You Could Brick The Nintendo Wii U Just For Not Using It, Reports Claim

The nostalgic console is haunted by a severe bug, leading to a slow death.

Story Highlights

  • Nintendo’s nostalgic Wii U console appears to get corrupted if it is not used for a long time, eventually suffering memory errors that brick the system.
  • It is a NAND corruption issue that bricks the console, and it is unfixable if a NAND backup is not made prior to corruption.
  • Many reports have surfaced online over the years, and users have been unable to fix Wii U because of the high-risk complications that come with it.
  • Nintendo does not offer official repairs for the platform anymore, and the only current solution appears to be running Wii U after a while to ensure it does not brick.

The Nintendo Wii U had its fair share of impediments that have plagued the alluring system. A NeoGAF thread by the user “cireza” notes that not using the console for longer periods can lead to it being entirely corrupted. In other words, it becomes unusable due to lingering memory system errors.

Cireza notes that their friend’s Wii U had stopped working when they tried to use it after keeping it secure in a box for many years. To clarify, the console was not hacked or modded in any way. The dreaded memory error 160-0103 occurs on the Gamepad, which is known to be nearly a death sentence for the console by current users.

It is a NAND corruption issue, which means that the Wii U is bricked because of it unless a backup was saved through softmod. Attempts to factory reset the console would not resolve the issue either. A NAND backup could save the console, but it would be a very thorny process without any official support.

Now, a single failure would not hold any weight, but the Nintendo Wii U is chock-full of similar reports across many forums, such as Reddit, on the web. The NAND corruption and the aforesaid memory errors happen quite often for the current users, seemingly out of nowhere when the console is used after several years of dormancy.

The Wii U of the Reddit user John25601600 also met a similar fate, ending up fully bricked after not being used for 5+ years.

My Wii U has been sitting unused for 5+ years. I decided to get it out the other day, but upon startup, I get a black screen with a 160-0103 error code, suggesting a system memory failure,” noted one Reddit user.

As noted above, it is impossible to resolve the issue unless the NAND was backed up beforehand. Every complaint found online seemingly ended with the Wii U meeting its demise, and no user could recover from the dreaded memory system errors.

Another Reddit post has alluded to the same dreaded error after not using the Wii U for a long time. These problems have emerged on unmodded Wii U consoles, suggesting no tinkering was involved.

Wii U Internal Memory Repair? from wiiu

Moreover, many other reported cases have been witnessed over the years, such as one in the GBAtemp forum; the Wii U by this user was unused for over five years. 

A post on the GBAtemp forum discussing the dreaded Wii U system failure.

Many current owners are worried about the eventual corruption of the portable console because of all the reports. There are many more complaints available on the web, all boiling down to the same conclusion. Most of the users suffering from the system errors specify that the Wii U has remained unused for a long time.

The official instructions by Nintendo UK have sadly not worked for any of the reported complaints online. Things are much more challenging for the stellar platform now that Nintendo does not officially repair it in case of any physical or software errors that occur to the gamers still using it.

Nintendo Wii U appears destined for a slow, quiet death without being used for a while. The only practical solution, for now, is to power on the little giant once in a while to ensure a system memory error does not occur in the future. It is hoped a more practical solution will be discovered, but that is very unlikely due to its age.

Nintendo Wii U has aged like fine cheese, but its lengthy list of issues has haunted the system since its inception. The lifetime of the Nintendo Wii U is expected to take another significant hit when the 3Ds and Wii U eShops officially shut down in March 2023, leaving the current loyal users of the nostalgic system to fizzle out further.

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Shameer Sarfaraz is a Senior News Writer on eXputer who loves to keep up with the gaming and entertainment industries devoutly. He has a Bachelor's Degree in Computer Science and several years of experience reporting on games. Besides his passion for breaking news stories, Shahmeer loves spending his leisure time farming away in Stardew Valley. VGC, IGN, GameSpot, Game Rant, TheGamer, GamingBolt, The Verge, NME, Metro, Dot Esports, GameByte, Kotaku Australia, PC Gamer, and more have cited his articles.

Experience: 4+ Years || Education: Bachelor in Computer Science.

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