I'm as surprised as anyone considering the atmosphere of doom and gloom surrounding Nintendo's latest handheld but, according to data from the NPD in the US, the 3DS is looking likely to outsell its predecessor the DS in the first year -- in the US at least.
As reported by Gamasutra, the 3DS is currently sitting at 1.65 million units sold in the US for the first eight months of release. The DS managed 2.37 million in the first year, with almost half of those consoles being sold during the holiday period. In addition, the original DS was released in November 2004, meaning it had the benefit of almost two separate holiday periods.
So with two potential juggernaut titles being released in Super Mario 3D Land and Mario Kart 7, it's possible that the 3DS may actually end up outselling the original DS. That said, that's just in the US and, if I remember correctly, the DS didn't really gather steam until further down the track.
Still, good news overall. I'd like to see the 3DS succeed, and I'm looking forward to Super Mario 3D Land in a very big way.