Everyone Loves DS

The reason the DS is so incredibly popular isn't simply the goodness of its games library. It's the depth of the non-games software available, which encompasses everything from the very familiar "Brain Training" to the very practical Japanese cookery titles. If anything vindicates Nintendo's once-ridiculed tactic of throwing a kitchen sink's worth of random functionality into a handheld that was destined to be thoroughly crushed by the Sony PSP, it's this little lot - all widely available in non-games stores across Japan and, perhaps one day, the rest of the world.

Above: The Aristocrats... *jazz hands*

My Happy Manners Book

Hey, ladies. If you're unsure how you should lay your cutlery on your empty plate after a meal, or what the proper response is when a gentleman attempts to slide his camera-phone under your skirt in a crowded subway train, then this is the software for you.

It's an ongoing course in etiquette, beginning with a "manners diagnosis" that devises a personalized curriculum based on your current understanding of socially correct behavior. Training is divided into categories such as work, communication, gifts, ceremonies and whose job it is to hold ponytails out of the way when a lady is ill.

From our experience, Japanese people - particularly women - are so disarmingly polite that it exceeds belief to think they'd need to practice being nice on a DS. Maybe that's just how it works, though. We await an English version with great anticipation and a complete absence of breath-holding.