Hiroshi Yamauchi, who served as president and CEO from 1949 until 2002, is credited with Nintendo's transition from playing card company into video game powerhouse. Yamauchi left his near 10 percent stake in Nintendo to his four children when he passed away last September. Nintendo has not said if Yamauchi's heirs plan to sell all of their stock or just a fraction.
Whatever the intentions of this buyback initiative, it's clear that Nintendo has been thinking a lot about its future. Nintendo CEO Satoru Iwata outlined plans last week that included bringing DS games to Wii U and researching non-wearable health tech as means to turn back on the cash printer.