Microsoft should expect it to be an Xbox 360 Christmas this year if search queries for the games console are anything to go by.

Although the launch of the PS3 Slim caused a massive spike of interest according to search analytics firm Hitwise, Microsoft's Xbox 360 console is consistently ranking highly in searches suggesting its popularity will be strong come the Christmas rush.

"For most of 2009 the Microsoft Xbox 360 has been the most searched for games console in the UK, while the popularity of the Nintendo consoles has waned significantly", says Robin Goad, Hitwise UKs research director.

Good news for Sony is that its PS3 has maintained second place throughout most of year while Nintendo has struggled following its massive success in 2008.

Without the Wii Fit to dominate Christmas wish lists, as it did last Holiday season, Xbox 360 games are the most popular options, after all-format titles, picking up 11.9% of searches according to the firm.