According to a tweet on Nintendo America’s Twitter feed, Pokémon Bank has now been relaunched in the eShops for “certain Asian countries.” Bulbapedia further confirms that it is presently available in the Japanese and Korean eShops, as well as “other Asian territories. ” In a second tweet, Nintendo further indicates that a U.S. release date is coming soon by asking its customers to “stay tuned to social channels for updates on availability in other regions, including North America.”
Since the delay of the apps was first announced, fans of the Pokémon series of games have been repeatedly disappointed to learn that there was still no set release date for the new Pokémon Bank app. Nintendo had made many vague promises that they were working on the problem and that the app would definitely be released “in the future,” yet they had been mute when it came to putting a specific time frame on what “in the future” really meant.
Pokémon Bank has been delayed since December 25, when it, and its companion app, Poké Transporter, had to be removed from the Japanese eShop due to strong holiday traffic overwhelming the site. Although it was due for a December 27 release date around the rest of the world, this date was quickly scrapped while Nintendo rushed to upgrade its servers to a level that was capable of handling the incoming traffic.
Eventually normal access was restored to the eShops for all, and players in Japan who had already downloaded Pokémon Bank prior to its removal had their access to Poké Transporter restored. Unfortunately, neither Pokémon Bank nor Poké Transporter have been available to anyone else.
At one point it looked as if there might be some light at the end of the tunnel when an screen cap of a Pokémon Bank release date announcement that appeared to be from Nintendo began to circulate. The announcement claimed that the apps would become available in Europe on December 30, with a January 3 release date in Oceania and a January 7 release date in the U.S. soon following. In addition, it promised that the deadline for the free 30-day trial of the apps would be moved up to February 28. Unfortunately for gamers everywhere, it was quickly proven to be a fake and the wait continued.
On January 10, Nintendo made an announcement on their Twitter feed stating that the apps were coming “in the future” and asking for their customers’ patience, which was quickly running out. As evidence of this fact, one frustrated Pokémon fan, Craig Beverlin of Angola, NY, went so far as to create a petition on Change.org asking for the app to be released quickly. However, the petition only managed to gather a couple of hundred signatures, perhaps because many realized the futility of using such an outlet to get the apps released more quickly.
Now, however, the wait is almost over. Nintendo has finally announced that Pokémon Bank has been relaunched in “certain Asian countries” and will be coming soon to Europe and the U.S. Now that gamers know for certain that they will soon be able to get their hands on the apps, the only thing left to wonder about is whether Nintendo has done a proper job in preparing for the new surge of network traffic as everyone rushes in to claim the long-awaited apps.
By Nancy Schimelpfening