Having just been confirmed as the U.S.'s most popular console for the eleventh month in a row, analysts have already begun to speculate whether Nintendo's forthcoming Wii U console will be able knock Microsoft's Xbox 360 from its thrown upon release next year.

Microsoft at E3 2011

Unlike Sony and Nintendo, which both unveiled new console's at this year's expo, Microsoft chose to focus on promoting its Kinect peripheral. Microsoft revealed a host of new content and Kinect enabled games set for release next year. These included titles for big name franchises like Mass Effect and Fable.

The Kinect is a peripheral that plugs into the console, it tracks the user's motions using cameras and sensors, turning their movements into in-game commands.

The conference also saw the company reveal not just one new Halo game but three.

While details about the first of the new Trilogy, Halo 4, are scarce with gamers not knowing anything about its plot or release date, the game has already generated significant buzz and will likely prove a popular title upon release.

Since the conference Microsoft has enjoyed a boost in the sales of Xbox 360 consoles.

A report released to highlight the console's fortunes over the past year reiterating its belief that the Xbox's success would continue.

"And if anyone has any doubt that 2011 continues to be the year of Xbox 360, check out the latest numbers from NPD Group, an independent market research firm that tracks the digital entertainment industry.

"For starters, Xbox 360 has sold more consoles than any other platform for 11 of the past 12 months in the United States. Now in the seventh year of its lifecycle, Xbox 360 is on pace to have the biggest year in its history, a feat never achieved by any console in history."

Nintendo's E3: The Wii U

As well as revealing a slew of new titles for its 3DS handheld console Nintendo took the time to unveil its new Wii U console during this year's E3.

Like its predecessor the Wii, the Wii U is an innovative piece of tech. It's a small -- the dimensions released by Nintendo make it roughly the same size as the original Wii -- neat looking console that houses several new ideas not seen on any console before it.

The biggest of these innovations is the Wii U's controller. The controller is a tablet like affair that houses its own 6.2-inch touch screen and DS-like stylus. The new Wii U remote also boasts the ability to stream games from the console to the remote -- the idea being that player's will be able to continue gaming even if the T.V. the console is plugged into is being used for other tasks.

The console is also set to upgrade the Wii's graphics, being able to play 1080p high-definition.

Thus far how big an upgrade this will be is unknown, as Nintendo has remained tight-lipped about the actual hardware running its new console.

Can the Wii U beat the Xbox 360 in 2012?

Despite the optimistic tone of Nintendo, the Wii U has not been met with open-arms. Critics and consumers alike have expressed hesitation towards the console's controller and new approach to split-screen gaming.

This hesitation has already led to fiscal consequences for Nintendo. The Wii U's unveiling led to an almost 10 per cent drop in the company's share price in the two days following.

But, as pointed out by Nintendo's company President Satoru Iwata, the original Wii was met by similar hesitation before it was released.

At this point, with details about the Wii U and Nintendo's plans for it in 2012 still vague it's difficult to guess whether the console will be able to match the Wii's success and overcome the public's initial apprehension.

The answers to question regarding the Wii U's price and graphical prowess will undoubtedly prove significant factors. Until these questions are answered it will be all but impossible to say whether the Wii U will be a success.

But, in the meantime Microsoft certainly don't seem to have any problem reaping the rewards of the publics apprehension towards the Wii U.