Ever since the release of Pokemon Red & Blue, players have spent years looking for the best way to live out the Pokemon dream of catching 'em all and keeping all of their favorite Pocket Monsters for all of eternity. With each new generation, Nintendo and The Pokemon Company have come up with new solutions for how older Pokemon could be transferred forward to the latest game and system. And for a while that worked well but there came a point where it was simply impossible as each new Nintendo system had its own nuts and bolts to figure out and each new generation refined and changed how the games work.

When Nintendo released the Nintendo Switch, they made an effort to combine their handheld and home console systems into one, simplifying their approach for modern times. Now that all future Pokemon games will be released in one place, excluding mobile games, The Pokemon Company has taken a step further on what it offered with Pokemon Bank and announced Pokemon Home, a new subscription and storage service where players can store all of their Pokemon from current and future games. Pokemon Home isn’t too far from a worldwide release, so here’s a breakdown of everything we know so far.

Pokemon Home is a cloud-based subscription service where players can pay a monthly or annual fee to store Pokemon or easily transfer between different games and generation. The service will be released as an application on iOS, Android, and Nintendo Switch, and allow players to trade Pokemon with friends or other players around the world. While players can transfer Pokemon to Pokemon Home from a variety of different games and platforms, at least at launch, once a Pokemon has been sent to Pokemon Home, it can only then be transferred to either Pokemon Sword or Pokemon Shield.

The Pokemon Home subscription service is compatible with all Nintendo Switch Pokemon games by default including Pokemon Sword, Pokemon Shield, Pokemon Let’s Go Pikachu, and Pokemon Let’s Go Eevee, as well as the mobile game, Pokemon GO. Pokemon Home is also compatible with Pokemon Bank, a similar subscription service for the Nintendo 3DS, meaning that every generation of games can eventually lead to Pokemon Home.

Using Pokemon Bank, players can theoretically store Pokemon from every generation so far. Pokemon Red & Blue and Pokemon Gold & Silver are available on Nintendo 3DS through Virtual Console. GameBoy Advance games like Pokemon Ruby & Sapphire and Pokemon Fire Red & Leaf Green can be transferred to Pokemon Diamond & Pearl, and then to either Pokemon Black & White or Pokemon Black 2 & White 2, as can Pokemon SoulSilver and HeartGold. From there, both Pokemon Black & White and its sequels are compatible with Pokemon Bank, allowing all Pokemon to be transferred to the service as long as players have the tools to get it there. Lastly, all Nintendo 3DS Pokemon games including Pokemon X&Y, Pokemon Ultra Sun & Ultra Moon, and Pokemon Omega Ruby & Alpha Sapphire are compatible with Pokemon Bank.

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Pokemon Home will be released worldwide in February 2020 for iOS, Android, and Nintendo Switch, although no exact date has been confirmed by The Pokemon Company. Nintendo and The Pokemon Company haven't released any details on how much the subscription service will cost at this stage either, however, based on the prices for Pokemon Bank, the monthly cost is expected to be somewhere around $4.99 / £4.49 / €4.99.

Nintendo and The Pokemon Company still have quite a few significant details they need to iron out and reveal to the public such as the overall cost of the subscription service, the number of Pokemon that can be stored as Pokemon Bank only allowed 3000, and whether or not this service will remain intact for future games. So far, what has been announced is incredibly promising and while it's disappointing that Pokemon can't go back and forth between games, its a great way to bring favorites forward and future proof their survival.

It's also important that Nintendo and The Pokemon Company explore avenues to make Pokemon Home the only service and update older games to be compatible. Requiring Pokemon Bank for any game that released before the Nintendo Switch doesn't feel consumer-friendly if both services are going to require there own paid subscriptions. Pokemon Home is a huge step up from Pokemon Bank and it would be in everyone's best interest to remove the middle-man.

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