents say no cuz they think its a stupid concept. But for everyone else who makes their own money, don't really care about spending 5 bucks a year, whenthey are mostly likel gonna use it to transfer their mons from gen 5 to gen 6. Rather then the price being complained about, I think a good topic to talk about is the payment method, do we have to pay with the nintendo point card in the X/Y game to connect to pay or is it with our bank card. Once that's fleshed out then people could complain more, if they don't have a bank card



SetupDisk said:

Giving money to MMOs isn't really giving thought to the value of your money or time. After playing Wow for a couple of years, I realized what a waste it was.



shad0w-7 said:

Separate feature to the game.
Incurs real cost to NIntendo.
Supply and demand. You want it, pay for it.
Nothing wrong with that.



JVilla said:

I won't mind paying the $5. I hope they just don't go on raising the price. I like starting games over and it's tedious trading all those pokemon I have I want to keep. I mean like everyone says, it's only $5 a year. Lol save a dime a week and you'll have leftover change when you have to renew.



Sedrick said:

You musn't complain with that money I can buy not even buy 2 1l cool bottels here in the netherlands so don't complain just pay its amazing deal for what you pay you get something that weart 10 bucks



technotreegrass said:

If it was $5 a month, I'd understand people complaining, but $5 a year is nothing. I bought a second copy of Black just to be a storage unit for Pokemon that I want to keep or breed in the future so I can have those pokemon in my party in a new game. But again, it's OPTIONAL, you don't feel a need to use it, no big deal.



Interneto said:

@Kit Yeah, I see. I have my PC almost filled so I guess this will be useful to me since I have a living national dex to storage + shinies, events, metagame, etc.



JP_Rueda said:

@gloom yeah you all think so, yet there's a whole lot of us who live in countries where all those applications don't even work... Latin America is screwed, basically we won't get our old gen pokemon transfered into new ones anymore, we'd need an american account and address to do so...



Williaint said:

Good News: People can't say that NintendoTVii is the only Cloud Service Nintendo Offers, even if the Pokemon files are pretty small pieces of data.
Bad News: The tentative and optional subscription price for "the cloud gaming that everyone wants, but doesn't want because Nintendo is doing it" is too much.



Sedrick said:

Most likely you pay for the cloud not for the other things. We pay so they can run the super computers



miletich3 said:

What would be fair is if Nintendo provided a free version of Pokemon Bank that would allow a measly 30 Pokemon.

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