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Keep your old Pokemon - for a price

This new service allows players of the main Pokemon games to store and transfer their favourite Pokemon back and forth from other games.
This new service allows players of the main Pokemon games to store and transfer their favourite Pokemon back and forth from other games.PHOTO: THE POKEMON COMPANY

The Pokemon Company has revealed pricing details for its upcoming successor to the Pokemon Bank service, called Pokemon Home. This new service will allow players of the main Pokemon games to store and transfer their favourite Pokemon back and forth from other games.

HOW DOES IT WORK?

It is a little complicated, to say the least. If you have Pokemon stored in Pokemon Bank from older games such as Pokemon Sun/Moon or X/Y, you can transfer them to Pokemon Home. Once they are in Pokemon Home, you can use the new service to transfer them to the latest Nintendo Switch Pokemon games.

That means you could use your favourite Pokemon from older games in newer Switch ones, such as Pokemon Sword/Shield or Let's Go Pikachu/Eevee, as long as your Pokemon are supported in those titles.

Pokemon Home can be operated from mobile devices (Android and iOS) and the Nintendo Switch itself - but the Switch version will support only games on its platform.

Soon, you will be able to transfer Pokemon from Pokemon Go as well, but that feature is in development.

HOW MUCH DOES IT COST?

To ease players into this, The Pokemon Company has made Pokemon Home free for the first month.

However, the free version of Home will not allow players to transfer Pokemon from Pokemon Bank - you will need the "premium" version for that.

The free version will allow only up to 30 Pokemon to be stored in Home, but the premium version allows for up to 6,000 Pokemon.

The premium plan, which will be available worldwide, will cost users US$2.99 (S$4) a month, US$4.99 for three months and US$15.99 (S$21.80) for a year.

WHAT DO I NEED IT FOR?

You can basically use Pokemon Home to trade Pokemon in four ways:

1. Pokemon placed in the Wonder Box can be traded with people around the world, even when Pokemon Home is not being used.

2. With the Global Trade System, fans can specify which Pokemon they want to trade and which Pokemon they want to receive. They will then be matched with a Trainer if both meet each other's criteria.

3. Room Trade lets Trainers create a room and trade Pokemon among the people who join. Each room can hold up to 20 people. Trading in rooms costs nothing, but users will be able to create rooms only when enrolled in a premium plan.

4. Friend Trade allows Trainers to trade their Pokemon with nearby users with whom they have become friends in Pokemon Home. Trainers can add friends using the Add Friend feature in Pokemon Home.

Pokemon Home also comes with a couple of other features. The Pokemon you store in Home will be registered to the National Pokedex.

You can also receive Mystery Gifts from Pokemon Sword and Shield in Pokemon Home, and gifts specifically for Pokemon Home.

Much like Pokemon Go's "Appraisal" feature, premium customers can use a "Judge" function to learn how strong their Pokemon are.

Players can also check information on Switch games in the mobile app and receive "Home Points" every time they deposit a new Pokemon, which can be converted to Battle Points in the core Pokemon series games.

IS THIS A GOOD MOVE?

Online, Pokemon Home has garnered a near-universal negative reaction from fans.

It is no surprise - Pokemon Home triples the cost of Pokemon Bank for very little reason and forces players to pay even more for a service that used to be completely free.

This is Pokemon we are talking about, though. Negative online comments are not going to be a dealbreaker for the company.

A launch date for Pokemon Home has not been released yet, but it is slated for some time this month.

• This content first appeared on hardwarezone.com.sg

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 05, 2020, with the headline 'Keep your old Pokemon - for a price'. Print Edition | Subscribe