The eShop versions of the original Game Boy Pokémon games — Pokémon Red, Blue and Yellow — that will be released for Nintendo 3DS this weekend have a new feature: the ability to transfer data to the Pokémon Bank application and be used in Nintendo's upcoming Pokémon Sun and Moon games.
Tsunekazu Ishihara, CEO and president of The Pokémon Company, announced that functionality in a Nintendo Direct presentation earlier today, during which Pokémon Sun and Pokémon Moon were announced.
"Beginning with the Game Boy Advance games, we made it possible for you to take the Pokémon you caught and bring them over to the next generation of games, even if they were on different hardware," Ishihara said. "However, we were never able to solve the communication issues with the Game Boy and it was not possible to bring Pokémon from the Game Boy games over to games on other hardware."
The eShop versions of Pokémon Red, Blue and Yellow, however, will take advantage of online Pokémon storage service Pokémon Bank, Ishihara said. And whatever Pokémon players catch in the eShop versions can carry over into Sun and Moon, when they're released later this year.
The Pokémon Bank app is a free download for Nintendo 3DS, but the service carries an annual fee of $4.99.
Pokémon Red, Blue and Yellow will be released via Nintendo 3DS eShop on Feb. 27, the 20th anniversary of the Pokémon franchise.