Rumours of Microsoft's entry into the handheld console market have been providing industry gossip for some time now.

But today new details have emerged that offer the most concrete evidence yet of Microsoft's pocket gaming intent. According to a report in Mercury News by Dean Takahashi, author of a forthcoming book on the Xbox 360, key Xbox personnel including J Allard are heading up a project to design a portable version of the Xbox. The plans detail a multimedia device similar to Sony's PSP – in other words, a handheld console that is equally at home with movies and music as it is with games.

Don't put off buying your PSP or DS just yet though as the project, which is reported to have been initiated last autumn, is not expected to lead to anything being launched for at least a year, more likely two. Suffice to say the pocket gaming landscape is likely to have altered significantly in that time, with potential new products from Nintendo and Sony entering the fray.

What it does offer right now is further confirmation that pocket gaming is the future and a great source of ongoing rumour (click the track it button above to get the latest as we discover it!)

You can read Takahashi's original article here: www.mercurynews.com/mld/mercurynews/business/14141766.htm