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Many users reporting bricked Wii U consoles after not playing them for years

The Wii U‘s successor, the Nintendo Switch, has been available for years. However, there are still Wii U games, as well as Virtual Console retro titles that aren’t available on Nintendo Switch Online yet, that can’t be played on the hybrid console. Because of this, there are still some benefits for playing the Wii U.

Unfortunately, many players that haven’t used their Wii U in a while are discovering that, when booted up, their Wii U isn’t working anymore. The Wii U seems to have lingering memory system errors, especially the memory error 160-0103 that can occur on the GamePad. None of the Wii U consoles impacted were modded or tinkered with in any way, but all of the user reports mention that they had not played their Wii Us for years.

The corruption that leads to the errors seems to be related to the NAND. Users that have bricked Wii Us are reporting that a factory reset of the console doesn’t fix the problem. So, it has become quite clear that the only method that could possibly save the player’s console is a NAND backup. Sadly, even having a backup saved beforehand would result in a tricky process, because Nintendo is no longer providing official support for the Wii U.

In fact, due to the Wii U’s age, players can no longer send the console in for repairs. Nintendo UK does have some instructions for the error code previously mentioned, but users that are dealing with the error are reporting that these instructions are not working. For now, it is being suggested that Wii U players turn on their console every once in a while to avoid the issue.


31 thoughts on “Many users reporting bricked Wii U consoles after not playing them for years”

  1. Lucky for me I’ve already been booting my Wii U up once or twice a month playing DK64 for a few hours, so my console still sees some use every once in a while.

    1. Seriously, being a weirdo who occasionally goes back to play WWHD or Splatoon 1 (before the security stuff) or various Wii games I still own physically has paid off in a big way.

  2. Well that sucks. It’s like one final FU to people who bought a Wii U.

    I think it’s been half a year since I used mine…

      1. And if it happens to switch players after the next system comes out? Start thinking long term please….y’all already forget switch will have its own issues once Nintendo drops it’s online like the past systems… All these switch games will remain unfinished since they rely on update dlc

        1. Even worse, the Switch doesn’t boot without a battery, not even docked/plugged. Sure there is plenty to buy now but at some point they are going to disappear and good luck using after market ones. A friend tried with his 3DS and it barely holds any charge.

          I’m just glad emulation exists because Nintendo sucks big donkey balls when it comes to preservation, both hardware and software wise.

  3. NAND is a type of flash memory used in SSDs a lot. NAND memory relies on stored electric charge. Over the course of a year or two, if the SSD is not powered on some of that charge can dissipate, causing system information and data to get corrupted.
    I am surprised to hear that the Wii U uses NAND storage for it’s firmware…. that doesn’t make much sense to me

  4. I haven’t played or touch my Wii U since the Nintendo Switch was out in public. So, I have not check my Wii U stability honestly. I know Nintendo is not gonna let this brick continues on its own since hackers always find away to get away with things like that just to collect information from us.

  5. Had a similar experience with M$ Xbox when my 360 got the RROD, i read that supposedly Sony designed the PS3 to be faulty on purpose so it wouldn’t last and people had to purchase a new system more often until they got caught. I know the PS3 can get the YLOD (Yellow Light of Death)

  6. Yeah, I’m sure the consoles were modded or otherwise tempered with, of course people will not admit it now.

  7. I just turned on my Wii U, it updated but it didn’t brick. I can still play Tropical Freeze, Star Fox Zero, and Toad’s Treasure Tracker and Dak64, and Wind Waker and Twilight Princess and Wii Games and Dr. LUIGI.

    I’m glad I’m one of the few 14 million wii u owners. And I’m glad it still works.

  8. I left mine turned off from Christmas 2018 until now, unplugged from the mains too, turned it on a few months ago, absolutely fine, no problems whatsoever 😄

    1. Just booted up my Wii U again and thank god everything still works. Was really worried since it has been about a year or two since I last turned it on. Definitely also need to buy some stuff off the eshop before it closes too.

  9. I have an energized stand charger for mine, well actually 2 (ones a backup in case.) it really takes up little space and allows me to keep my WiiU charged and ready to go when I want to play one of the hundreds of games I got for it and the Wii along with from the virtual console.

  10. Lucas Fernandez Rossi

    I remember something about the battery inside the WII U controller being able to cause a problem like this if not played for long

  11. Bought a password locked Wii u for cheap. Had to call Nintendo and they helped me for over an hour to unlock the thing. Probably only 10 minutes if we were pros at the process. They do still help with software stuff, but this new issue is maybe unfixable without professional service. I paired the Wii u with a used gamepad that I upgraded with a much bigger battery. The system works perfectly now. The wiimotes a bit more laggy than I remember, but the fun is still there.

  12. Have had my used PS3 for many years and it still works perfectly. Though I did do some personal refurbishment on it when acquired. New thermal paste and stuff.

  13. I wonder if this was intentional, to keep us from enjoying the old and having to buy the new. Didn’t the PS4 have some kind of problem a year or so back?

  14. I havent played the WiiU for two years after it constantly froze and has a BLOD. So I had it unplugged since then. Will I still be able to get the Wii U to work if I constantly keep turning them on?

  15. Nintendo intentionally bricked the Wii U with update 5.5.6 to force people to instead use the subscription based service on the Switch to have access to an even smaller set of games rather than outright own a copy of the older games. Now to actually have an authentic cartridge of the older games, you have to put up with scalpers, both at local game stores and online. I am severely disappointed with Nintendo moving towards the games as a service business method. And to think my first system was the SNES. Even Sega isn’t this evil.

    1. Keep ur tin foil hat on son. If that were true it would be true of all wii u consoles but it in fact as mall amount. Ur just 2 young and not yet had the education 2 know how things work.

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