If at first you don't succeed, launching proprietary movie formats probably isn't for you. At least, that's how the saying goes when one considers Sony's "Universal" Media Disc format that took off on the PSP and then landed somewhere in a pile of Beta Max tapes. But there's also the "try and try again" part, in this case referring to a new movie download service which Sony intends to launch early in 2007.

The Wall Street Journal reports that "people with knowledge of the matter" are pointing to an upcoming iTunes-like service that will allow users to download films and then transfer them (via Memory Stick) to that most portable of Playstations. The first batch of films up for grabs will naturally be from Sony Pictures Entertainment (think Spider-Man, House of Flying Daggers and ... Hitch), with more studios expected to follow shortly after the service launches. The Financial Times labels Amazon.com, Movielink and CinemaNow as potential partners in the endeavor.

In addition, said knowledgable people predict that a similar service will allow users to bypass their computers entirely and download video directly to the PSP. By eliminating optical storage and aiming at direct downloads, Sony joins Apple (iTunes movies) and Microsoft (Video marketplace) in a battle that runs parallel to the one currently taking place between HD-DVD and Blu-ray. Best get some popcorn for this one.

Read -- Sony Is to Offer Video Downloads To Battle iTunes (subscription required)
Read -- Sony To Enter Video Download Market

This article was originally published on Joystiq.