Users new to Wii U and 3DS can no longer connect to the Internet in games

As the discontinuation date for online services for Wii U and 3DS approached, it was discovered that new users could no longer connect online to any Wii U and 3DS games. Pretending I shared my findings in a recent blog post.

The change appears to have been made sometime this month. Since this is a server-side issue, there are no workarounds.

Pretendo posted the following regarding why Wii U and 3DS online functionality cannot be provided to new users:

On the 3DS, the console registers a new NEX account on the buddy server once during the console setup process. Each 3DS will, under normal circumstances, only have one account at a time (although this is not always true, but is irrelevant). This is why an NNID is not required to play most online games on the 3DS, as the games use your NEX account to log in to all game servers. Because of this, a new NEX account will never be created again unless the old account is removed using CFW or by factory resetting the console.

On the Wii U, a new NEX account is automatically created when you register an NNID, and the NEX account is linked to that NNID. The console then alerts the buddy server of the new NEX account, just like the 3DS. Despite using NNIDs, the Wii U also uses these NEX accounts to connect to the Internet in all games.

Once you create a NEX account, the Friends server syncs that account with all other game servers on the Nintendo Network. This is due to the aforementioned calculation system provided by Rendez-Vous. Since each game has its own server, and Rendez-Vous lacks the concept of a unified account system, each game server has its own internal account system, which is synchronized with other games. It is actually possible to create accounts in other servers besides a friends server if using a mod client, and these accounts will be usable in other games.

Basically, the problem is due to the sync process that is no longer active. Users will simply see error 106-0303 on the Wii U and error 006-0303 on the 3DS.

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Related to the above, some Super Mario Maker players started encountering error 106-0502 this month while playing online. Pretendo believes that Nintendo is “trying to reduce the number of servers running per game, to save costs as the shutdown date approaches” but “most likely made an error in the supposed load balancer in not removing these now-dead servers from the pool” of available titles. There is no indication that it has been repaired.

Nintendo Announce In October, online support will be discontinued for all Wii U and 3DS users sometime in April 2024, though we're awaiting a specific date. At the same time, both online stores for these systems It closed earlier this year.

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