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Wednesday, January 29, 2020

The Pokémon HOME Details—Get Ready For The Mortgage

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - Unlike a real mortgage, you'll never be able to pay it off, and the asset won't appreciate in value.

We learned about Pokémon HOME back in that Pokémon 2019 press conference/snooze-fest 8 months ago. Today (or yesterday), Nintendo and The Pokémon Company International released what Pokémon HOME actually is, and that it's coming to the market sometime in February 2020. Pokémon HOME is their solution for a cross-generation and cross-platform Pokémon storage service, so your Pokémon pals from the past 17 years can continue to be used in generations to come in one capacity or another.

They also revealed the crucial detail that the syntax is “Pokémon HOME”, and it's not italicised. (Compare to Pokémon Bank.)

There is a Nintendo Switch HOME, and then you can get a summer HOME on the mobile app. You can connect these two with a Nintendo Account, and they enable different movements.

To move Pokémon from Pokémon Bank to Pokémon HOME, you can use either the Nintendo Switch app or the mobile phone app. For Pokémon Let's Go, Eevee!/Pokémon, Let's Go, Pikachu! and Pokémon Sword/Pokémon Shield, you must use the Nintendo Switch version of the app. At some point, you will be able to store Pokémon GO Pokémon into Pokémon HOME, likely with the mobile app. All of these movements are uni-directional (source to HOME) with the exception of bi-directional support for Pokémon Sword/Pokémon Shield.

Beyond just storing Pokémon, there are a few value-added features. There's four kinds of trading. There's a Wonder Box, where your Pokémon disappears and is replaced with someone else's. The GTS, where you can pick the Pokémon you want to receive. There's the Room Trade, where you can trade with specific people. (Think public Battle Arenas?) Lastly, the Friend Trade, where you can trade with friends because Pokémon HOME has its own friend system.

You gotta pay $16 for a one-year subscription to Pokémon HOME, or $3 for a one-month. (Compare to $20 and $4, respectively, for Nintendo Switch Online. Also compare to $5 for a one-year subscription to Pokémon Bank.) It is unknown what happens to your Pokémon if your Pokémon HOME is foreclosed due to you defaulting on your bill. In other words, it's unknown if your Pokémon will be held hostage unless you keep paying them. Reports are unclear about what happens with Pokémon Bank as well.

That's a pretty important detail...

There's also some miscellaneous stuff like getting news (advertisements), having access to Challenges, and being able to participate in giveaway events, along with an in-app Pokédex with move lists.

Pokémon Home challenges Turtwig Chimchar Piplup Sinnoh region starters
So... it's a Challenge for GAME FREAK to make the Sinnoh remakes?

You don't actually need to pay anything to download Pokémon HOME, but it's close to useless in the basic version. Basic has a max cap of 30 stored Pokémon and no access to Pokémon Bank. (AKA you need to actively pay for both a Pokémon Bank subscription and a Pokémon HOME subscription to do a bank run.) Premium has access to the bank, as well as 6000 stored Pokémon. Also, only Premium people can actually make the rooms in Room Trade. You're basically going to have to shell up money to make your HOME worthwhile.

Or you could get a condo. Maybe rent. 

Ludwig doesn't really have an interest in transferring over past Pokémon, and especially not for this kind of money. It's a pass from him. But what do you think? Are you interested in Pokémon HOME? Did you think it would have more features, such as a battle system?

Ludwig made a lot of housing puns when the PlayStation Home shut down, too.
Don't forget, you're paying for an expansion pass, too.
February 2020 turns out to be February 11, 2020.


  1. Yeah, the cost of being a Pokemon fan is getting pricier and pricier, and the games aren't really getting better. Even ditching the 3rd version model in favor of an Expansion Pass doesn't offset the increased price of a Switch game vs 3DS games(60+30 is more than 40+40). And when there's so many better games and JRPGs in particular available on Switch, why bother paying top dollar for a mediocre experience that only really has nostalgia over its competitors?

    1. What if... Having a subscription service will get GAME FREAK to take a more game-as-a-service approach and NOT do annual releases? That'd be a benefit to the game's quality, right?
      ...If they take the opportunity. >.>


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