Older Pokemon fans may not be aware of what Pokemon Bank is, while those who do are wondering whether it will be compatible with Pokemon Sword and Shield.
What is Pokemon Bank?
Pokemon Bank was first introduced in February 2014 and allows you to store your Pokemon from a variety of old Pokemon games in private boxes on the internet. Think of the PC within the Pokemon Center from the first games - it is essentially a real-life one of them.
It is an application, currently available on the Nintendo 3DS, that costs real money to use. It is compatible with Pokemon X and Y, Pokemon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire, Pokemon Sun and Moon, and Pokemon Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon. Additionally, digital re-releases of Pokemon Red, Blue and Green are also compatible.
Specifically, it allows you to store a maximum of 3,000 Pokemon of which you can transfer to any of the aforementioned games. It should be noted Pokemon cannot be transferred from the newer generations to games which don't have those Pokemon in the Pokedex.
Sword and Shield compatibility
From Pokemon X and Y onward, Pokemon Bank has been compatible with all the latest Pokemon games. That was until Pokemon Let's Go where compatibility never materialized.
No official reason for the lack of compatibility has been stated. However, many speculate that it is a combination of the game being based on the Kanto region, not being a fully fledged mainline Pokemon game and its platform being the Nintendo Switch. Of course, Pokemon Let's Go was the first Pokemon game that has featured on the Switch.
Consequently, Pokemon trainers are wondering, and hoping, that Pokemon Bank will work with Pokemon Sword and Shield. Minus the official reveal in February 2019, few details have been released about the new Nintendo Switch game.
One of those key details is whether Pokemon Bank subscribers will be able to transfer Pokemon to and from Sword and Shield. The overall expectation is that it will be compatible.
Pokemon Bank is a source of recurring revenue for the Pokemon Company which they won't want to give up. This alone is enough justification to expect it to feature in Pokemon Sword and Shield.
Furthermore, it has been made apparent that Game Freak is indeed working on Pokemon Bank for the Nintendo Switch. In an interview with Gamespot, Junichi Masuda when referring to Pokemon Sword and Shield said the following: "I mean, obviously, people would be very sad if they couldn't use their Pokemon in a future game.
So, it does get complicated when you talk about the details and we're still figuring it out, but we do have plans to find ways to let players use their Pokemon in the next game."
While not confirmed, the evidence certainly suggests Pokemon Bank will be available for the Switch. Hopefully, we will have more news about this soon.