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PSA: Rescue your old 3DS Pokémon before the Nintendo eShop shutdown

Nintendo’s eShop announcement has wide-reaching effects for old titles

A collection within Pokémon Home. Image: The Pokémon Company
Cass Marshall is a news writer focusing on gaming and culture coverage, taking a particular interest in the human stories of the wild world of online games.

On Wednesday, Nintendo announced that it will close the online stores for both the Wii U console and the Nintendo 3DS handheld in late March 2023. The Nintendo eShop, which persisted across both platforms, currently offers digital game downloads, demos, and other free content.

While players are already concerned about preserving their past gaming content, and about losing certain features, there’s another side effect: the impact on Pokémon Bank. The Pokémon Bank service provides a giant digital storage facility for all the Pokémon caught across different games and saves. In 2020, Nintendo debuted the successor feature, Pokémon Home.

Pokémon Bank will be eventually made unavailable on the 3DS, and it’s currently the only way to transfer Pokémon pals from the older-generation games into newer titles. Players who do not download Pokémon Home before the eShop goes down will lose the ability to preserve any precious catches, including Shiny Pokémon and event Mythicals. The Pokémon Company shared a statement on its official site.

With the discontinuation of the Nintendo eShop service for the Nintendo 3DS family of systems, the Pokémon Bank service for Nintendo 3DS will become available at no cost to users. You will still be able to transfer the Pokémon you’ve deposited in Pokémon Bank to Pokémon HOME even after the paid service is discontinued, and you’ll still be able to bring Pokémon into Pokémon Bank from compatible titles. However, you’ll need to be enrolled in a paid Pokémon HOME Premium Plan to do so.

In late March 2023, Pokémon Bank’s paid passes will no longer be offered for purchase, at which time Pokémon Bank and Poké Transporter will no longer be available to download. On the same day, Trainers will be able to start using Pokémon Bank at no cost. Be aware that there will be no refunds for paid passes that have already been purchased.

While it’s possible that most people have already taken care of transferring their old ’mons off the 3DS, and others simply don’t care about catching ’em all, there are likely a few trainers who want to snag some of their rarest or most beloved catches from back in the day and transfer them to the safety of Home. (We’ve prepared a handy guide to walk you through the process of grabbing Pokémon from as far back as Ruby and Sapphire.) It’s still sad to think of all the Pokémon that will be left behind as the eShop shutdown rolls out. As a consolation, Nintendo is removing the Bank fee to make this process easier.

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