Nintendo has an offer up that will allow you to get the fully evolved versions of the starter Pokemon from Pokemon HeartGold & SoulSilver, each with a bonus special ability. All you have to do is be up-to-date with Pokemon Bank.
Nintendo giving people special Pokemon… even starter Pokemon from past games… isn’t a new thing. They have been doing it since the most primitive networking days of the GameBoy. I wrote about a download even for the Pokemon Black & White starter Pokemon just about a month back. (That event is still active, so don’t miss your chance.)
What makes this event ever so slightly different is that rather than being just a promotion for the installed base, it is really a subscriber bonus that is showing up at just about the time people will need to resubscribe.
Subscriptions? Resubscribe? In Pokemon?
Well, yes… at least with Pokemon Bank.
Pokemon Bank is an online service for the Pokemon franchise. It was put in place to allow users to move Pokemon between versions of the game without having to have two Nintendo DS/DSi/3DS hardware units (OMG, solo play wins out over social again!) and to give players a place to store Pokemon beyond the limits of any particular game.
All you had to do was get your Pokemon into Pokemon Black & White or Pokemon Black Version 2 & White Version 2 via the old fashioned method in place since Pokemon Diamond & Pearl.
From that point you could then use the special Pokemon Transporter application on your Nintendo 3DS to send your Pokemon on a one way trip out of the DS/DSi generations of the series and into the 3DS generation and Pokemon Bank.
Once in Pokemon Bank any 3DS generation version of Pokemon could withdraw or deposit your Pokemon. I wrote about running Pokemon through the process back in September, if you want more detail on it.
The thing of it is that, in order to fund this service and keep it a viable, ongoing proposition for Nintendo, they charge a yearly subscription fee for it. For the princely sum of $5.00 you get a year’s worth of access to Pokemon Bank.
And, as I mentioned a little ways up the post, Pokemon Bank has been out for a little more than a year now, so that first year’s subscription has started running out for the early adopters. Faced with this, Nintendo could either send out nagging reminders asking people to re-up for another year of Pokemon Bank or, I suppose, they could just put out a special offer only available to those who have active Pokemon Bank accounts.
Well played Nintendo, well played.
All you have to do is log into Pokemon Bank between February 27, 2015 and November 30, 2015, at which point you will then be able to download the special Pokemon. Details about the even are available here.
Meanwhile, Nintendo is tentatively glancing in the direction of smart devices like iPads and such, while still vocally sticking to its long tradition of control over both software and hardware.