A new Professor Oak kicks off the surprise launch of Pokémon Home on the Nintendo Switch

Pokemon Home Professor Oak
Pokemon Home Professor Oak (Image credit: Pokemon Company)

Update Feb. 12, 2020: The app is now live on iOS and Android.

Pokémon Home, the new storage and trading cloud service attached to the mega franchise, is now available to download on the Nintendo Switch in a surprise release. Unfortunately, it comes with an additional surprise we didn't see coming.

When you open up the app for the first time, you're greeted by a familiar figure. It's Professor Oak, or Grand Oak, as he calls himself. He's like Professor Oak, only with long hair and funky glasses. It's certainly not the first time we've seen a new version of the classic Professor (that would be "Alolan Oak" in Sun and Moon, although he was canonically the Professor's cousin), but it's definitely the weirdest.

Either way, you can now get the app on the Nintendo Switch eShop for free. This caught a lot of us off guard, since all we had to go on previously was a vague February 2020 release window. It's also slated to launch on Android and iOS, although the apps aren't up for download on mobile yet (sit tight, Pokémon Go players).

More: Everything you need to know about Pokémon Home

The premise of the app is simple. After years of not having a central place to store all your caught Pokémon, you can now save it all in Pokémon Home. It lets you import captures from Pokémon Go, Pokémon Bank (on the 3DS), Pokémon: Let's Go Pikachu!, Pokémon: Let's Go, Eevee!, Pokémon Sword, and Pokémon Shield games.

This is set to be a huge boon for Gen 8 players, since both Sword and Shield don't have all the Pokémon available in their Pokédexes. It is worth noting that there are transfer limitations, so while you can only transfer Pokémon from the Galarian Pokédex into Sword and Shield, it can hold any Pokémon in the National Pokédex.

The app is free to download, but there is a Premium subscription if you want it. It costs $16 per year and provies you with a host of features, including the ability to transfer Pokémon from your Pokémon Bank account into Home and a larger storage capacity.

Pokemon Home cost

Pokemon Home cost (Image credit: The Pokémon Company)

We'll continue to play around with the app now that it's officially live. We just hope we don't have to see Grand Oak too much. What do you think about him?

Carli Velocci
Gaming Lead, Copy Chief

Carli is the Gaming Editor across Windows Central, Android Central, and iMore. Her last name also will remind you of a dinosaur. Follow her on Twitter or email her at carli.velocci@futurenet.com.