A rumor has been circulating on Internet forums that the new scheduled U.S. release date for Pokémon Bank is January 7, 2014. The proof supplied to support this rumor is the image above, which is a very convincing-looking screen shot of what purports to be a December 27, 2013 update from Nintendo, stating that the apps will be released in the EU market on December 30, 2013, followed by a January 3 release in Oceania and a January 7 release in the U.S.
Given the fact that the dates were written in the European style, with the date preceding the month, a Guardian Liberty Voice reporter went to look at the UK version of Nintendo’s website. The latest update posted on December 27, the same date as the screenshot, did not make any mention of an intended release date. Nor did the game turn up in a search of the eShop. If the rumored EU release date of December 30 were legtitimate then the apps should already be available on the UK eShop, or at least mentioned on their support page.
A quick search of the American Nintendo website also did not reveal any sort of announcement of a release date. And, given that the rumored EU release date has already come and gone without the game being released there, it appears that the entire announcment may in fact be a fake.
As proof that the announcement is most likely a clever Photoshop job, some forum posters have also pointed out a typo in the announcement. It promises a Janunary 7, 2013 release in the U.S. as well as Februrary 28, 2013 extension for the free 30-day trial period. These errors suggest that whoever did the Photoshop probably used a legitimate Nintendo announcement as the basis for their fraudulent announcement, but forgot to change the years.
Of course, the false release dates may not be that far off from reality. Nintendo appears to have been working diligently to solve the problems which left its servers overloaded on Christmas day and many frustrated gamers unable to download games or apps or even register their Nintendo Network IDs. The company have already taken the step of taking the eShops offline for a period of 12 hours in order to presumably increase their server capacity. In addition, the companion app for Pokémon Bank, called Poké Transporter, has already been restored to the Japanese eShop for those players who were lucky enough to get Pokémon Bank before the outage.
Fans of Pokémon have been eagerrly awaiting the new apps since the release of Pokémon X and Y back in October. Pokémon Bank and Poké Transporter are designed to work together to allow players to transfer and manage their pokémon more easily than ever before. It comes with a cloud service which allows players to store up to 3,000 pokémon and keep them safe from being lost should a player’s game ever get lost or destroyed. A free 30-day trial will be available to players who download Pokémon Bank, but there will be a nominal $4.99 annual fee after the trial ends.
As far as the January 7 release date rumor, unless official confirmation comes from Nintendo, it appears to be nothing but a hoax.
By Nancy Schimelpfening