A week before the new version of Pokémon Snap hits the Nintendo Switch, Fujifilm has revealed a re-branded version of its Instax Mini Link printer that will let players print out hard copies of their best Pokéshots, as well as let users accent any photo with Nintendo-themed stickers, frames, and effects.
If you’re old enough to remember the original version of Pokémon Snap on the Nintendo 64, you probably also remember that Blockbuster video rental stores installed something called Pokémon Snap Stations that allowed players to bring in an N64 memory card full of their best shots and print out a sheet of Pokémon stickers. In a time when social media and sharing pics online wasn’t a thing, printing out images was the next best thing, and Fujifilm is trying to recreate that experience 20 years later.
Two versions of the Fujifilm Mini Link Special Edition will be available soon, including a $169 option with Switch-themed accents next week on April 30, and then a $199 bundle next month that includes a bright yellow Pikachu-shaped silicone case which is obviously the version everyone should opt for.
Instead of having to lug a memory card to a video rental store destined for extinction, the Mini Link Special Edition uses an iOS or Android mobile app as a stepping stone between the Nintendo Switch and the printer. Users transfer photos from the Switch’s screenshot album to their smartphone’s camera roll (using a process where the Switch generates a QR Code that a smartphone then uses to connect to the console directly over an ad-hoc wifi connection) and then the Fujifilm app is used to edit and reframe images, as well as add fun Nintendo effects, before it’s sent to the printer.
Unlike the old Game Boy Camera that used relatively cheap black and white thermal paper to generate prints, the Fujifilm Mini Link Special Edition relies on colour film with 20 shots costing around $20. If you’ve got a kid who ends up being a prolific Pokémon Snap photographer, covering the kitchen fridge with their portfolio could get expensive very quickly.