Now don’t go taking this the wrong way. Believe me, I’d love to have one of those babies show up on my doorstep in the next couple weeks. After all, the 3DS has been the first Nintendo handheld that I’ve been legitimately excited about. And with games like Ocarina of Time, Kid Icarus, Mario Kart, and Paper Mario all scheduled to arrive later in the year – and a new Super Mario title to be revealed at E3, no less – it’s certainly pretty close to the top of my “do want” list.

But I can tell you with absolute certainty that, come March 27, I won’t be getting one. No hard feelings, Nintendo.

Why? There are a lot of reasons – the first of which being that it’s a bit out of my starving student price range. Between student aid and my night job my wife and I barely make enough to pay our bills. I should be getting more hours, and therefore more pay, during the next school term, but we’re also trying to build up a savings account so that we’ll actually be able to survive once we graduate, so putting all of the extra cash towards gaming is out of the question.

Sure, I love what I do for Zelda Informer and if I could be all over what will probably be the biggest gaming story of the year, I would totally do it. But the fact is that when it comes down to it, I have to prioritize my family over video games. $250 is a lot of money, and while I wouldn’t say the 3DS is overpriced by any means, it’s certainly not something I can just go out and buy without a lot of serious saving. There are financing options available, particularly a 6-month-interest-free payment plan at Best Buy which I’ve been considering, but I don’t think I’m in good enough shape to be adding another monthly bill to my already tall stack.

I’m not too heartbroken, though – the 3DS launch lineup doesn’t particularly excite me anyway. The only things I can see myself purchasing are Lego Star Wars and Rayman 3D (not to say the other stuff like Super Street Fighter is bad, just nothing I could give a worthy perspective on), and probably one of the first-party games for ZI reviewing purposes. All the good stuff will be coming later in the year, and by that time I should have saved up plenty. Besides, somebody here has got to be free to pick up that limited edition gold 3DS that’ll inevitably come along with Ocarina of Time. Suffice to say that I don’t feel the 3DS will really pick up momentum and importance until about midway through the year anyway.

Of course, the launch is still important, and I’m really hoping I can make it to the 3DS pod in LA to get some hands-on impressions for you guys, or at least find a demo kiosk at a Best Buy or something. Unfortunately, my car’s on its last legs and it’s nigh impossible to find an excuse to go out there. (Again, this is why I can’t pick up a 3DS without some serious saving.)

What I’m curious about is whether anyone else finds themselves in the same boat. Would you like to get a 3DS, but simply can’t for financial reasons or won’t until the AAA software starts trickling in? Share your story in the comments section!

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