Sony negotiating PSP music downloads?

Sony are tipped to be negotiating music deals that would see the PSP gaming handheld get on-device downloads.  According to unnamed sources within the music industry, Sony has been talking to "some of the major recording companies" about the prospect of offering music downloads through the PlayStation Network.

Although no deals are said to have been agreed as yet, analysts are already saying that they see music sales as an obvious next-step for Sony.  The company already distributes video content – movies and TV shows – and since they already have their own record label there's no shortage of early music to prove the service viable.

Sony and the major recording labels declined to comment, but these latest rumors do fit in with earlier discussion about what's believed to be the upcoming PSP replacement.  That device is said to focus much more on digital distribution, both for multimedia content and games titles.  Conflicting reports have suggested both that the UMD drive of the existing PSP would be less central to the handheld or deleted altogether.  Instead, download and Memory Stick Micro media cards would be used.