DS Cookbook a Japanese hit

Nintendo's portable just keeps getting stranger. Already heralded as an educational pet simulator, brain trainer and a Japanese-English dictionary, the DS is about earn a new title: interactive cookbook. Chris Kohler of Game|Life takes a look at Shaberu! DS O-Ryouri Navi (translation: Talk! DS Cuisine Navigator), a DS title that features over 200 recipes that are broken down to many steps and read aloud to you by the narrator. You can bark voice commands at your DS, such as "next page" and "more detail" for even simpler instructions.

Like all bizarre DS titles, the cookbook was a hit in Japan, selling more than 120,000 copies in its first week available. Kohler continues, comparing last week's Japanese hardware sales of the DS and Sony PSP (hint: Nintendo's portable outsold Sony's more than seven times over). Is this popularity due to Nintendo's ability to capture nearly every demographic in Japan?

Kohler's final point highlights the Long Tail theory developed by Wired magazine editor in chief Chris Anderson, which proposes that the combined sales of of many lesser-known products from a company account for more revenue than the sales of its most popular products. Here, Kohler's quick calculations show that nine titles like Shaberu! DS O-Ryouri Navi would equal the sales of New Super Mario Bros. and likely would cost less time and money on development. The discussion leads up to a comparison of Nintendo Wii's Virtual Console to Xbox Live Arcade. Nintendo is offering their entire back catalogue as is, while XBLM sells only the highest-quality products, hand-picked and sometimes seldom released. From the perspective of a consumer, who really has the most advantageous online structure here?

[Image inspired by this NeoGAF forum post]

This article was originally published on Joystiq.