Update [Sat 18th Mar, 2023 11:45 GMT]: Seasoned electronics engineer and modding specialist Voultar has been digging into this issue, and has found that there's a relatively easy fix:
The entire thread is worth a look, but it seems like impacted Wii U consoles can be resurrected without too much trouble, which is a huge positive.
Original Story [Tue 7th Mar, 2023 15:30 GMT]: They say nothing ever lasts forever, but in the case of Nintendo's Wii U, the endpoint might be coming sooner than most of us expected.
It is being reported (thanks, Exputer) by more than one Wii U owner that the console is in danger of becoming unable if not switched on for a long period of time. According to these reports, a NAND corruption issue can brick the console, and this is unfixable if a NAND backup has not been made prior to corruption (we don't know about you, but we're not in the habit of backing up our NANDs).
The first report came from NeoGAF user Cireza, who reported that a friend’s Wii U had mysteriously stopped working when they fired it up after a period of storage. The issue manifests as a dead system (well, duh) with the error code 160-0103 displayed on the Wii U Gamepad. Cireza points out that the console in question was unmodded and hadn't been hacked or tampered with in any way.
A single report isn't much evidence, but Redditer John25601600 has also experienced the same problem after not touching his Wii U for over five years. Another Reddit user, Critical_Hit_Misses, reported the same issue eight months ago.
The catch here is that Nintendo has stopped servicing Wii U consoles and therefore is unlikely to reach out and fix this issue unless a sufficient number of people come forward. Given the small number of Wii U consoles sold – and the even smaller number still in active use – that's unlikely to happen.
Have you experienced this issue? Let us know by posting a comment below.