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Is your Wii U dying of loneliness?

Is your Wii U dying of loneliness?


Wii U owners on forums and Reddit are reporting their systems suffering from error codes 160-0103 and 160-2155 after sitting unused for a long period — suggesting possibly permanent memory corruption.

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black Wii U system in a glass display case with the Nintendo Switch beside it and the tv-game 15 under it. The Wii U gamepad with screen is sitting on top of the Wii U system. a famicom and super famicom are on the bottom right.
Wii U system on display at the Nintendo Store in NYC. Note the melting joystick — I wonder if it still works...
Image: Umar Shakir / The Verge

Thinking of dusting off your Wii U real quick before the eShop goes down forever so you can nab a digital copy of Wii Party U while you still can? Well, hopefully, your Wii U is of sound health. Wii U owners on forums and Reddit are finding that their systems aren’t working anymore, with errors many owners suspect are linked to leaving them sitting unused for a long period, as Exputer reports.

The issue seems to have come to light based on an account of NeoGAF forums member cireza, whose friend booted up a Wii U system after a long while and got error code 160-0103 on the Game Pad screen, which points to an issue with the on-board memory. Some Twitter users are also reporting the issue. And a similar error 160-2155 was also reported by Reddit user critical_hit_misses, who can’t get to the download management app on their Wii U.

We reached out to Nintendo for comment on the Wii U failures, but so far, it has not responded. Nintendo discontinued the Wii U in 2017 and no longer offers repairs for it.

This isn’t the only Wii U issue bubbling up at the moment, either — the company is currently dealing with a network outage due to a vulnerability while playing Mario Kart 8 and Splatoon online. The services, as of this writing, have been down for five days.

There’s at least one person who wants to figure out the Wii U bricking situation: a console modder who goes by the name Voultar. They run a YouTube channel doing mods and are offering to buy broken Wii U systems to figure out how to solve 160-0103.

This Wii U issue seems to have been in the wild since at least 2017. That’s when a thread attempting to find a fix for the issue — which seemed small at the time — started on the GBA Temp forum. Some users note that they have never modded their failing Wii U systems, but it seems some hacking is required to back up the NAND and, hopefully, find a way to flash it back.

One user attempted to reformat a console that was showing symptoms of corruption but ended up with a bricked system to show for it.