Pokemon Bank is a popular Nintendo 3DS app that allows players to store and transfer up to 3,000 Pokemon from any of the Nintendo 3DS titles. This list includes the Hoenn remakes Pokemon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire as well as Pokemon X and Y, which introduced gamers to the Kalos region.
The Wii U and Nintendo 3DS versions of the Nintendo eShop will be shutting down in March of 2023, and it appears that Pokemon Bank will be following suit. However, players will first be able to take full advantage of the app for free. Pokemon Bank usually costs a $4.99 annual fee to use, but apparently, the app will be free after the eShop closes. Of course, gamers will no longer be able to download the app after the eShop's closure, which means that interested players should download it sooner rather than later.
Pokemon Bank was invaluable to long-time series fans who wanted to transfer Pokemon from earlier titles to more recent ones. Combined with the similar service Pokemon Home, gamers are able to transfer Pokemon from the Nintendo 3DS titles to Switch titles such as Pokemon Sword and Shield. Now that the Nintendo eShop is closing down, the days of this partnership are numbered. However, Nintendo claims that the app should continue to function for a while even after the eShop shuts down. As long as gamers downloaded it onto a Nintendo 3DS, they should be able to access its features for free once the eShop is closed.
Reportedly, no actual purchase will be necessary to use Pokemon Bank after the Nintendo 3DS version of the eShop is closed. Interested gamers can just download the application now and leave it dormant until after the shop closes. It's currently unclear how long the Pokemon Bank free service will be available for, but a Japanese-language tweet appears to state that the app will be available free for a fixed period of time. In other words, gamers who want to take advantage of this deal should move their Pokemon as quickly as possible.