Sony's attempt at a "Universal" Media Disc format fell flat, but that doesn't mean they're down and out. In fact, the company has been scrambling to come up with a new idea for the PSP, and that is as follows- a movie download service scheduled for launch some time early next year.
According to the Wall Street Journal, "people with knowledge of the matter" are hinting at an "iTunes-like service," designed to allow owners to download movies and transfer them via Memory Stick to the PSP. The first films available for this service will of course be from Sony Pictures Entertainment, so movies like The House of Flying Daggers should be included. If you own a PS3, check the Store for downloadable trailers, and you'll get a good idea of what we mean. For now, the Financial Times have reported that Amazon.com, CinemaNow, and Movielink are prospective partners in the deal.
Furthermore, the sources referred to in the Journal say that a similar service should let users bypass the PC completely and download their movies directly to the PSP. In this way, Sony is getting rid of optical storage for direct download, which means they'll officially join Apple (iTunes movies) and Microsoft (Video Marketplace) in battle. Wow…this and the Blu-Ray/HD/DVD war? What more could we ask for?