Pokémon HOME cloud service is now available, Bank free trial also live

Last month, The Pokémon Company announced that Pokémon HOME, the cloud-based service that lets users store, trade, and transfer their entire collection of Pokémon would launch in February. Now, the company has formally announced the availability of the service for Nintendo Switch and mobile devices.

Like previously announced, the basic functionality of the service is free, but there is a Premium plan that costs $15.99/€15.99 per year, assuming you buy it from the Nintendo eShop. In Europe, the price is slightly higher on the Google Play Store and the iOS App Store, presumably due to the revenue cut that has to be paid to Google and Apple, making it €17.99.

The Basic plan lets users store just 30 Pokémon, connect to the Nintendo Switch Pokémon games, and use trading features like the GTS, Wonder Box, and Trade Rooms. If you pay for premium, you can store 6,000 Pokémon, connect to Pokémon Bank on the Nintendo 3DS to bring over your creatures from older games, and get additional capabilities for the trading features. The Judge feature is also only available for Premium members,

The Nintendo Switch and mobile variants of Pokémon HOME serve different purposes in a multitude of ways, and the user interface is very different between the two. The focus of the Switch version is storing and managing creatures from your Pokémon games on the Switch, so the interface is presented in a similar fashion to the storage system in those games, organizing Pokémon by boxes. The app still lets users access the National Pokédex, though, with listings for every existing Pokémon, including in-game descriptions, different forms, and more.

The mobile version places a bigger focus on the social and informational aspects of HOME, including trading features, which aren't available on the Switch version. Here, the storage system simply presents all of the user's Pokémon in a scrollable list with the ability to sort them in a multitude of different ways, similar to Pokémon GO. What it does offer, though, is not just access to a Pokédex, but all sorts of information about what moves a Pokémon can learn and what abilities it can have. It also includes a complete catalog of every move and ability in the games, making it a useful companion for the games. It can't communicate with the Switch games directly, but it can be used to import creatures from Pokémon Bank on the 3DS.

To go along with the launch, the Nintendo 3DS service Pokémon Bank is now free for thirty days, making it possible to transfer Pokémon from older generations without having to pay for the Bank and HOME subscriptions. The app has also received an update to enable communication with the new service, though it's worth noting that Pokémon can't be sent back from HOME to Bank. At launch, the service isn't yet compatible with Pokémon GO.

if you're interested, you can download the Pokémon HOME for the Nintendo Switch from the eShop, and the mobile variants can be found here for iOS and here for Android. You can learn more about the service on its website.

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