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Wii's success fills coffers of Japan's richest man

The monstrously-popular video game console has grown Nintendo's market cap so much that it has vaulted its former chairman to the country's top wealth spot.

A report out from Forbes magazine indicates that the tremendous popularity of Nintendo's Wii video game console has filled the coffers of the company's former chairman, Hiroshi Yamauchi and made him Japan's richest man.

On Thursday, Reuters cited the Forbes study, and said that Yamauchi's wealth had increased $3 billion in the last year, making his current net worth $7.8 billion. That meant he had passed real estate baron Akira Mori for the country's top wealth slot.

According to Reuters, Yamauchi owns 10 percent of Nintendo, which has seen its market capitalization rise to about $79 billion on the strength of the Wii's performance.

That market cap seems likely to grow even more in the coming year as Nintendo will soon be releasing Wii Fit, an exercise game that is expected to become one of the best-selling games of all-time, according to video game analysts.

On June 10, Geek Gestalt hits the highways for Road Trip 2008. I'll start in Orlando and visit many of the South's most interesting destinations. Stay tuned, and be sure to keep up with what I'm doing on Twitter.