It has emerged that Sony's new portable handheld gaming device - the PSP will also support MP3 formatted tracks alongside Sony's properitory format ATRAC.

The news, which was announced at the Toyko Game Show, comes hot on the heals of an announcement made ealier in the week by Sony that future generations of its audio players will support the MP3 format.

Sony has been heavily criticised in the past for not supporting, what many see, as the defacto standard for downloadable music.

The dramatic U-turn will give the company a better standing against the compeititon, especially Apple's iPod and mean that future players like the NW-HD1 we reviewed earlier this month (

click here to see review

) will become more accessible.

A Sony spokesperson said new devices which will play both ATRAC and MP3s would be launched later in the year. It also plans to offer software to upgrade existing digital music players so they too can play MP3s.

Currently, Sony users have had to convert tracks into the ATRAC format using desktop software, but the inclusion of MP3 support could spell out a drag and drop approach, again something, which would be very welcomed.